Last month we wrote a piece concerning AXA’s agreement to pay COVID-19 related business interruption claims by a group of restaurants in France after a court ruled that the restaurants’ revenue losses resulting from COVID-19 and related government orders were covered under its insurance policies. AXA reportedly has already agreed to pay over 200 COVID-19 related claims.
Another European insurer recently made headlines for similar reasons. Despite initially denying liability, Swiss insurance company, Helvetia Insurance, announced that most of its policyholders in the hospitality industry have accepted settlements following coverage disputes for COVID-19 related business interruption losses. The settlements reportedly included policyholders from Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.
The positive response from the European insurers appears to have influenced the insurance industry across the continent. For instance, in the U.K., the Financial Conduct Authority announced that it is taking certain insurers to court to seek clarity as to coverage for COVID-19 related losses. In Germany, the government and a group of insurers reached an agreement whereby the government will pay for 70% of business interruption losses for policyholders in the hospitality industry, and the insurers will pay for half of the business interruption losses not covered by the government.
Reprinted courtesy of Sergio F. Oehninger, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Daniel Hentschel, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Mr. Oehninger may be contacted at soehninger@HuntonAK.com
Mr. Hentschel may be contacted at dhentschel@HuntonAK.com