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As a commercial business insurance buyer, should you let this reticence to pay insurance claims influence your insurance buying decision in future? It should. You pay your insurance to have a quiet nights sleep confident you will have money if a risk event occurs. Not all insurers have been so arrogant in their refusal to pay out on COVID-19 business interruption claims.
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Retailers and hospitality businesses thought they had insurance cover for pandemic shutdown financial losses but their insurers said they did not
Not all businesses with business interruption cover will be entitled to payment for financial losses from UK government lockdown. Although many insurers turned insurance claims down unfairly many businesses did not pay for the insurance cover for pandemic lockdown.
The Financial Conduct Authority FCA brought a case against a total of eight insurers in June to clarify whether 21 policy wordings affecting potentially 700 types of policies 60 insurers 370000 policyholders and billions in insurance claims covered disruption and government-ordered closures to curb the virus.
The High Court in London last month ruled that many business interruption policies did in fact provide such cover. However some insurers still resisted making payments to businesses and many expected the insurers to appeal against the legal judgement. Some insurers will appeal but 6 insurers have announced they will not appeal legal judgement.
Whilst not all business will get the money they are due many business leaders can now breath more easily that they will get paid for financial losses arising out of UK government imposed pandemic lockdown measures.
Many insurers and insurance advisers have not covered themselves with the insurance service provided prior to and during the pandemic. The FCA court action has put many business leaders in a better position. However business leaders should assess their business risks more fully to identify what risks to insure and with whom to ensure their business is properly protect against insurable risks.
Business interruption insurance coronavirus claims reviews tips and advice UK
The Financial Conduct Authority FCA brought a test legal case against insurers in UK. The result would affect close to half a million businesses and could lead to billions of pounds of insurance claims paid to business leaders in UK. The UK courts have found largely in favour of UK businesses.
The FCA brought the legal case against eight insurers including Hiscox RSA QBE and Zurich in June to clarify whether 21 types of business interruption BI policy wordings should pay out for closures and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The FCA has estimated the legal test case outcome could affect more than 60 insurers and 700 different types of policies because many insurance policies have similar wording. However insurers say that not all businesses will benefit from the legal decision. In other words there will be winners and losers from the legal judgement.
Small businesses in UK may now be able to survive and prosper with the aid of insurance payouts. The FCA legal test case was designed to quickly clarify whether the pandemic and a government lockdown in March should trigger BI policies which provide cover when insured premises cannot be used because of restrictions imposed by a public authority and in the event of a notifiable disease or infection. Insurers said the policies did not cover pandemic but the courts now say they do cover pandemic. If the judgment is appealed it could leapfrog straight to the Supreme Court the highest UK court to reduce delay for buckling businesses.
14th May 2020 Lloyds of London Estimates Coronavirus Pandemic Related Claims To Cost It 3 Billion Pounds
To put that into perspective it would be the biggest single cause payout since 11th September 2001 attacks in the USA. The final bill could be higher if the current lockdown measures continue into another quarter.
Worldwide the coronavirus pandemic is likely to cost the insurance industry over 100 billion dollars in just underwriting losses never mind operational costs. The insurance industry will lose around another 100 billion dollars from falls in investment returns. Investment returns are critical to the survival and prosperity of insurance underwriting.
17th March 2020 Insurers Given Until 2023 To Implement New Accounting Rule
Insurers will have to be more transparent about how they make money. The International Accounting Standards Board IASB has approved delaying its new rule until 2023.
The rule aims to standardise accounting rules in many countries. IASB rules are used in over 100 countries including the European Union and Britain but not in the United States which sets its own rules.
12th March 2020 Concerns Rise For Credit Insurers
The coronavirus pandemic is increasing concerns for the health of credit insurers. Credit rating agencies are looking at the probability of increasing claims due to businesses not being able to pay their debts as they no longer have sufficient customers or income to cover their costs of being in business.
Otherwise healthy businesses may struggle with cash flow. Businesses may have the same fixed costs but many are increasingly deserted by their normal customers. One result could be that they cannot pay all bills and pass the pain down the line. Eventually credit insurers will pick up some of the pain. Do credit insurers have enough money to cover all claims and falling investment returns on premiums due to falling stock markets around the world?
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