London court orders AXA to pay restaurant owner for COVID-19 losses

The logo of French insurer Axa is seen outside a building in Montaigu, France, February 23, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

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LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – French insurer AXA must compensate the owner of London’s Wolseley restaurant for several COVID-19 business interruption incidents, the London High Court ruled on Friday in a closely watched case. by other insureds.

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled last year that many insurers were wrong to deny thousands of businesses battered by the COVID-19 pandemic business interruption benefits.

But the ruling did not cover all policy wordings and, where it found the claims valid, some companies disputed payout levels.

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Corbin & King, owner of London restaurants including Wolseley and Delaunay, sued AXA in a dispute relating in part to the scope of the “denial of access” guarantee, intended to protect insured places closed by public authorities for health reasons. lands.

Six Corbin & King restaurants were each entitled to payments of up to 250,000 pounds ($335,075.00) for three separate periods of UK government closures or hospitality restrictions, the High Court has ruled.

AXA has taken note of the court’s decision and will give it “careful consideration”, a spokesperson said by email.

“Players in the hospitality industry have been particularly hard hit, and this decision will be important to many of them,” said Roger Franklin of law firm Edwin Coe, which represented Corbin & King.

The case was expedited before the courts because of its interest for the other policyholders.

Three other companies are also taking on their insurers in disputes that are partly about loss aggregation: whether policies have been triggered multiple times during the pandemic and are eligible for multiple payouts. Read more

Lydia Savill, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells, said the decision that Corbin & King could claw back policy limits per claim and per facility “very significantly increases the amounts that insurers will be required to pay for covered claims. “.

($1 = 0.7461 pounds)

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Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Richard Chang

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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