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Forced closures set to trigger 'tsunami' of insurance claims

09 October 2020 by
closed sign restaurant

Forced restaurant and pub closures in Scotland and parts of England are expected to trigger a "tsunami" of new business interruption insurance claims, a campaign group has said.

The Scottish government has ordered licensed premises in the central belt area to shut for two weeks from Friday, while restrictions on the north of England are expected to be announced on Monday.

Many operators were left in limbo after the initial lockdown in March when a number of insurers refused to pay out to cover their losses.

In September the High Court ruled that coronavirus claims should be paid in most cases where policies had pandemic or notifiable disease clauses. However, claimants face delay as insurers filed for appeal.

Policyholder group Hospitality Insurance Group Action (HIGA), which was launched to confront insurers who abstain from reimbursing losses resulting from coronavirus, has advised affected businesses with a ‘resilience' or QBE1 policy to check whether they should submit new claims notifications to maximise recoveries.

Sonia Campbell, partner at Mishcon de Reya, who is leading legal action on behalf of HIGA, said: "The new government measures will lead to a second wave of business interruption claims from businesses across the UK, before the insurers have even paid out in relation to the first wave of claims.

"We are likely to see a flood of new business interruption insurance claims being made under current policies before they expire and before it's too late.

"Experience tells us that the insurers - many of whom should have agreed to pay out in line with the Court's judgment - are going to fight tooth and nail to limit their liability.

"We would strongly recommend all affected businesses with resilience or QBE 1 policies to get in touch so we can continue pressing insurers to make these payouts as soon as possible."

Photo: Shutterstock

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