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19 Jan 2021

Bira welcomes supreme court ruling over Covid insurance payouts

Bira has welcomed a supreme court ruling that could see thousands of small businesses forced to close during the Covid-19 pandemic receive payouts on insurance claims worth more than £1bn.

According to The Guardian, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), 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. Law firm Reed Smith declared this was “a catastrophic outcome” for insurers.

Bira is now urging its members impacted by the pandemic to check the wording of their policies to see if they are eligible to claim.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: "This ruling is very welcome. However, all retailers need to check with their insurer because the ruling relates to specific wording and this decision does not mean that every retailer will be able to make a claim. It is also important to remember that the ruling relates to business interruption clauses, and not all insurance policies have such clauses.

"Ultimately I think the right decision has been made because we all buy insurance in good faith and it is really needed when the faced with the type of business impact retailer have had to endure during this crisis."

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