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City watchdog warns insurers to be ‘fair’ over business interruption insurance claims

As The Negotiator highlighted yesterday, many estate agents have found out that their cover doesn't include the mother of all business interruption events - Coronavirus.

Nigel Lewis

Following our story yesterday highlighting the anger of one estate agent over insurer Hiscox’s reluctance to pay out on the firm’s Business Interruption Policy, it has been revealed that agents may now get some help in persuading insurers to ‘do the right thing’.

City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has written to the chief executives of the UK’s insurers including Hiscox to put pressure on them to settle claims faster and more fairly and make interim payments if there are reasonable grounds to partially pay out on a claim.

The FCA has taken the step after thousands of small business owners, like Mark Rath who we highlighted yesterday, have complained loudly that policies that they thought would help them recoup revenue lost during the crisis have proved worthless.

FCA letter

In the letter sent out by the FCA, it says that many business interruption policies “have basic cover, but do not cover pandemics and therefore would have no obligation to pay out in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“In contrast, there are policies where it is clear that the firm has an obligation to pay out on a policy. For these policies, it is important that claims are assessed and settled quickly.”

Mark Rath and his business partner Lesley Rath, whose claim was refused by Hiscox, sent a letter to Propertymark highlighting their frustrations asking for the organisation’s help.

Propertymark’s approved broker for business interruption insurance, Gallagher, sold the Raths their policy.

“We have had a number of fellow agents contact us stating they are in the same situation,” the letter says.

“We would like to know what your comments are on this and whether Propertymark will help with this fight.”

Read our story yesterday outlining the Rath’s case.

April 16, 2020

One comment

  1. In exactly the same position with Hiscox refusing our claim … I do wonder if Property Mark make commissions from Gallaghers? If so I’ve not seen it declared anywhere…

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