QASSS welcomes a letter issued by the Financial Conduct Authority today telling insurers to pay out on business interruption claims where there is cover and without delay. In a ‘Dear CEO’ letter, from Christopher Woolard, Interim Chief Executive, the message is clear that they expect insurers and brokers to support customers who have business interruption cover in place, although the FCA does acknowledge that in their estimations, most businesses will only have basic cover which will not cover pandemics.
Where cover is in place, the FCA wants insurers to act quickly, “…there are policies where it is clear that the firm has an obligation to pay out on a policy. For these policies, it is important that claims are assessed and settled quickly.” They have also asked insurers to adopt an approach of making interim payments where appropriate. They also issued a strong statement where insurers disagree, “If you disagree with doing so, we would like you to send to us the grounds for reaching that decision including how you believe it represents a fair outcome for customers. Your firm’s decision is likely to help inform our assessment of its culture.”
The FCA has also launched a new small business unit today to help ensure regulated firms are supported through this period and to gather intelligence about the treatment of small businesses by financial services firms during the crisis and ensuring a coordinated response by the FCA to any issues identified.
Click here to read the full letter.
In our Coronavirus Business Round-Up, we have provided further advice on business interruption insurance. We strongly urge businesses to check to see if cover applies for COVID-19 and encourage you to contact your insurer or broker who will be able to help.
Scott Robinson, Commercial Director at QASSS commented, “If you are a business owner and you are told by your insurer that you are not covered for business interruption, make sure you carefully check the policy wording. We have come across a number of instances recently where businesses have been told no cover applies and when the policy wording was examined in detail, cover was applicable! The devil is in the detail I’m afraid!”
If your business interruption insurance does cover COVID-19, your insurance company is likely to use a Loss Adjuster to represent them and we strongly recommend you access specialist advice to prepare and negotiate your claim. At QASSS, we can help with the claims process and can arrange access to a Loss Adjusting service, should you need independent advice regarding complex, major or difficult claims. To find out more about this specialist service, contact Scott Robinson our Commercial Director via firstname.lastname@example.org