Solicitors Michelmores would like to hear from publicans whose claims have been declined by the following eight insurers:
- Aviva (in particular resilience policies)
- Hiscox/Geo Specialty
- NFU Mutual (in particular, Commercial Select)
- RSA ((in particular, those administered by Eaton Gate MGU Ltd)
- New India Assurance
- Ecclesiastical (in particular, Historic Britain Insurance)
- Argenta Syndicate 2121 (in particular those arranged by HIUA)
It comes as many publicans have been unsuccessful in their attempts to receive payouts from insurers, with research from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) highlighting the difficulties faced by operators.
The BBPA said 56% of publicans applying for business interruption claims had been rejected, in figures they released at the start of last month.
The trade body’s chief executive Emma McClarkin said the reluctance of insurers was “simply not right”.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it would obtain a court declaration to resolve any contractual uncertainty in business interruption cover. The FCA is taking a sample of 17 policy wordings, which represent the main legal issues that could be disputed between policyholders and insurers, to the High Court in a test case.
Michelmores policyholder insurance team head Garbhan Shanks said: “The coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected numerous businesses across the United Kingdom.
“Some have specific policy clauses (such as non-damage property business interruption or disease extension wording), which should cover business interruption losses yet the insurers who offered this cover are declining claims.”
Michelmores is considering a series of targeted group actions with the aim of helping business owners receive the indemnity funds they may be entitled to.
Publicans who would like to find out more about the potential group action can register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The law firm has asked individuals to provide the name of the policyholder, name of insurer and copy of their insurance policy.
Insurers Aviva and QBE (UK) Limited were also selected by the Hospitality Insurance Action Group (HIGA), headed by law firm Mischon de Reya. The group believes the insurers’ policy wordings mean there is a high chance of a successful pursuit of legal action.
Operators have shared their personal frustration with insurance companies with The Morning Advertiser over the past few months, with one describing their refusal to pay out to pubs as what could be “the final nail in the coffin” for many businesses suffering during this period.
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