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Our Head of Insurance Litigation, Roger Franklin recently spoke to City AM’s Hannah Godfrey about the dispute (and potential consequences for the market) between the Inception Group, the owner and operator of a group of high-end bar, restaurant and club concepts in London  and Axa Insurance over unpaid business interruption cover.

Inception Group, which owns restaurants and clubs in central London including Mr Fogg’s and Cahoots, has alleged Axa is trying to ‘wriggle out’ of making a payout, and plans to launch a £3.25m claim in the High Court.

The group had paid £130,000 for comprehensive annual insurance for 11 bars, restaurants and clubs.

The group then filed a claim last March after the UK entered the first coronavirus lockdown, when its revenues were immediately impacted as bars shut their doors and customers stayed home.

The hospitality group claimed Axa wrote to it in April last year noting that “coverage had been triggered” under the policy terms.

However, it said Axa was now trying to row back on the claim, and that Inception Group was not covered for losses under its business interruption policy…

Roger Franklin said “…There is now a momentum for insureds with cover provided by Axa to review those coverage issues in light of the Supreme Court decision.  Many insureds are now contemplating commencing proceedings for a declaration, which is a quick and relatively inexpensive method of resolving such coverage issues. If that goes against Axa, it is likely to have serious financial consequences. A number of large UK restaurant groups which are insured by Axa are already gearing up for battle.

Read the full article on the City AM website.

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