It has been estimated by the London Chamber of Commerce that the cost to London businesses of the recent and continuing underground electrical fire in Holborn may be as much as £40 million.

Businesses in the vicinity clearly face a number of potential issues. Some 5,000 office workers were evacuated from nearby buildings and numerous businesses were affected by a loss of electricity, gas and/or telecommunication services and restricted entry into their premises. At the time of going to press over 1000 businesses in the area remain without power.

Many businesses affected by the fire will include those in the restaurant and retail sector. For example, restaurants and hotels that have been forced to cancel bookings, turn away customers and discard stock.

Others include a number of West End theatres which had to cancel evening and matinee performances. Promoters have estimated the cost to Theatre land alone to be in the region of £1 million and there is concern that unless power and access to the area is restored quickly the problems will continue over the Easter weekend.

The loss of power and damage to cabling also raises the possibility of computer failures, loss of data and associated business interruption.

However, if these businesses have the right insurance cover in place many will have the benefit of business interruption insurance which is designed to cover loss of income and to maintain the turnover of a business following an insured event so that it can resume trading at its anticipated pre loss trading level.

Subject to individual policy terms and conditions such insurance can include cover for financial losses including loss of profit, equipment breakdown, denial of access, additional expenses to allow continued business operation and cover for relocation costs.

Those affected by the fire are strongly advised to review their insurance policies with a view to making a claim for any such losses. If necessary, businesses should seek guidance from a loss assessor or their insurance broker.

If any such insurance claims are declined by insurers or indeed if businesses find themselves without the appropriate insurance cover in place then the insurance litigation team at Edwin Coe can assist. At Edwin Coe we specialise in representing policy holders in claims against insurance companies and third parties such as insurance brokers.

With over 50 years’ combined experience, the team at Edwin Coe is uniquely placed to support businesses in all aspects of an insurance claim, assist in maximising recovery under an insurance policy and to minimise the disruption to your business.

For further information about our insurance work and our expertise in this area please see the insurance litigation brochure or alternatively please contact:

Nicola Maher
t: +44(0)20 7691 4069
e: nicola.maher@edwincoe.com

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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