Articles from the Silver Shemmings Ash Team on contractual matters, recent case law changes and items of interest in the construction and property world
June 9, 2020 | Silver Shemmings
You cannot help but have noticed the anger directed at insurers over the last weeks for their refusal to respond to anything COVID-19 related
Space does not permit me to enter into a debate as to whether that stance is correct or not, but there are some basic matters which any business should be attending to at the present time
Firstly, find your policy wording. This is not the four to five page confirmation of cover that you received from your broker, or that you will have been asked to print out as evidence of your cover if you placed business on line. Shortly, that is not your contract with insurers. The confirmation of cover document summarises the amounts that the business is covered for and the insured perils but it is NOT your policy wording. The policy wording – which will be probably be a booklet, but in any event will be headed policy wording – will be a much longer document, anything between twenty and sixty pages long. This is your contract with insurers and once found, it should be read carefully to see if there is potential cover for your business as a result of COVID-19
Secondly, concentrate on two areas – your office policy to see if there is cover for forced closure of your office and your business interruption cover. Those are the two areas where primarily claims may potentially lie. Read the clauses carefully, including the exclusions, to see if there is potential cover
Thirdly, if you think there is cover, notify your insurers of a potential claim either on-line or through your brokers. If you do not notify a claim promptly then insurers can avoid for late notification. In the current environment, when actually getting claims for COVID19 paid is going to be hard enough, you do not want insurers having another argument that they can use to seek to avoid making payment. So my advice would be to notify now, to avoid that issue at least
Jon Sharp has practiced in the City for close to 30 years and has a wealth of experience in the insurance industry and has a number of reported cases that demonstrate his abilities as a leader in the areas of dispute resolution, insurance, marine, aviation, general commercial matters and social media. Jonathan regularly presents seminars and lectures to the public insurers, banks and other lawyers, on a range of topics, including social media
He has also conducted a number of Arbitrations, before both the LMAA and ICC and dealt with boundary disputes, defended planning applications, and property transfers after matrimonial issues
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This article was originally published in the May edition of ‘London Business Matters’ the magazine for the London Chamber Of Commerce & Industry
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