OPTIS/QBE – Some Good News for Policyholders

Following almost one year of wrangling, we are today in receipt of correspondence from QBE in respect of thier OPTIS-arranged policies, admitting liability for losses that arise on foot of restrictions imposed to control the spread of COVID19.

QBE’s European Operations advised:

“As you may be aware, recent Court decisions, including cases brought by Hyper Trust and others against the insurer FBD in the Irish High Court, considered the operation of certain business interruption policies in light of the events of Covid-19. Various aspects of these Court decisions have provided much welcomed clarity as regards the operation of cover under the notifiable disease extension in your policy.

As a result of the clarity brought by these proceedings, QBE are pleased to confirm that policy cover… is now admitted in principle, even if we have previously indicated that there is no cover
available under the notifiable disease extension in your policy.

We recognise the uncertainty you will have faced regarding your business interruption cover and we are now intent on working as quickly as possible to progress the claim validation and adjustment process in order to settle under the terms of your policy at the earliest possible opportunity.”

We have already (today) engaged with QBE’s service providers on behalf of our clients and we expect that the settlement process will commence over the course of the coming weeks.

QBE have suggested that the following items will be sought by the loss adjusters, although we expect that this list is not final or exhaustive:

  • Description of business activity, number of employees, and trading hours.
  • Details of a Covid 19 incident on or (typically) within 25 miles of the business (as outlined in the policy wording).
  • Details of how the business has been interrupted, including dates and type of interruption.
  • Confirmation as to whether the business closed entirely or continued to partially trade.
  • Details of the financial losses suffered as a result of the interruption to the business.
  • Whether the business took any steps to reduce financial losses, e.g. changing from a ‘wet’ to a ‘dry’ pub etc.

We will be contacting our clients shortly in order to ensure that we have enough relevant information to allow us to make the claim and secure the proper entitlement.

At the outset of this crisis, we were convinced that these policy wordings did create some cover for Policyholders, and we are pleased that the Insurer has finally admitted that this is, indeed, the case.

Our focus now is to secure payments on behalf of our clients. 

23 February 2021

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