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Wed 22nd Apr 2020 - NTIA instructs Philip Kolvin QC to challenge Hiscox over business interruption claims denial
NTIA instructs Philip Kolvin QC to challenge Hiscox over business interruption claims denial: The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has instructed solicitors to challenge insurer Hiscox over its refusal to pay out under its business interruption policy. The association, which is co-ordinating proceedings, has appointed industry barrister Philip Kolvin QC, of Cornerstone Barristers, to advise on its members’ rights under their insurance policies – and urged sector businesses that have a policy with Hiscox to get in touch. It comes after Hiscox said it anticipated paying out up to $175m (£142m) in coronavirus insurance claims arising from restrictions on travel and mass gatherings – but reiterated its stance over payments for business interruption exposure. NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “Night-time economy businesses are being denied legitimate insurance claims, many claims are being disputed by insurers based on contrived arguments to avoid sharing the financial burden during the covid-19 crisis. One of the main leisure sector policies was underwritten by Hiscox, which has written to its clients denying liability. Philip Kolvin QC has advised claimants who were insured by Hiscox against closure by public authorities and who had to close their premises under the regulations have a good case against Hiscox. We want to talk urgently to any businesses within the hospitality and leisure sector that has a policy with Hiscox and would like to join the current group of more than 100 claimants to progress a legal case against the company.” Kolvin added: “Leisure operators are suffering severe hardship. There is a clear and present danger the industry will be decimated, leisure businesses throughout the UK will go to the wall, jobs and livelihoods will be lost, and the cultural capacity of the nation will be depleted for years to come. We should celebrate the NTIA has stepped up to the plate to support the sector. It is time now for those insurance companies that know they are liable under their policies do the same.” Hiscox has said it faces a $150m bill if travel restrictions and social distancing measures remain in place for six months from March and that sum could rise by another $25m if coronavirus restrictions are extended. However, Hiscox again said its “core small commercial package policies” do not cover business interruption as a result of the government’s pandemic response. The company stated: “A number of UK policyholders have disputed the application of their policy in relation to business interruption. Hiscox recognises these are extremely difficult times for businesses and is determined to help provide greater certainty for customers. As a priority it will therefore work with the UK insurance industry, its regulators and its customers to seek means of expediting resolution through the range of independent mechanisms available.”

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