In a High Court judgment handed down this morning (25 February 2022), The Honourable Mrs Justice Cockerill DBE held that Corbin & King Limited and its subsidiaries were successful in their claim against AXA for Business Interruption losses suffered as a result of Covid-19 and were entitled to the declarations sought.
The case considered two important matters of principle: the scope of the Non Damage Denial of Access (“NDDA”) cover in light of the causation analysis of the Supreme Court in the FCA test case and quantum. In relation to the first matter, the judge concluded that the Supreme Court’s approach to causation should be adopted and that Covid-19 is capable of being a danger within one mile of the insured premises which, coupled with other uninsured but not excluded dangers outside, led to the regulations which caused the closure of the businesses and caused the Business Interruption loss. In relation to the second matter, the judge held that the NDDA cover provided a separate limit of £250,000 for each individual premises in respect of each claim (rather than a single limit of £250,000 in relation to all of the premises for any one claim).
The judgment will come as welcome news to claimant policyholders, many of whom have materially identical NDDA clauses in their policy wordings and have been eagerly awaiting the outcome of this case. Head of Edwin Coe’s Insurance Litigation team, Roger Franklin, commented as follows:
“This judgment is a very important step for Policyholders in their efforts to recover the losses they have suffered, and continue to suffer, as a result of Covid-19. Those in the hospitality sector have been particularly hard hit, and this decision will be significant for many of them.”
Edwin Coe LLP specialises in representing policyholders against insurers and acted for Corbin & King and its various subsidiaries in this matter. If you have a claim which you think should be pursued as a result of this decision, please contact Roger Franklin or any member of our Insurance Litigation team and we can advise on your available options.
A copy of the judgment can be found here. A full analysis of the judgment will be published shortly.
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