Have you suffered financial loss in your business due to the pandemic yet your insurer is refusing to payout? If you think you have a case, get in touch with our team of business interruption lawyers. We can assist you to understand the merits of your insurance claim and advise you on the best way to obtain fair compensation. Following a fixed fee review, our solicitors and barristers may offer to take on your case on a no win no fee basis such as a Damages Based Agreement (DBA).
It is is essential that you seek expert legal advice early in order to prepare your Business Interruption Insurance claim and stand the best chance of success.
What is Business Interruption insurance?
Business interruption insurance covers businesses for loss of income during periods when the business cannot trade as usual due to an unexpected event.
The aim of BI insurance is to put a business back in the same trading position it was in before the unexpected event occurred.
10 reasons why our Business Interruption Insurance Lawyers can help you obtain optimal compensation
We endeavour to make the process as stress-free as possible for our clients and seek to eliminate the possibility of business or litigation failure. We know that each client’s case and business is unique, therefore we adopt a bespoke approach tailored to suit the client’s circumstances. We provide specialist legal advice from solicitors and barristers (including at QC level) at the outset when it absolutely matters in choosing the best strategy to follow.
- The Supreme Court judgment in the FCA’s test case did not resolve all possible business interruption insurance disputes between insurers and policyholders, but only dealt with some contractual issues relating to some insurers’ policies. Our specialist business interruption insurance solicitors will consider the facts of your case, including your specific business interruption insurance policy, and provide you with strategic advice for your situation.
- The Supreme Court’s judgment did not offer any guidance on how much is payable by business interruption insurance insurers under individual policies to specific policyholders. Our expert business interruption insurance lawyers can help assess your case and advise on the optimal redress to seek from your insurer.
- You may be unhappy with how your insurer has handled your BII claim and want to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service, via whom it may be possible to obtain compensation of up to £355,000 (for complaints made after 1 April 2020). Our team can assist in making well-presented and fully-prepared complaints on our clients’ behalf and can advise if litigation is a better option for redress, which in these cases it often is.
- Due to losses caused by COVID-19 and exacerbated by your insurer, your business may be confronted with substantial and stress-inducing financial problems, which may have left you facing the threats of winding up and/or LPA receivership. Members of our legal team are also insolvency and winding up experts so we can quickly assist and advise in these areas.
- Your business may have suffered consequential losses due to your insurers’ failure to pay out under your business interruption insurance cover either promptly or at all, thereby causing irreparable harm to your business. Our specialist lawyers have experience of preparing, evidencing, advising, negotiating, and if necessary litigating consequential loss claims against large financial corporates such as insurers.
- As a result of COVID-19 losses and your insurer’s refusal to honour your business interruption insurance, your business may have been left to fend for itself against HMRC. As HMRC can be vehement about enforcing tax debts, our tax team works closely with our business interruption insurance team to provide you with a bespoke solution to your individual circumstances.
- With business interruption insurers expecting a deluge of policy claims following the Supreme Court’s decision, you will need to ensure that you are at the front of the queue for business interruption insurance pay-outs. Our business interruption insurance lawyers can work with you to ensure the best chance of success for you in negotiation or if necessary litigation.
- Many businesses will already have been rejected for business interruption insurance claims by their insurers in advance of this Supreme Court decision. Our business interruption insurance specialists can assess your claim and your insurer’s rejection, and assist you in recovering optimal compensation.
- If negotiation is not possible to resolve your dispute with your insurer, then litigation can be considered. Our expert business interruption insurance lawyers can help assess your case and position, and using their specialist knowledge and experience will strategise the best way to commence legal proceedings against your insurer for optimal compensation.
- If legal proceedings against your business interruption insurer have already begun and you are worried about the prospects of success, we can provide a second legal opinion by analysing the legal merits of your case and advising on legal risk factors so that we can deliver strategic legal advice at your first meeting with us.
Why use a solicitor instead of a broker to submit your BII Claim?
Our Business Interruption Insurance Claim Solicitors add value by optimising the value of the claim. There may be heads of claim which have been missed or not considered by a non-lawyer such as a broker. It is important to instruct specialist lawyers to present your claim in a way that makes it easy for the insurer to accept and less likely to refuse.
If the insurer refuses any part of the claim, a business will also need a lawyer to pursue litigation, which a broker cannot do. It is very important to consider litigation at the outset when seeking to negotiate a good settlement. Our litigation lawyers are experienced in settlement negotiations to get an optimum award for our clients.
Has your insurer denied your business interruption insurance claim during COVID-19?
There are policies where it is clear that the insurer has an obligation to pay out on a policy (i.e. policies that are not solely related to property damage). The main grounds of refusal may include the following:
- unless a business was ordered to and did close completely there was no inability to use the premises within the meaning of the insurance wording, and unless it ceased to trade completely, its activities were not interrupted and so cover is not triggered.
- guidance issued by the government advising a nationwide lockdown was according to some insurers not defined as a “restriction” “imposed by” a public authority.
- Some insurers argue that their policy wordings do not provide cover in the case of pandemics.
- Business loss did not “result from” the necessary local disease occurrence or danger but instead were caused by the wide-area pandemic and so cover is not triggered.
- As to causation and quantum of any claim, insurers may state in their denial that most losses would have been suffered anyway, even but for the insured peril/business closure, for example because of the broader Covid-19 pandemic, self-isolation and social distancing.
Is my company entitled to Business Interruption insurance?
Specific advice can only be provided by this firm once we have been instructed to review your insurance coverage and other supporting documents. However, the FCA believe that insurers should be liable for paying out for business interruption claims related to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent government lockdown restrictions placed on UK businesses.
Most SME insurance policies are focused on property damage (and only have basic cover for BI as a consequence of property damage) so, at least in the majority of cases, insurers are not obliged to pay out in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, for the remainder of policies that could be argued to include cover. There are policies where it is clear that the insurer has an obligation to pay out on a policy. For these policies, it is incumbent on the insurer to assess and settle these claims quickly. Financial pressures on policyholders should not be exacerbated by slow payment, rather, such claims should be paid as soon as possible.
What is a Damages Based Agreement (DBA)?
Damages-based agreements (DBAs) are a form of funding for civil cases. DBAs are agreed between a solicitor and a client. A DBA is a form of “no win, no fee” arrangement between a solicitor and a client.
How does a Damages Based Agreement work?
A damages-based agreement is a contingency fee agreement agreed by a solicitor and a client which provides that a client will make a payment to the representative if the client obtains “a specified financial benefit” (usually damages paid by the losing side or via a settlement sum extracted). The amount of the payment will be determined as a percentage of the compensation received by the client (which will be set out in the DBA and agreed with the client in advance). If the client is unsuccessful in their litigation case, the solicitor will not be paid for the work done under the DBA.
Instructing our Litigation Lawyers
We ensure that we provide the best possible outcome for our clients by conducting in depth investigation and research into the realistic prospects of a case before selecting the appropriate course of action in order to reduce time and expense. Liability for costs is always an issue in litigation and based on our extensive litigation experience we provide our clients with as much strategic, practical as well as carefully considered legal advice in order to ensure minimum risk in respect of costs. Where appropriate we encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution (such as mediation and without prejudice negotiation) and our lawyer’s negotiation skills are first class. If early settlement at advantageous terms is not possible, we are extremely experienced and capable at navigating our clients through the litigation process.
Optimal Legal Results.
Our litigators deliver advanced legal strategies.
We analyse and work out the legal merits of running your case to trial. We calculate and advise on legal risk factors and the litigation rules in England & Wales. We factor in your risk-appetite, costs sensitivity and determination. Together, we plan the best possible result.
You’ll receive strategic legal advice at your first meeting.
LIMITATION ACT 1980 – WARNING
The Limitation Act 1980 sets out strict statutory deadlines within which you must bring litigation claims. Your legal rights will become irreversibly time-barred if you fail to take legal action (or defend a claim on time). Therefore, you should seek specific legal advice about your legal dispute at the very first opportunity so that you understand the time you have left. Failure to take advice or delay in taking action can be fatal to your prospects of success.