Lloyd’s re/insurer MS Amlin Underwriting Limited (MS AUL) has announced that the court has sided with it in the outcome of a legal dispute with UK pub group Stonegate regarding COVID business interruption claims.
In June of this year, Stonegate moved to sue insurers MS Amlin, Zurich Insurance and Liberty Mutual for £1 billion, after its business dropped by up to 90% below projections during the height of COVID restrictions in the UK
The group sought to challenge the insurers’ interpretation of a number of policy coverage issues, several of which are of significance to the wider industry.
The case formed part of a series of interlinked trials heard by the Commercial Court in London, and considered whether Stonegate’s losses were limited by the aggregation language in the policy, the extent to which losses were caused by cases of COVID-19 and Government action within the policy period, and whether insurers were entitled to credit for furlough payments received by Stonegate.
On all of these issues the Court has found almost entirely in favour of insurers.
“We welcome the judgment of the High Court, and believe this brings some genuine clarity to a very complex business interruption case,” said Johan Slabbert, Chief Executive Officer of MS AUL.
“This is a positive outcome for us and is of significance to the entire insurance industry, who I’m sure will be keen to read the full details of the judgment, as issues around furlough payments and aggregation in particular have the potential to have an enormous financial impact for insurers throughout the UK,” he continued.
“As an insurer upon whom thousands of businesses rely for support, we have always taken our responsibilities extremely seriously. Covid-19 created unprecedented challenges for businesses across the country, and our commitment to helping our policyholders remains as strong as ever.”