Lloyd's of London underwriters suffer another COVID-19 class action lawsuit

It is argued there is nothing to deny coverage for losses caused by the outbreak

Lloyd's of London underwriters suffer another COVID-19 class action lawsuit

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

It’s the turn of Miami Beach salon Atma Beauty to take Lloyd’s of London underwriters to court, with the all-risk insurance policyholder serving as the lead plaintiff in a federal class action lawsuit against certain Lloyd’s syndicates as well as HDI Global Specialty SE and AXIS Specialty Europe SE.

In the court document seen by Insurance Business, the plaintiff – individually and on behalf of “all others similarly situated” – alleged: “The class claims all derive directly from a single course of conduct by defendants: their systematic and uniform refusal to pay insureds for losses suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related actions taken by civil authorities to suspend business operations.”

According to the complaint, which was filed at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the defendants include Syndicates AFB 2623, AFB 623, APL 1969, ARG 2121, BRT 2987, BRT 2988, HIS 33, KLN 510, MMX 2010, MSP 318, NVA 2007, TRV 5000, and XLC 2003.     

The class action argued: “Plaintiff’s policy does not contain any exclusion which would apply to allow defendants to deny coverage for losses caused by COVID-19 and related actions of civil authorities taken in response to COVID-19.

“Accordingly, because the policy is an all-risk policy and does not specifically exclude the losses that plaintiff has suffered, those losses are covered.”

Represented by Podhurst Orseck, Atma Beauty is demanding a trial by jury.   

“Atma Beauty purchased one of the clearest commercial insurance policies written by any provider in the world, so Lloyd’s of London must be held accountable for its contractual obligations,” asserted Podhurst Orseck’s Steven Marks in a statement sent to Insurance Business.

“Atma Beauty paid a higher premium for an all-risk policy, which provides coverage for all risks of loss, unless specifically excluded in the policy, and this policy included no exclusions. As a result of the coronavirus, the salon has completely shut down and has had no means of revenue.”

Marks added that if insurers continue to fail in fulfilling their contractual obligations, the economic impact of the pandemic will become even more dire.

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