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Law firm names Aviva, Hiscox, RSA as it considers COVID-19 business interruption group action

Law firm names Aviva, Hiscox, RSA as it considers COVID-19 business interruption group action | Insurance Business

Law firm names Aviva, Hiscox, RSA as it considers COVID-19 business interruption group action

Where do you stand on the great coronavirus business interruption insurance debate? While the FCA may be contemplating its own stance with a trial case at the High Court, law firms continue to line up potential action against a host of big name insurers.

The latest on the list is Michelmores, which has issued a statement outlining that it is “considering COVID-19 group actions on behalf of policyholders with business interruption claims denied.”

The company is now inviting expressions of interest from those businesses whose claims have been denied and has pinpointed several insurers which it believes have policies that may be relevant to the current circumstances. Its release specifically names Aviva (in particular its resilience policies), Hiscox / Geo Specialty, NFU Mutual (in particular Commercial Select), RSA (in particular, those administered by Eaton Gate MGU Ltd), New India Assurance, QBE, Ecclesiastical (in particular Historic Britain Insurance), Argenta Syndicate 2121 (in particular those arranged by HIUA).

“The coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected numerous businesses across the United Kingdom,” said Garbhan Shanks, head of Michelmores’ policyholder insurance team. “Some have specific policy clauses (such as non-damage property business interruption or disease extension wording) which should cover business interruption losses, yet the insurers who offered this cover are declining claims. We are considering launching a series of targeted group actions, with the aim of helping policyholders to receive the indemnity funds that they may be entitled to.”

The firm noted that group actions could potentially be structed in different ways – for example the firm could act for claimants who individually contribute small fees within a group, or the action may attract a third party litigation funder to cover all legal costs, perhaps in return for a share of damages awarded.