Posts tagged "Updates"

Top five reasons your business needs Cyber insurance

September 20th, 2023 Posted by Updates 0 comments on “Top five reasons your business needs Cyber insurance”

Any business that relies on computer systems to store or transfer data is exposed to cyber risks. In today’s digital world, this is most businesses. With more businesses than ever investing in Cyber insurance, we have outlined five things to consider if your business has not purchased this type of cover

What is causing the rise in the cost of Liability claims?

August 4th, 2023 Posted by Updates 0 comments on “What is causing the rise in the cost of Liability claims?”

What are the main reasons for inflation in Liability claims?

Claims inflation continued to be a priority topic for insurers in the UK and worldwide. Increased litigation costs, increases in psychiatric injury claims, and expensive commercial care packages are creating challenges for insurers.

According to Lloyd’s of London, claims inflation refers to the change in the cost of claims of a like-for-like policy over a period1. Claims inflation is the sum of ordinary economic inflation and excess inflation.

Excess claims inflation

Excess claims inflation is the increase in the cost of a claim beyond that of ordinary economic inflation, which is driven by many different types of inflationary factors such as:

  • Advances in medical science and technology
  • Increases in certain awards of damages
  • New categories of claims
  • Professional services spend, such as experts and legal costs
  • The rising cost of energy
  • The increasing cost of care

Social inflation

In addition to the above economic excess claims inflation factors, social inflation is a subset of excess claims inflation. It is referred to as social inflation because the increased costs are largely attributed to social trends or movements. The ‘social trends’ that are increasing the volume and costs of claims include:

  • Third party litigation funding facilitating a larger group of potential claimants to bring proceedings
  • Public sentiment driving an increased willingness/appetite to make a claim
  • Increases in collective or group actions
  • A civil justice jury award system leading to nuclear verdicts
  • Shifts in the legal and regulatory environment
  • The COVID-19 pandemic
  • The cost-of-living crisis

The cost-of-living crisis, professional services spend, the cost of care, and new categories of claims are key inflationary factors driving up the volume and cost of personal injury claims. For example:

Psychiatric injury

The impact of COVID-19, greater use of social media, and the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis have been identified as some of the reasons for the increase. It is also speculated that awareness efforts have contributed to the rise in individuals seeking help for their mental health. In early 2023, the UK government announced £150 million of additional funding would be allocated to mental health services.

Employee mental health and wellbeing have also become a strategic business priority, which is now part of the ‘S’ of their ESG strategy. Simon White, ESG Director at MX Underwriting talks about what the ‘S’ means in ESG here.

Cost of care

Increasing care costs are a significant reason for claims inflation in England and Wales. This has impacted both claims for non-commercial care voluntarily provided by family and friends as well as commercial care required in more complex cases.

Commercial care costs for both directly employed and agency care have also been driven upwards by a shortage of carers and the rising cost of living. Brexit, the pandemic, and a lack of suitable candidates have helped drive these shortages at the very time when there is an increasing demand for care due to the aging population.

In addition, the care sector is suffering from high turnover rates and poor staff retention with other sectors offering better pay, more sociable hours, and better working conditions.

Advances in medical science and technology

Amputation claims have been subject to hyperinflation in recent years and there are several reasons for this trend. The costs of prosthetic devices continue to increase which can be partly attributed to continued technological developments designed to increase levels of function for amputees.

However, even without technological advancements in prosthetic devices, the market is typically seeing price increases of between 5% to 8% per annum for the same products caused by a combination of general economic pressures in the UK and limited competition in the industry.

New surgical techniques such as targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) or osseointegration (where a titanium rod is implanted into the stump to which the prosthetic is attached rather than the conventional prosthetic socket) can also add an additional layer of costs.

The recent judgments of Swift v Carpenter [2020] and Riley v Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust [2022]2 have assisted claimants in their efforts to push the legal boundaries and are often cited by leading claimant firms in relation to accommodation, life expectancy and loss of earnings.

Finally, the catastrophic nature of injuries suffered by amputees means that there are often claims for inter-dependent losses of accommodation and care which have also been subject to inflation in recent years.

The cost-of-living crisis

Fraudulent claims typically rise during economic downturns. This flux and uncertainty compared with previous economic downturns causes delays in claim processes and increases costs.

The economic downturn has also seen a significant rise in opportunistic property claims in both residential and commercial lines. In commercial lines, arson and escape of water claims remain prevalent as COVID-19 bounce-back loans and general government support have been withdrawn

How we can help

Specialist Risk Insurance Solutions (SRIS) Claims Director, Justin Welham, comments:

“Whilst not as obvious as the property sector, claims inflation is also starting to have a real impact on casualty claims.

Rising inflation means that the Judicial College guidelines, used to assess general damages claims for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, are quickly out of date and claimant solicitors are looking for higher damages.

We are already starting to see a relatively sharp increase in the average value of general damages paid, which in turn will drive up renewal premiums. As part of our risk management offering, we actively engage with clients to ensure that the appropriate loss control measures are in place to prevent accidents occurring in the first place.

When accidents do happen, our award-winning claims team are on hand to walk the client through the process every step of the way.”

For more information on claims inflation and how this may impact you get in touch with our expert team.

What about Motor claims?

Find out more about what’s driving Motor claims inflation.


What is causing claims inflation in Property?

August 4th, 2023 Posted by Updates 0 comments on “What is causing claims inflation in Property?”

What are the main reasons for Property claims inflation?

In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic was dominating news headlines, now, the cost of living and inflation rates are today’s headlines – but how did we get here? This article drafted by our Group claims specialists provides an overview of some of the specifics that are driving inflation rates and as a result, claims inflation.


The impact of Brexit has disrupted supply chains because it has called for new negotiations for cross-border trade. This has resulted in added cost, complexity, and delays in shipping. Some suppliers have even downgraded the UK as a priority market because of Brexit.

Brexit also created a skill shortage, and regulatory changes have made working in the UK less attractive to EU nationals who are increasingly returning home.


UK unemployment is low, which has resulted in high vacancies and more competition for increased salaries, the lack of skilled labourers required for construction, alteration, and reparations of buildings.

Global supply chain

The world is seeing record highs in the cost of petrol and diesel, which has been driven by supply challenges. Freight shipping costs have more than doubled since 2020, and machinery and plant have longer lead times as a result, particularly with items that are manufactured outside of the UK1.

Climate change

We are also beginning to see major impacts of global warming, in the form of increased storm and flood frequency and severity. This coupled with inadequate investment in drainage infrastructure in the UK is adding to the damage.

For example, Flood Re estimates that flooding will have increased between 25% and 80% by 2050, depending on the rate in which weather temperatures increase2.

How we can help

Specialist Risk Insurance Solutions (SRIS) Claims Director, Justin Welham comments:

“In the property market we’ve seen post-pandemic supply chain bottlenecks, higher energy and transportation costs, and shortages of labour all contributing to higher inflation in 2022.

In 2023 we’ve seen that the war in Ukraine has further fuelled global inflationary and supply chain pressures, causing price shocks for a wide range of commodities, including energy, food and construction materials. This Supply chain disruption and rising prices are driving up replacement and rebuilding costs for property and construction claims.

This will inevitably leave companies exposed to under-insurance across their property portfolios. Our team continue to work closely with our clients in terms of costs mitigation and making sure that their property portfolio sums insured have been recently reviewed to avoid the pitfalls of under-insurance.”

For more information on claims inflation and how this may impact you get in touch with our expert team.

What about injury claims?

Find out more about why claims inflation in relation to liability.


What is driving Motor claims inflation?

August 4th, 2023 Posted by Updates 0 comments on “What is driving Motor claims inflation?”

Inflation has stretched across all industries, and Motor claims is no different. This article drafted by our Group claims specialists outlines the overarching reasons and consequences you’re likely to hear about and experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic

The pandemic impacted supply chain as the world was placed on ‘lockdown’. This resulted in a shortage of semiconductors, which are computer chips used in a wide variety of technological products. For example, a fuel car requires upwards of 40 of these technology chips, and represent about 35% of the vehicle cost; without them our vehicles simply cannot be made.

The shortage is so significant that some manufacturing plants have been forced to close. As a result, the backlog of new vehicles means that second-hand vehicles are more expensive.

War in Ukraine

Conflicts in the country have directly impacted availability and delivery times of a variety of vehicle components. For example, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen have manufacturing resource in Ukraine for harnesses that hold vehicle cabling together. While they’re inexpensive, they are bespoke to each model.

Car plants have closed across Europe, as production can’t begin without these bespoke harnesses.

Employees in the motor industry are in decline

The HSE has said that the number of employees in motor has been in decline in the last few years. Brexit has accelerated this decline as overseas employees leave the nation. Finally, the cost of transport has also increased which has had a knock-on effect on inflation.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is predicting that 160,000 vacancies in the sector will need to be filled by 20311.

Technological improvements in the motor industry

The introduction of new and innovative technology in electric vehicles has resulted in an unprecedented increase in car part theft, specifically lithium batteries, which are more expensive to replace or repair due to a lack of specialists in the industry (Only 6.5% of the current motor workforce is qualified to service EVs2). It also costs a great deal more to dispose of lithium batteries, which inevitably increases premiums.

How will the inflation of motor claims affect you?

Specialist Risk Insurance Solutions (SRIS) Claims Director – Motor, Jamie George, comments:

“The SRIS Motor Claims Team works tirelessly to assist our customers throughout the entirety of the claim journey, from Day One with Own Damage or Third-Party Capture, to minimise and mitigate costs on all heads of claim. The teamwork with the customer to always protect their interests and have their best intentions in mind.”

  • Instruction of own repairer/preferred repairer = building on lasting relationships
  • SRIS Own Repairer Network availability
  • Management of own vehicle consequential losses including downtime and Vehicle Off road costs
  • Mitigation of ongoing losses for Fault and Non-Fault Incidents

Third Party

  • Report! Report! Report! Is something to remember, the faster you report the smoother the claims process will be
  • Ongoing Triage of all Incidents including Fault/Non-Fault
  • Market support with Third Party capture including offer of own services for repairs

How we can help

SRIS Client Relationship Director – Motor, Robert Wright, comments “Early reporting is a must, and it will allow us to help you. After any incident, policyholders and drivers must respond quickly to requests for information. Having the right reporting processes in place to provide us with meaningful information in a timely manner is vital as this will allow us to ensure liability is quickly established.”

For more information on claims inflation and how this may impact you get in touch with our expert team.

What about injury claims?

Find out more about why claims inflation in relation to liability.


Why are we experiencing claims inflation?

August 4th, 2023 Posted by Updates 0 comments on “Why are we experiencing claims inflation?”

What are the main reasons for claims inflation?

Over the last year, everyone has seen a rise in the ‘cost of living’ as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to increase. There are several factors that have led to this consequence, with most industries affected.

What is claims inflation?

Put simply, claims inflation is the change in the average price of goods and materials, and services in relation to a portfolio of representative claims.

Our Group claims specialists put together three of the main areas we believe might affect our clients the most. Below, you will be able to read through the reasons for claims inflation in Motor Fleet, Liability, and Property insurance and gain an understanding of how the current economic climate could affect you and your business.

Motor Fleet inflation

With the average claim costing over £5,0001, it is no wonder people are asking ‘why?’. In this article, the team talks about the specific elements across supply chains, conflict between countries, and the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has amounted to claims inflation for Motor policies.

Click here to read

Property Claims Inflation

From the global pandemic, and new regulations because of Brexit, to climate change, if you’re curious about some of the biggest reasons driving claims prices upwards in Property insurance read our latest article.

Click here to read

Liability Claims Inflation

When the cost of repairs, materials, and labour rise, so does the cost of third-party liability for property damage. Inflation also raises the cost of settlements and damages awarded in court cases.

Click here to read

How we can help

Specialist Risk Insurance Solutions (SRIS) Client Relationship Director – Motor, Robert Wright, comments “Early reporting is a must, and it will allow us to help you. After any incident, policyholders and drivers must respond quickly to requests for information. Having the right reporting processes in place to provide us with meaningful information in a timely manner is vital as this will allow us to ensure liability is quickly established.”

For more information on claims inflation and how this may impact you get in touch with our expert team.



Common misconceptions of Cyber insurance

July 24th, 2023 Posted by Updates 0 comments on “Common misconceptions of Cyber insurance”

If your business has never been the victim of a cyber-attack, it can be difficult to comprehend how vulnerable your business could be. However, as a specialist insurance broker, we are here to help you understand the digital risks your business is exposed to so that you can take the appropriate action.

We often hear from clients that they are unsure of the digital risk their business faces and therefore, we have outlined a couple below with advice from our expert team:

“We invest in IT security, so we don’t need Cyber insurance…”

  • Whilst investing in IT security is important, it is likely that your business will still be exposed to cyber risks as cyber threats are continually evolving to bypass these security measures.
  • People are the weakest link in your IT security chain. Most cyber-claims are as a result of an easily preventable human error.
  • Cyber insurance is a cost-effective way to get access to risk management tools including employee training programs, but it also provides you with an expert response team and covers all financial losses in responding to a cyber-attack.

“We don’t collect any sensitive data, so we don’t need Cyber insurance…”

  • Two of the most common cyber-claims are not related to privacy. Fund transfer fraud is often carried out by criminals using fraudulent emails to divert the transfer of funds from a legitimate account to their own.
  • Secondly, ransomware can cripple any organisation by freezing or destroying your business-critical computer systems.
  • Neither of these types of incidents would be considered a data breach however, both can cause severe financial damage and are covered under a Cyber policy.

“Cyber-attacks only affect big businesses. We’re too small to be a target…”

  • High profile cyber-attacks that have affected large organisations have raised awareness of the growing threat of cyber-crime through the media however, surveys conducted by cyber security organisations suggest that may small business owners are operating under a false sense of security because of this.
  • As larger organisations get serious about cyber security, small businesses are becoming increasingly attractive targets for cyber criminals – and the results are often devastating for small business owners.
  • Not only does insurance cover the costs involved in responding to a cyber-crisis, but it also provides you with instant access to a number of technical and legal experts who you may not have in-house.

“Our other insurance policies cover Cyber risks…”

  • While there may elements of cover within traditional insurance policies, it tends to be partial cover at best, falling very short of what is covered under a standalone Cyber policy.
  • Property insurance policies are designed to cover your bricks and mortar, not digital assets.
  • Crime policies rarely cover social engineering scams (without onerous terms and conditions) which are increasingly conducted by cyber criminals and result in a huge source of financial loss for businesses.
  • Generally, Professional Liability policies do not cover the first party costs associated with responding to a cyber event.
  • A standalone Cyber insurance policy provides you with access to dedicated cyber claims experts who are trained to get your business back up and running with minimal disruption and financial impact. Without a specialist team, it could take your business weeks or even months to return to business as normal.

We are here to help

With extensive experience in the digital risk’s businesses are exposed to, we are well placed to support and protect your business.

For more information on how your business can benefit from Cyber insurance, get in touch with our specialist, Jason Cohen:

Cyber-attacks: how they occur and how to protect against them

May 30th, 2023 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “Cyber-attacks: how they occur and how to protect against them”

It can be difficult to comprehend the cyber risks your business is exposed to, particularly if you have never experienced a cyber-attack. Therefore, many choose to bear the consequences themselves without understanding how significant these can be. However, Cyber and Cyber-crime claims are now making up more than 50% of all claims in the insurance market, so managing this risk is no longer a task for the IT team, but a Board level consideration.

In this blog we explain some of the most common cyber-attacks, how they occur and how you can protect your business against them:

Funds Transfer Fraud / Social Engineering Fraud

Almost all companies invoice their clients for payment for their goods or services, as well as working with several suppliers who will in turn invoice for goods and services they provide to the company. When paying these invoices electronically it is all too easy to fall victim to cybercriminals who can intercept electronic payments and divert them to fraudulent accounts.

These attacks can be perpetrated in a number of ways including:

  • Social Engineering – whereby a member of your accounts team might be tricked into paying funds into a fraudulent account, following an extremely convincing call from someone pretending to be the client/supplier and advising of a change of bank details.
  • Invoice Fraud – whereby an invoice attached to an email can be intercepted along the way, with the details changed to that of a fraudulent account before being released, seemingly with no discernible changes.

These risks can be mitigated by training your employees to look out for the tell-tale signs that a fraudster may be involved, including the creation of high pressure/urgency, as well as implementing procedures such as call-backs to a known contact before accepting a change of bank details. 80% of Cyber claims involve employee error, so training your staff is a crucial element of your Cyber risk management.

Ransomware and Data Breaches

The most valuable asset that most companies hold is their data, rather than physical assets such as their property or plant/machinery. Whether a company relies on their systems to trade day to day or holds sensitive customer data, cyber criminals know all too well that the majority of companies cannot survive a ransomware attack for long.

Ransomware attacks can result from something as simple as an employee opening what appeared to be a ‘CV’ attached to an email that came from someone purporting to be on the hunt for a job. For a sophisticated cyber-criminal, this is enough for ransomware to be installed on your network, giving the hacker the ability to not only shut down your network but also to access and leak data you hold.

Cyber criminals have recently pivoted away from shutting down a network and demanding a few hundred pounds for the key to unlock; instead, they are sitting in the network for months on end, gathering data that can be sold on the dark web or leaked, and then using this knowledge to demand ransoms of up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.

How to mitigate your risk:

  • Use reputable antivirus software and firewalls – this is your first line of defence, so maintaining a strong firewall and keeping your security software up to date is critical.
  • Patching (updating) – Regular patching of vulnerable software is necessary to help prevent infection that takes advantage of out-of-date systems with known vulnerabilities.
  • Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication – enforce a strong password policy and multi-factor authentication. This will also reduce your risk of Business Email Compromise (BEC), which is another prolific problem and can lead to downtime, reputational impact, and large financial loss.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has provided further guidance with actions you can take to reduce the risk of falling victim to an attack whilst the threat level is heightened here.

We are here to help

To learn more about how to protect your business against cyber risks, contact our specialist, Jason Cohen:

Hamilton Leigh in partnership with KVF Consultants

January 22nd, 2023 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “Hamilton Leigh in partnership with KVF Consultants”

Hamilton Leigh is proud to work in partnership with KVF Advisory, health and safety consultants who specialise in the Motor Trade sector, offering our clients a bespoke and robust approach to risk management.


KVF Advisory Services £125 plus VAT per site per month

  • An annual visit from KVF plus full access to CANOPY Safety* (innovative Health & Safety Management & Compliance software):
    • Single or multi-site
    • Unlimited user access
    • Interactive dashboard, with actions, notifications, and reminders
    • Audits
    • Checklists
    • Risk assessment library
    • Online accident book
    • File management
    • MI reporting
    • Help function
  • Fully scored audit completed with risk profile conducted and follow-up actions (fixes) provided
  • Unlimited email and telephone support
  • Additional visits subject to availability

CANOPY Safety £100 plus VAT per site per month (software only option)

  • Full access to CANOPY Safety* (our innovative Health & Safety Management & Compliance software):
    • Single or multi-site
    • Unlimited user access
    • Interactive dashboard, with actions, notifications, and reminders
    • Audits
    • Checklists
    • Risk assessment library
    • Online accident book
    • File management
    • MI reporting
    • Help function
  • Unlimited email and telephone support
  • Additional visits subject to availability

* CANOPY Safety is a live and interactive online Health & Safety Management tool with online reporting, including accident book with templated policies and procedures for customer use.  This inhouse KVF owned and built system allows multiple users access to their Health & Safety documentation at any time from any web enabled device 24/7/365

Fire Risk Assessments £500 plus VAT per premises

  • Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) will be conducted by a NEBOSH qualified professional with fully detail report provided upon completion:
    • KVF standard rates are charged at
    • 20% discount available to existing KVF customers


  • Online e-Learning system
    • Our Intuity online training platform includes over 60 training courses covering multiple Health & Safety topics.  We’ve also added some HR modules such as Anti-Money Laundering; Data Protection / GDPR; and Information Security.  All priced at just £15 per module, per user, per year.
    • The Health & Safety Induction covers six key areas: Workplace Health & Safety; COSHH; Display Screen Equipment; Fire Awareness; Manual Handling; and PPE and is great value at just £15 with additional courses available to purchase on request.
    • Unlimited email and telephone support

First Aid & Fire Marshal Training

  • KVF are also able to provide face to face classroom based First Aid and Fire Marshal Training at your own premises. Further details and prices available on request.


For more information, or to arrange an introductory meeting with KVF, please contact Jason Cohen:


October 28th, 2022 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “CFO CENTRE CASE STUDY”

Difficult. Done Well.

Read our latest case study to see how Jason Cohen, Head of Business Development at Hamilton Leigh helped a CFO Centre client in placing a global insurance programme at a competitive rate in a highly efficient timeframe.


In 2021, Jason Cohen began engaging with CFO Centre client, Stuart Hood, who is an international leading advisor working within the energy, refining and chemical sectors. During this time, Jason provided advice and assistance around the placement of one of Stuart’s clients’ global insurance programmes.


The UK Limited company, with international presence, were part of a global insurance programme stemming from the US but given potential forthcoming structural changes, Stuart was keen to explore an insurance programme that stemmed from the UK and could then cover the business on the same international basis of cover.

Throughout the year, Stuart and Jason Cohen engaged extensively to discuss the covers the business currently had in place, the markets available and the practicalities around structure of programme. It transpired that 2021 was not the right time for the business to move their insurances but nonetheless, Stuart took great value from his interaction with Jason to understand that this could be done and how.


In 2022 Jason and Stuart put their plan into action and at this point Jason engaged the international team at Specialist Risk Group (SRG). On this case, matters were led by Kevin White, Account Director. Kevin and his team are incredibly experienced and knowledgeable about their markets on a global level and in almost every case give a very understated account of what they do how they do it. The truth is their service level and expertise are invaluable in such complex placements.

SRG’s international team have a vast amount of experience working with global insurance markets, this was paramount to ensuring Stuart had the most comprehensive insurance coverage which captured all elements of risk across the regions they operated within.

Following a detailed review of the Group’s insurances, which involved an in-depth gap analysis of the existing policy wordings, SRG’s international team carried out an extensive marketing exercise which included London, US, and Asian markets.


SRG’s international team utilised their Worldwide Broker Network membership relations to ensure that the current insurers were advised of Hamilton Leigh being the newly appointed broker, and to formalise this appointment and access local markets in the US for the Professional Indemnity and Cyber policies.

Working in partnership with their US markets, SRG’s international team were able to secure continuous Cyber cover, with broader worldwide coverage at a competitive rate. Similarly with the Professional Indemnity and Directors’ and Officers’ policies, SRG’s international team negotiated competitive premium rates with insurer’s in the name of the Top Company, which was based in the British Virgin Islands, ensuring global cover for the entire group.

Stuart was incredibly complimentary of the work carried out by Jason Cohen and SRG’s international team quoting “Jason has proven to be an invaluable partner for me and various clients, supporting us in not only obtaining a competitive price but more importantly reviewing the suitability and in some circumstances adequacy of cover. On this particular case, it was vitally important that our cover remained stable and at competitive premiums. Given the more complex nature of this business case mentioned, I am very grateful to Jason and his International counterparts for making it such a seamless process.”

Renewed opportunity for hospitality and leisure businesses to launch another bid to claim Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance losses

March 24th, 2022 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “Renewed opportunity for hospitality and leisure businesses to launch another bid to claim Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance losses”

The hospitality and leisure sectors were without a doubt the worst hit by Covid-19, with hotels, bars, restaurants and health clubs severely affected by the swathe of government restrictions and regulations imposed since March 2020.

Business owners were forced to navigate a plethora of changing Covid-19 rules and regulations, mandating when and where businesses were allowed to open, how services were to be provided and what measures were required to be put in place to protect the safety and wellbeing of staff and customers, whilst also seeking to remain financially viable.

This turbulent period forced many businesses to close their doors for good and countless more just about managed to stay afloat. Due to the importance of Business Interruption Insurance, it is unsurprising that many hospitality and leisure businesses continue to press their insurers for claim pay-outs, even where, upon first reading, the outcome of the FCA Test Case on Business Interruption losses does not appear to indicate there was cover.

The FCA Test Case was intended to provide answers, en-masse, to insurance coverage questions affecting thousands of businesses. Whilst the High Court and Supreme Court judgments went a long way to resolve the coverage debates, quarrels with insurers continue in relation to areas not directly covered by the Test Case, or where the outcome left uncertainties. Notably, Corbin & King, the owner of 9 upscale London restaurants including The Wolseley and the Delauney, recently issued High Court proceedings against AXA for a declaratory judgment that cover is available in respect of each of its premises up to the £250,000 limit of indemnity (a total value of £4.4m).

The question posed to the court was whether a sum insured of £250,000 applied just once to the entirety of the Corbin & King empire or applied to each entity covered by the policy? The court decided in favour of Corbin & King that each restaurant is covered for £250,000.

On 25th February 2022, The Honourable Mrs Justice Cockerill DBE held that Corbin & King Ltd and its subsidiaries were successful in their claim against AXA for Business Interruption losses suffered as a result of Covid-19.

The case considered two important matters of principle:

the scope of the Non-Damage Denial of Access ‘NDDA’ cover, following the causation analysis of the Supreme Court in the FCA test case and quantum.

  • Insurers argued there could only be cover under this clause if policyholders could demonstrate that it was an emergency by reason of Covid-19 in the vicinity, of the insured premises, as opposed to the country as a whole, which led to the actions or advice of the government.  

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.

  • The judge also 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).

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.  Policyholders with ‘NDDA’ wordings who have been previously been told by their insurers that there is no cover, should be aware, therefore, that the doors to claiming Business Interruption losses are not yet firmly shut.

Those in the hospitality and leisure sectors have been particularly hard hit, and this decision will be significant for many of them.

As far as Hamilton Leigh’s clients are concerned, only a small number of claims are potentially impacted and we are currently reviewing those claims on a case-by-case basis. It should also be noted that the judgement may yet be appealed. On 23rd March 2022, the high Court granted Axa leave to appeal the judgement, although it is unclear at this stage as to whether this will be pursued.

Regardless of the outcome, it should be noted that each policy and specific loss circumstances will be different, so each claim will be dealt with on its own merits.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.

One principal matter that remains ongoing is insurers’ treatment of “Furlough” payments, in the adjustment of Covid-19 Business Interruption claims (where coverage is established). While insurers largely agreed that government grants are to be ignored for the purposes of a Business Interruption indemnity, they have generally maintained that any support received in the form of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme payments (Furlough), and Business Rates Relief, should either be accounted for as turnover or as a saving, thus reducing the value of the covered claim under the Policy.

Insurers are being challenged as a matter of common law, that such payments do not go to reduce the policyholders’ covered loss, and as a matter of public policy, government financial support provided to the hospitality and leisure industry and other hard-hit sectors was not introduced for the benefit of insurers.

The underlying question therefore remains: who should stand first in line to benefit from the government’s financial support measures – the hospitality and leisure industries which are still struggling to recover 2 years later, or insurers, who were largely cushioned from the effects of the pandemic?

The issue remains untested in the English courts, although a distinguished panel led by Lord Mance in the Hiscox Action Group Arbitration was reported in July 2021 to have found in favour of the policyholders on this issue.

We expect this subject to come under close scrutiny by the Commercial Court, when the issue falls for determination for the first time in the English courts in the forthcoming trial of Stonegate v MS Amlin in June 2022 and if successful, will be welcome news for many businesses that had ‘NDDA’ policy cover and who’s claim settlements were reduced by ‘furlough’ payments.

Hamilton Leigh will continue to monitor the outcome of these judgements and keep our clients abreast of all developments. Should you wish to discuss your potential Covid-19 Business Interruption claim in the meantime, please contact Jamie Foster (Head of Claims):


t: 020 8236 5368

WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin