The thousands of agents who took out business interruption insurance with Hiscox which, they had hoped, would cover them following the arrival of the Covid pandemic are to get legal clarity next week on the issue, the Supreme Court has announced.
On Friday (15th January) the court will deliver its judgement which follows seven months of legal arguments over whether ‘Covid clauses’ within business interruption policies taken out by estate agents with Hiscox can be honoured or not.
The judgement will affect many insurance firms and businesses but concerns Hiscox because it has such a large market share of estate agency business insurance policies, partly because it has been a Propertymark-approved industry supplier for some time.
The legal arguments are complex, but boil down to whether the policies involved – which were often sold to agents are offering business interruption insurance – included ‘disease clauses’ and ‘prevention of access clauses’ or, in some cases, both.
Hiscox is one of eight insurers involved who appealed a decision in the High Court last September that there could be cover for some of Hiscox’s policyholders in certain circumstances.
The insurer says each claim will be different and that, although it has processed some claims, it is waiting for the outcome of the Supreme Court decision, which is due on Friday.
This is likely to outline which agents can proceed with claims and payment, and which ones cannot.
Whether a policy provides cover for business insurance related to Covid will depend on a number of factors, including the policy’s wording.
Agents can watch the 15-minute judgement via this link.