The current pandemic has had, and continues to have, a devastating effect on businesses worldwide. Clarke Willmott has reported on the legal issues of the business interruption test case as it progressed through the High Court and most recently following its conclusion in the Supreme Court.
The true impact of the judgment and availability of cover will depend on the wording of your policy. The test case dealt with a very small sample of policies and therefore several thousands of claims will be based on policies which may not fit neatly into the 21 policies considered. As such a careful analysis will be required to assess whether a policy will provide cover to a business. A lawyer is the best person to undertake such analysis.
However, as Cathy Harris, a senior associate in the commercial litigation department, remarked: “The rulings in the FCA Test case should provide hope to businesses across the country and may help to avoid costly battles with insurers.”
So what should you do next?
Harris is part of Clarke Willmott’s dedicated business interruption team set up to assist a variety of organisations affected by the pandemic. She is eager to assist businesses in these unprecedented times and urges businesses to investigate matters now: “While the court and the FCA has urged insurers to deal with claims caught squarely by the test case, the reality is that insurers will continue to resist claims and most likely dispute causation and quantum.
Therefore, even if an organisation has notified a claim, it should be actively pursuing that claim and not sitting back assuming the insurer will simply pay out. It must also comply with notification provisions.”
You may not have considered whether you have BI cover. You may have had your policy reviewed last year or a claim denied prior to or following the Supreme Court ruling. You may have delayed investigations for financial or other commercial reasons. Our view is that now is the time to investigate and we recommend that you contact Harris to discuss matters and arrange a review of your policy.