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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Business Interruption scandal - eight insurers involved in test case

More details have been released about a test case being brought by the Financial Conduct Authority about the ongoing Business Interruption Insurance scandal which has affected many estate agencies. 

The test case, which will ultimately reach court in the second half of July, involves a sample of 17 insurance policy wordings that have been collated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and which it says capture the majority of the key issues that could be in dispute.

Many estate agencies are believed to be amongst the possibly-thousands of companies disputing their insurers’ interpretations of liability under different Business Interruption policies; many insurers claim such policies do not cover closures forced by pandemics such as Coronavirus.

Now the FCA has released a copy of its 184-page claim, which names eight companies - Arch Insurance (UK); Argenta Syndicate Management; Ecclesiastical Insurance Office; Hiscox Insurance Company; MS Amlin Underwriting; QBE UK; Royal and Sun Alliance; and Zurich Insurance.

The FCA is believed to have filed claim forms and particularly for the court to consider earlier this week, and on June 16 there is a case management conference scheduled - this should include the court fixing the precise dates for what may be a five to 10 day hearing in July.

On around two weeks time it is anticipated that the insurers will have to have filed their defences; following that, the FCA files its skeleton arguments ahead of the hearing itself. 

Christopher Woolard, interim chief executive at the FCA, says: “The court action we are taking is aimed at providing clarity and certainty for everyone involved in these BI disputes, policyholder and insurer alike. We feel it is also the quickest route to this clarity and by covering multiple policies and insurers, it will also be of most use across the market. 

"The identification of a representative sample of policies and the agreement of insurers who underwrite them to participate in these proceedings is a major step forward in progressing the matter to court.”

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