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The outcome of a recent business interruption case taken by four public houses against FBD Insurance in Ireland on 5 February and the test case taken by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) against some UK insurers in relation to business interruption cover will cause insurers and policyholders to review policy clauses
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The two questions that come to mind: What do we actually cover? or What are we actually covered for?

In the Irish case, the dispute centred on a clause in the policy in which the Insurer had provided that it would indemnify the pubs for losses. In finding against the Insurer to compensate its customers, the court determined that COVID-19 is a contagious or infectious disease and that cover was not lost where the closure was caused by a nationwide outbreak of disease provided there was an outbreak within a 25-mile radius and that the outbreak was one of the causes of the closure.

While the outcome of this case and the UK actions was good news for policyholders, it was a disappointing outcome for the insurance industry.

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The findings of this case will have the insurance industry underwriting departments reviewing their terms and conditions. It should also serve as a timely reminder to all insurance policyholders that the devil is in the detail, policyholders and their brokers should review the policies to ensure that they have the cover required.