London’s High Court said on Friday in a case closely watched by other policyholders that AXA, a French multinational insurance company, must compensate the owner of London’s Wolseley restaurant for several incidents of business interruption due to Coronavirus.
Last year, Britain’s Apex Court ruled that many insurers had been wrong to deny thousands of companies, battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, business interruption payouts.
However, the judgement did not apply to all policy wordings, and where claims were found to be acceptable, some corporations were disputing payout levels.
The owner of London restaurants, Corbin & King, including the Wolseley and the Delaunay, was suing AXA insurance company in a dispute that hinged in part on the scope of “denial of access” cover, created to protect insured venues that are shut by public authorities on health grounds.
The High Court ruled that six Corbin & King restaurants were entitled to payments of up to 250,000 pounds ($335,075.00) each for three distinct periods of UK government lockdowns or hospitality restrictions.
AXA had noted the court’s judgment and would give it “careful consideration”, a spokesperson said by email.
“Those in the hospitality industry have been particularly badly affected, and this decision will be significant for many of them,” said Roger Franklin of law firm Edwin Coe, which represented Corbin & King.
Because it was of interest to other policyholders, the case was expedited through the courts.
Moreover, 3 other companies are suing their insurers over the aggregation of losses: whether policies have been triggered multiple times during the pandemic and qualify for various payments.