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Supreme court ruling on business interruption policies major win for eventprofs

Event professionals have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the judgement on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) business interruption (BI) insurance test case.

The case was originally brought to court in May 2020 by the FCA to get legal clarity on whether insurers legally needed to pay claimants from BI claims, related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its unforeseen impacts.

The ruling determined insurers including Arch, Argenta, Hiscox, MS Amlin, RSA, and QBE would have to pay out for BI claims made by around 370,000 small businesses to the value of between £3.7 billion and £7.4 billion.

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) welcomed the ruling on business interruption insurance policies. “Following months of uncertainty, we are extremely pleased about the outcome of today’s business interruption insurance case and hope that organisations will be able to secure any overdue compensation as soon as possible,” Meetings Industry Association chief executive, Jane Longhurst said.

“Having worked closely, early in the pandemic, with Mishcon de Reya – legal representatives of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Hiscox Action Group – to develop our dedicated COVID-19 contract clause for venues, we have followed the case closely and are optimistic that this will provide a lifeline for many organisations whose claims have been unjustifiably rejected to date.

“As part of our ongoing surveillance of the events sector and the impact of COVID-19, we are acutely aware of the dismay from many organisations whose valid claims had been unexpectedly turned away.

According to research conducted in Q3 2020 by mia, only 8 per cent of respondents had been supported by their insurer.

“This is welcome news for the many who have suffered immeasurable losses due to the ramifications of the pandemic,” Longhurst added.

“There remain some details left to interpret, and we hope that further clarity will be published by the FCA in due course to provide policyholders with reassurance that their legitimate claims will now be rightly honoured.”

The Supreme Court’s summary of the judgement can be downloaded here.

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