Inception Group has said it has been "left with no choice" but to pursue legal action against insurer Axa over its business interruption insurance policy.
The group, which operates bar brands including Bunga Bunga, Mr Fogg's and Cahoots (pictured), said it notified Axa on 18 March 2020 of its intent to claim for losses under the policy. It claimed Axa wrote back on 21 April 2020 saying that it felt "coverage had been triggered", however Axa has refuted this claim.
However, Inception Group has still not received any compensation from Axa and has said that the insurer has since U-turned, claiming the business is "not covered at all".
A statement from Inception Group said: "This type of behaviour from a big institution and household name such as Axa is morally and ethically reprehensible.
"As a beleaguered hospitality operator we just want to focus our efforts on reopening our venues and providing our customers with some great experiences and some much-needed hospitality after the long lockdowns.
"The irony is that we are trying to claim for losses due to business interruption caused by Covid. However, we will now endure even more ‘business interruption' as we are left with no choice but to pursue legal action against Axa as a result of this huge injustice."
In January a Supreme Court ruling found that certain types of insurance policy should pay out for coronavirus disruption, although this was estimated to affect less than 10% of affected businesses in the UK.
An Axa UK spokesperson said: "While we understand the challenges many businesses have faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we can only authorise claims where the policy wording provides cover.
"The Financial Conduct Authority test case has provided further clarity around what is and isn't covered in relation to policy wordings, and no cover is provided by the policy wording for this particular claim. We are continuing to work with clients and their brokers to ensure all valid claims are paid as quickly as possible."