While the insurance industry holds its breath for the ruling from the FCA’s business interruption test case, the Hiscox Action Group (HAG) is claiming a victory in its pursuit of Hiscox Insurance through the High Court. HAG, which is made up of over 400 Hiscox insurance policyholders, and Hiscox Insurance have both agreed to a simplified proposal for an expedited arbitration process for all policies.
The legal counsel of both parties have agreed for the action to heard as a single arbitration, with three arbitrators reviewing four categories of policy. Richard Leedham, the Mishcon de Reya partner representing HAG, said that this agreement represents a significant step forward for HAG as it will speed up the process and provide renewed hope to man small businesses throughout the UK which are continuing to face financial hardship.
“Today’s agreement is a significant moment in our pursuit of Hiscox Insurance,” he said. “We are very pleased that they have overall agreed to our proposals for a simple way of moving forward the arbitration process. Having one tribunal will bring clarity, speed-up the action and provide consistent results for our members.”
HAG is seeking payment of over £40 million for policies which it states were intended to trigger when access to premises were restricted following the outbreak of a “notifiable disease”. This High Court action is part of a dual strategy by HAG which also joined the FCA action, which is intended to provide clarity on over 50 insurance policies, written by eight insurers.
Mark Killick, a Hiscox Action Group steering committee member, commented: “Today’s agreement is an important milestone in our campaign to force Hiscox to do the right thing and honour its obligations. Hopefully the agreement on the arbitration route will bring new momentum to getting a quicker resolution and ease further financial hardship on our members.”