The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has said today that nighttime economy businesses are “being denied valid insurance claims”.
According to the NTIA, many claims made by those in the nighttime industry are being disputed by insurers due to “ambiguous policy wording” in order to “avoid sharing the financial burden during the Covid-19 crisis”.
The associations says it have identified a number of insurers it believes are “acting unfairly” to “protect their own interest” during the Covid-19 pandemic. The NTIA has also reportedly gathered ‘substantial support’ from those in the industry, who will help to fight these disputed claims.
Below are a number of statements from those in the industry about the situation:
Michael Kill, CEO, NTIA: “The current climate is no time for businesses to profit. These are unprecedented times, and a new normal is forming.
“Whilst the crisis may be short lived, the memories of how people conduct their business will resonate into the future.”
“At some point this crisis will end and those businesses that have shown a lack of support and integrity will be compromised by the industries that were forgotten. Whilst the crisis may be short lived, the memories of how people conduct their business will resonate into the future.
“While we appreciate there are some clear cases where insurance claims within the Night Time Business sector are not legitimate, there are a considerable number of businesses who are being denied valid insurance claims, being disputed by certain insurers in the hope that the current financial situation will deter them from challenging the claim.
“These actions have not gone without notice and will be challenged at a greater scale in the coming weeks.”
Simon Mabb, Managing Director, NDML Insurance Broker: “We are taking a stand on behalf of the industry by funding a substantial legal review of insurer wordings. We are exploring every possible avenue to get insurers moving and paying legitimate claims for their clients wherever possible.
“So, this is a direct call to certain insurers to do the right thing NOW, even though times are hard. Now is the time to work together. Not to find loopholes and re-write wordings that exclude claims. But to stand by the clients that have stood by you for so many years, recognise that loyalty, and to save our Industry!”
Stephen Finch, Managing Director, Vagabond: “Vagabond is one of the very few businesses to actually have had pandemic business interruption insurance, and one of the most rigorous policies in that regard. Our policy essentially stated that in the event we experience business interruption stemming from an occurrence of a notifiable disease (as determined by PHE, which added Covid-19 a month ago) within a 25-mile radius of a premises of ours, we would be eligible for our BI indemnity sum.
“As you can imagine, this is a significant sum (£1.3m). The policy wording is clear cut. The facts are indisputable, and yet yesterday I heard from our brokers that the insurer, Eaton Gate, has decided to deny all claims.”
Howard Spooner, Owner and MD of the Clapham Grand and The George Hotel IOW: “In addition to the Grand in Clapham, where the insurers (New India) have assigned a loss adjuster to look at the claim, I have the George hotel on the Isle of Wight which is insured with NFU Mutual. It has the business interruption clause if we are forced to close by the government and NFU have point blank refused to entertain any claim whatsoever. They run their own brokerage, so I have spoken with their broker who placed the cover for us, and he is adamant that there is no claim and nothing to be done further.”
Remi Landaz, Director, Numbers Group: “This is the response from our insurance broker on the situation: ‘As it stands, we believe that clients may have to look into Government Assistance as we are not certain Insurance will pick this up. Boris Johnson mentioned how Business Interruption Cover will pick up claims for businesses but failed to say that this would be subject to exclusions / conditions which may appear in the client’s policies. We are still waiting on a formal response from the Insurer but as it stands today, it is unlikely that the policy will respond’.”