Raymond Blanc seeks legal support as Hiscox insurance refuses to uphold business continuity claim

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th April 2020

Two Michelin-starred chef patron of  Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and restaurant group Brasserie bar co has sought legal advice after insurance firm Hiscox turned down his business interruption claim.

Potentially jeopardising the posterity of his 37 pubs and restaurants across the UK, the firm purpotedly declined to cover the losses made by the restaurant group as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, the chef explained that despite the fact that the group's policy covered 'an occurrence of any human infection or... contagious disease', as has been the case of a plethora of insurance companies, Hiscox stood firm in its claim that its existing policies weren't designed to cover such an event: last week.

He said 'We are eager to reopen — we have a good, solid business that we have grown over 20 years'. 

Last week, creative communications company Media Zoo launched The Hiscox Action Group after its own business interruption claim was denied, threatening of a potential lawsuit if the firm stood firm on its decision.

Hiscox issued a statement published by Insurance Business UK saying its core policy wordings "do not provide cover for business interruption as a result of the general measures taken by the UK government in response to a pandemic.”

Raymond Blanc's restaurant group employs more than 1,400 people across the UK, and, when the pandemic forced restaurants to close, it issued the following message: “We have a strong business and we have strategies in place to get us through this crisis and out the other side, so we look forward to being back as and when the time is right.”

One such strategy was of course its business interruption insurance - meaning that unless it can convince Hiscox to reconsider, the restaurant group is pushed further into uncertain territories. 

The chef is understood to have only asked for legal council, with no imminent intent to pursue legal action against the firm. The Hiscox Action Group echoed this sentiment, stating that it planned to focus its approach "on the media and the relevant oversight bodies.”

Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority's interim chief executive, Christopher Woolard, sent a letter to insurance CEOs reminding them that policyholders with legitimate claims must be compensated

“There are policies where it is clear that the firm has an obligation to pay out on a policy,” the letter read, , and that “of these policies, it is important that claims are assessed and settled quickly. A key objective of the FCA is to ensure that financial pressures on policyholders are not exacerbated by slow payment, rather, such claims should be paid as soon as is possible.”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th April 2020

Raymond Blanc seeks legal support as Hiscox insurance refuses to uphold business continuity claim