UK Businesses Win Insurance Payouts Over COVID

Could this be coming to America?

Small businesses win Covid insurance payouts after UK supreme court victory

Hundreds of thousands of small businesses that were forced to close during the Covid-19 pandemic are now set to receive payouts on insurance claims worth more than £1bn following what was described as a “historic victory” at the supreme court.

The Financial Conduct Authority, which brought the test case, said it would now be working with insurers to ensure they “move quickly” to pay claims to businesses, some of which have been struggling to stay afloat.

Judges threw out the appeals from six insurance companies and largely supported the arguments made by the FCA and a policyholder action group – prompting the law firm Reed Smith to declare that this was “a catastrophic outcome” for insurers.

The FCA has previously said that 370,000 policyholders may be affected by the outcome of the test case, and originally estimated the value of claims affected at about £1.2bn. However, some analysts have said several billion pounds could be at stake. (snip)

The complex case involves business interruption insurance, a key part of commercial policies which is meant to pay out if a firm cannot trade as usual owing to an unexpected event.

Many small businesses, from restaurants and bars to hairdressers and guesthouses, claimed they should have received payouts from their insurers after the coronavirus lockdowns left them unable to trade. Insurers have been accused by some of relying on technical legal arguments to wriggle out of their responsibilities.

So, let’s see if we have this right: the government of the UK shut down all these small businesses over COVID, and then sued the insurance companies to pay out under their “business interruption” clauses for the interruptions the government created. Is that about it? Sure, this could have happened without government intervention. Certainly, business was way down in February/early March due to the fears of what everyone was seeing on TV and in the news, but, it was Government who shut it all down. I have to wonder if the payouts from the insurance companies will lead to higher premiums or cancellations. And could we see this in the U.S.?

Also in the UK

UK Bank Threatens to Cancel Accounts if Customers Refuse to Wear Masks

HSBC has said it will “reserve the right” to cancel the accounts of customers who refuse to wear masks inside its UK branches.

The British-based bank — the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) founded in 1865 — said that masks are mandatory in all branches unless visitors have a medical exemption.

A spokesman for HSBC told The Mirror on Tuesday that it advises its customers: “If you do visit us, please wear a face covering and maintain a safe distance from others. If individuals put themselves or our colleagues at risk, without a medical exemption, we reserve the right to withdraw their account.”

Well, on one hand, they have a point. Even if the government was not mandating the masks, if the bank does, patrons need to follow the rules. On the other, they might be going overboard.

Now they tell us?

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