On 1 May 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced its intention to obtain a court declaration to resolve contractual uncertainty concerning business interruption (BI) claims arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. For the purposes of the test case, the FCA approached several insurers and confirmed on 1 June a sample of 17 wordings from insurers, excluding Tokio Marine HCC, which are representative of the key arguable issues.
Taking into consideration the representative nature of the policies and wordings selected, the FCA anticipates that the test case will provide guidance for the interpretation of many other BI policies that are not in the representative sample.
If you submitted a claim or complaint under a relevant non-property damage BI policy, you will have been notified by 15 July 2020 as to whether your claim or complaint is potentially affected by the test case and the implications of that.
Should you wish to know more about the test case, the FCA website has useful information that is updated regularly:
- Register for the latest business interruption updates from the FCA www.fca.org.uk/sign-business-interruption-bi-insurance-email-updates
- Information for policyholders and regular updates on the test case from the FCA www.fca.org.uk/firms/business-interruption-insurance
- Further information concerning business interruption insurance cases can also be found on the website of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS): https://sme.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/ Timetable
Timetable for the test case:
||FCA starts claims in the High Court|
||Case management conference, at which the court fixes the timetable for the case and other procedural matters|
||Insurers file defences|
||Further case management conference, at which the court deals with any outstanding procedural matters to ensure the case is ready for trial|
||FCA files reply|
|First half July
||Skeleton arguments and replies served|
|20-23 July and 27-30 July
||Eight-day court hearing before Lord Justice Flaux and Mr Justice Butcher|
Who to Contact?
If you have any questions, in the first instance, please contact the broker or the firm that arranged the insurance for you. These details should be provided on your policy documentation.