Coronavirus insurance claims are becoming increasingly common as the pandemic threatens the finances of businesses and individuals
When considering disputes relating to coronavirus insurance claims the starting point is to carefully read through your insurance contract. For a claim to be successful the contract must cover the type of insurance risk suffered subject to the terms and conditions, exclusions and exemptions of that policy.
Coronavirus represents a substantial challenge to the insurance industry and it is widely reported in the press that insurers may simply not have sufficient resources to meet the large number of claims arising from coronavirus and that there is a risk that they will take a policy decision to refuse to pay out on claims or delay paying claims across the board rather than considering the individual merits of claims and paying out on claims where appropriate.
It is therefore imperative that you seek legal advice as early as possible to try to jump to the head of the queue and hopefully push your insurer into making a decision on your claim rather than delaying and, if there is sufficient merit to a claim, threaten court proceedings in order to achieve payment.
Here are some examples of the coronavirus insurance claims we have been helping our clients with:
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Business Interruption Claims
The FCA which acts as a financial watchdog is to go to court for a decision on whether insurers should pay out on some claims made by businesses who have been unable to trade due to coronavirus.
Some businesses say they think their business interruption policies should cover them for loss of revenue caused by the lockdown measures put in place as, on the policy wording, such claims appear to be covered.
A large proportion of insurers have declined to pay out on those policies as they say that they do not relate to pandemics.
FCA has written to insurers warning them to pay out promptly on the limited number of policies that clearly do cover business interruption during this pandemic.
The court action will likely provide clarification as to the policy wording and circumstances where insurers should be paying out. The FCA’s involvement should open the door to a much larger number of businesses bringing claims.
It is often the case that insurance policies are taken out when a wedding is booked. Difficulties have arisen where due to lockdown, it is unclear whether a wedding may take place or not or, for example, the catering or other ancillary arrangements are impacted.
The first step, as highlighted above, is to read your policy and then to contact the venue and see if a practical solution can be agreed. One option may be to agree to postpone the wedding date. If matters cannot be resolved, then it is advisable to seek legal assistance.
If you need legal advice on Coronavirus insurance claims and would like a free initial telephone consultation then please contact our specialist disputes Partner, David Paull on 01823 345654 or email [email protected]