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The COVID-19 outbreak continues to have a momentous impact on the global economy and all businesses, including insurers and intermediaries, face challenging and unstable market conditions. As the COVID-19 position develops, insurers and intermediaries are focused on mitigating the impact on their operations to ensure business continuity. It is important for the industry to be legally informed and prepared to engage with this crisis in the immediate future so as to protect both workforces and customers. Our insurance litigation lawyers are well placed to advise clients on how to respond to issues encountered and developments in the industry.

Please contact our insurance litigation lawyers if you need any COVID-19 related advice.

How to manage insurance claims

A number of insurance products may become relevant in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. These include:-

  • Force majeure insurance, which covers claims where a project cannot be completed due to events beyond the insured party’s control
  • Business interruption insurance, which covers general disruption in the supply chain
  • Political risk insurance, which allows claims for loss of assets, income or property due to political events, or governmental action or inaction; and
  • Performance of contract bonds, which insurers may issue to parties or banks as a guarantee against the counterparty failing to perform.

Some insurance policies do not operate in the event of epidemics/pandemics and expressly exclude losses caused directly or indirectly by them.

If insurance policies do not operate, there is a serious risk of financial stress and related litigation for insured companies (eg airlines and cruise companies who are bound to reimburse their clients but are not able to obtain indemnification from insurers for their own company losses).

Claims may arise as follows:-

  • Serial claims against insurance companies for payment of indemnities
  • Possible claims against insured companies where insurance policies do not operate (eg due to an express exclusion of damages directly/indirectly caused by epidemics/pandemics)
  • Employers’ liability claims that may stem from the coronavirus.