Court sides with MS Amlin in Covid BI dispute with pub chain

Lloyd’s re/insurer MS Amlin has won key parts of a case against the Stonegate Pub Company.

The high-profile case, brought by the pub group against its business interruption insurers, sought a claims settlement of over £1bn, challenging their interpretation of a number of policy coverage issues, several of which are of wider industry significance.

The case formed part of a series of interlinked trials heard by the Commercial Court in London, and considered among other things whether Stonegate’s losses were limited by the aggregation language in the policy, the extent to which losses were caused by cases of COVID-19 and Government action within the policy period, and whether insurers were entitled to credit for furlough payments received by Stonegate.

On all of these issues the Court found almost entirely in favour of the insurers.

Johan Slabbert, chief executive officer, MS Amlin Underwriting Limited, said: “We welcome the judgment of the High Court, and believe this brings some genuine clarity to a very complex business interruption case. This is a positive outcome for us and is of significance to the entire insurance industry, who I’m sure will be keen to read the full details of the judgment, as issues around furlough payments and aggregation in particular have the potential to have an enormous financial impact for insurers throughout the UK.

“As an insurer upon [which] thousands of businesses rely for support, we have always taken our responsibilities extremely seriously. Covid-19 created unprecedented challenges for businesses across the country, and our commitment to helping our policyholders remains as strong as ever.”

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