In circumstances where several businesses' post-pandemic survival is hanging in the balance, a group of over 50 claimants (including galleries, museums and sole traders) are preparing to bring a class action claim against insurers for failure to pay out on business interruption policies.
There has already been considerable political pressure placed on insurance companies globally to pay out on such policies (as there was in the aftermath of 9/11, giving rise to a strange sense of déjà vu). It will be interesting to see on which side the UK Court comes down, and how it balances individual circumstances and policy wordings with more far-reaching practical and economic considerations.
The outcome of this case could also have an impact on the stream of frustration and force majeure claims with which the Court is expected to be inundated. Litigators operating across all sectors are therefore going to want to watch this space carefully.
“To be told vital cash flow from a resource on which you thought you could rely was no longer available could now severely hinder our route to survival. I know I am not the only business having these sleepless nights and it seems remarkable that, having shown years of loyalty paying expensive premiums, our insurer refuses to recognise these unprecedented times and support the businesses that have helped keep their balance sheets so profitable.”