Business interruption insurance - Policy checker

Progress: 0%

Do you have business interruption insurance?

Business interruption insurance often forms part of a 'package' of insurance that covers a range of commercial risks. 

You should check each of your policy wordings and your policy schedules to see if business interruption insurance is included. 

The policy may contain an index of the different types of cover, which can be helpful.  If you are unsure or do not have a copy of your policy wording, you should contact your insurer or your broker for help.

If your policy contains a statement similar to that below, it covers business interruption and you should answer 'Yes' to this question:

'The insurance covers loss resulting from interruption of or interference with the business carried on by you at the premises…'

 

Progress: 100%

You have said that you do not have insurance cover for losses arising from an interruption to your business. 

Unfortunately, the FCA’s test case will not assist you.

The Government has several very substantial initiatives to help businesses during the pandemic, a number of which may apply to your business. These include loans on advantageous terms, cash grants, and employment protection measures. We recommend checking the UK Government website for more details and the similar pages for businesses in Northern IrelandScotland and Wales.

Progress: 10%

Was the policy in force when you suffered financial losses?

Check the policy period. This will be in your policy documents, probably in a ‘schedule’ or in your Insurance Product Information Document (IPID). Policies are usually written on yearly basis.

Progress: 100%

You have said that your policy was not in force when you suffered financial losses 

Unfortunately, the FCA’s test case will not assist you.

The Government has several very substantial initiatives to help businesses during the pandemic, a number of which may apply to your business. These include loans on advantageous terms, cash grants, and employment protection measures. We recommend checking the UK Government website for more details and the similar pages for businesses in Northern IrelandScotland and Wales.

Progress: 20%

Does your policy include cover for business interruption losses that are not caused by physical damage to property? 

Many policies limit their business interruption cover to losses relating to physical damage to the premises, such as fire or flood. In most cases, these policies are unlikely to cover losses related to the coronavirus and are not within the scope of the FCA’s test case.

Check your policy to see if it has a clause covering business interruption losses that do not relate to physical damage to premises. These are sometimes called ‘non-damage’ clauses.

The FCA’s test case considered 3 types of ‘non-damage’ clauses. They are disease, prevention of access and hybrid clauses (‘hybrid’ because they cover losses caused by prevention of access following a disease). There is further guidance on each type of clause below.

In order to recover business interruption loss, you only need 1 ‘non-damage’ clause that provides cover. It is possible that your policy contains more than 1 ‘non-damage’ clause.

Types of non-damage cover

There are 3 types of non-damage cover that the FCA test case covers. You can find further information about them below.

Progress: 100%

You have said that your policy includes cover only for business interruption losses that are caused by physical damage to property

Your type of policy is unlikely to cover losses related to Covid-19 in most circumstances. Unfortunately, the FCA’s test case will not assist you.

There may be limited circumstances in which you may have cover for business interruption losses from Covid-19. For example, if your insurer or insurance intermediary told you that the policy provides cover for Covid-19. Each case will depend on your particular circumstances and the wording of your policy. You should discuss these matters with your broker, other advisers or insurer.

For further useful information, please read our General FAQs.

Progress: 40%

Is your policy included in the representative sample?

The FCA’s test case is directly relevant to the 21 types of policy in the representative sample

There are a number of questions you need to answer to identify whether or not your policy is included in the representative sample for the FCA’s test case.

Step A: Was your insurer a party in the test case?

To answer this question:

1. Identify the name of your insurer.

To find the name of your insurer or underwriter, check your policy schedule. It will list the name of the insurer or underwriter who insured the risk. The insurer or underwriter may differ from the broker, managing agent or other third party involved in the sale of the policy. The insurer or underwriter may also differ from the brand name of the party on the policy wording. If you purchased the policy from a broker and are unsure who insured the policy, you should contact them for clarification.

The following insurers were parties in the test case:

  • Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd
  • Argenta Syndicate Management Ltd
  • Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc
  • Hiscox Insurance Company Ltd
  • MS Amlin Underwriting Ltd
  • QBE UK Limited
  • Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc
  • Zurich Insurance Plc

If your insurer is in this list, select Yes below.

2. If your insurer is not in the list above, you might still have a policy that is included in the FCA’s test case. This is because two policy types considered in the test case were underwritten by several insurers who were not parties to the test case in relation to that type of policy. They were:

  • QIC Europe Limited insured ‘Eaton Gate’ branded policies sold by its ‘MGA’, Eaton Gate MGU Limited (which also trades under other names). If you have this type of policy, your policy is similar to ‘RSA Types 2.1 and 2.2 of 4’ or 'RSA Type 3 of 4' in the representative sample. Please look at the wording of RSA Types 2.1 and 2.2 of 4 and RSA Type 3 of 4 to see if your policy has the same or very similar policy wording and continue through the policy checker on the basis of that policy wording type.
     
  • AIG, Allianz, Aspen, Aviva, Axa, Chubb, Everest, Liberty, Lloyds, MS Amlin, New India, Protector, QBE, Tokio Marine, Tokio Marine Kiln Insurance, Zurich which insured Marsh/Jelf Resilience policies  sold by the broker Marsh (which also trades under other names). If you have this type of policy, your policy is similar to 'RSA Type 4 of 4' in the representative sample. If you are unsure, look at the wording of RSA Type 4 of 4 to see if your policy has the same or very similar policy wording.

If you have one of these policies select Yes below.

3. If you have not selected Yes in response to information above, select No below.

Progress: 60%

Step B: Is your policy in the representative sample? 

Go to the representative sample of policy wordings to check if your policy type was included in the representative sample. To do this, follow steps (1) to (4) below.

Note

• If you have an ‘Eaton Gate’ branded policy (insured by QIC Europe Limited) then the relevant policy type is either RSA types 2.1 and 2.2 of 4, or RSA type 3 of 4. Click Yes below.

• If you have a Marsh/Jelf Resilience policy sold by the broker Marsh then the relevant policy type is RSA Type 4 of 4. Click Yes below.

 

1. In the contents page, click on each of the policy types issued by your insurer (e.g. if your insurer is Hiscox, click on Hiscox Type 1 of 4; Hiscox Type 2 of 4; Hiscox Type 3 of 4; Hiscox Type 4 of 4).  

2. Then, look for the underlined heading Policies immediately under the ‘policy type’ heading. This is a list of all the different names of the policies of that type. Identify if your policy is included in the test case sample. For example, for Hiscox Type 1 of 4 it lists:

  • Professions BI - 16089 WD-PROF-UK-PYI
  • *Retail BI - 16105 WD-RET-UK-PYI
  • Venues BI - 16110 WD-VEN-UK-PYI
  • Technology BI - 16101 WD-TEC-UK-PYI
  • Not for Profit BI - 16097 WD-NFP-UK-PYI
  • Recruitment BI - 8671 WD-HSP-UK-JMBI, BI - OM (Jelf) - 8671 WD-HSP-UK-JMBI (3) (which are identical)
  • Recruitment BI - 16216 WD-REC-UK-PYI
  • Trades BI - 16107 WD-TRAD-UK-PYI

If you are finding this difficult, an alternative way to do this is to search (pressing Ctrl + F) in the representative sample document for the first word of your policy name.

3. If your policy name is included in any lists for a policy type of your insurer, click Yes below.

4. If your policy name is not included in any of those lists, click No below.

Progress: 80%

Step C: Do the judgments say that your policy covers Covid-19 related losses?

If your policy is within the test case sample, the outcome of the FCA’s test case binds your insurer. You will need to check what the outcome of the test case was for your policy. To do this:

  1. Identify your policy type on the summary Table. For example, 'Argenta Type 1 of 1' is listed as 'Argenta 1'.
  2. Then, read the description of whether your policy potentially provides cover in the column headed 'Final judgment on whether the policy would potentially provide cover?'.  Click on Yes or No below depending on the answer given in that column.

Note: If your policy has more than 1 ‘non-damage’ clause and the summary Table has 'Yes' for at least one clause in your policy, you should click Yes below.  For example, if your policy type is 'Hiscox 2', the summary Table says 'Yes' for the hybrid clause and 'No' for the NDDA clause, and you should click Yes below.

Progress: 100%

The FCA’s test case has found that your policy potentially covers Covid-19 related business interruption losses.  The test case also provides some details on how your claim should be quantified (in particular, that the ‘trends’ clause should not be used to reduce your claim as a result of the effects of Covid-19 related to your cover). 

If you have already made a claim, your insurer or broker should be in touch with you soon to update you regarding your claim. 

If you have not yet made a claim, but you have suffered business interruption losses, you should notify your claim to your broker or insurer as soon as possible.

Each case will depend on your particular circumstances and the wording of your policy. You should discuss these matters with your broker, accountant, other advisers or insurer.

If you are not happy with the insurer’s response to your claim, you may be able to claim through negotiated settlement, arbitration, court proceedings as a private party, or taking eligible complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (which is free). 

For further useful information, please see our General FAQs.

Progress: 100%

The FCA’s test case has confirmed that your policy does not provide cover for Covid-19 related business interruption losses.

If the judgment for your policy type was provided by the Supreme Court, it is binding on all other courts in the United Kingdom. 

If the judgment for your policy type was provided by the High Court only, that judgment is not necessarily binding for other legal cases although it will provide authoritative guidance – you should seek legal advice if you wish to explore that further.

For further useful information, please see our General FAQs.

Progress: 100%

Is your disease, prevention of access or hybrid clause affected by the test case sample? 

If you have already made a claim, your insurer or intermediary should have written to you to confirm whether your insurer considers that your claim may be affected by the outcome of the FCA’s test case. In this case, they may have answered this question for you in their correspondence. 

If you have not made a claim, or if you would like to check what your insurer has said in their letter to you, you can check whether your insurer has previously told the FCA that claims under your policy may be affected by the test case.  

The FCA has published a list of business interruption policies, for which insurers told us in July 2020 that claims may be affected by the test case. The outcome of the test case means that some of those policies provide cover and some do not. The FCA will update the list in due course so that it is a list of policies that insurers say potentially cover coronavirus related business interruption losses.

If your policy name is included on this list then insurers have indicated that claims may be affected by the test case. You should click Yes below.

If your policy name is not included on this list, click No below.

Progress: 100%

The FCA’s test case may assist you.

If you have already made a claim, your insurer or broker should be in touch with you soon to update you regarding your claim. 

If you have not yet made a claim, but you have suffered business interruption losses as a result of Covid-19, you should consider notifying your claim to your broker or insurer as soon as possible.   The first step is to go to your insurer’s webpage, which should contain information about the FCA’s test case including:

  • whether your policy potentially provides cover for Covid-19 related business interruption insurance losses
  • how to make a claim

If your insurer is still considering the implications of the test case, you could:

  • approach your broker, other advisers or insurer about making a claim
  • ask your broker or insurer to keep you up to date
  • sign up to FCA email alerts about the test case

For further useful information, please look at our General FAQs.

Progress: 100%

Your insurer has determined that the FCA’s test case will not affect claims under your policy.  

This does not necessarily mean that your policy does not cover business interruption losses from the Covid-19 pandemic.  For example:

  • The list of business interruption policies only included policy types held by 5 or more policyholders.
  • The FCA’s test case was never intended (and it was not possible) to resolve all the issues that may arise regarding the interpretation of non-damage business interruption insurance policies.    
  • Each case will depend on your particular circumstances and the wording of your policy.

If you consider that your policy should cover your losses, you should discuss this with your broker, other advisers or insurer. If you are not happy with your insurer’s response, you may be able to pursue a claim through negotiated settlement, arbitration, court proceedings as a private party, or taking eligible complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (which is free). 

For further useful information, please look at our General FAQs.