(Reuters) – Six insurance companies have decided not to appeal a London High Court decision that they were wrong to reject claims from holders of three insurance interruptions that have been pushed to the brink of collapse by the COVID-19 pandemic
RSA Insurance Group PLC, QBE Insurance Group Ltd., Hiscox Ltd., MS Amlin PLC, Argenta Holdings Ltd. and Arch Insurance Group Inc. were expected to challenge the ruling to pay affected customers who hold five types of insurance in a quick Supreme Court case to be tried by the end of 2020.
However, the appeals related to the Resilience, Eaton Gate Retail and Eaton Gate Pubs & Restaurants policies has now been dropped, legal documents show, raising hopes that hundreds of vulnerable companies could see their claims processed without further delay.
A spokesman for RSA, one of the largest of the six insurers, said it would partner with broker Marsh LLC to make interim payments where appropriate.
Bus inesses around the world have been locked in disputes with insurance companies over pandemic-related payments.
Insurers say they pay valid claims but that many insurances rule out pandemics, require physical damage to the premises or do not apply to extensive locking and payment, all claims can be catastrophic for the industry.
“It is, of course, a huge gain for large parts of the UK business community, which for so many months has been told by insurers that insurance does not cover losses related to the Covid1
The UK Financial Conduct Authority filed a lawsuit against a total of eight insurance companies in June to clarify 21 policy formulations, potentially affecting 700 types of insurance, 60 insurers, 370,000 policyholders and billions in insurance claims, covering disruptions and government-ordered closures to limit the virus.
The High Court in London last month ruled that many business interruption policies actually provided such coverage. Two of the eight insurers, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. and Ecclesiastical Insurance Group PLC, said they had no need to appeal because the judgment was already in their favor.
According to the documents, insurers will continue to appeal the court's findings. with respect to the policy for cottages and commercial combined Eaton Gate.