Business Interruption Insurance claims – Am I eligible?

BBC news interview Chris Guy, Head of Insurance LItigation RLK, with collette osborne Hairven, Salon Gold award.

**As seen on TV and heard on the radio**

Since March 2020 RLK have fought insurance companies who have wrongly denied cover for business interruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We know there are still thousands of businesses owners who have been impacted and may not know they can claim, or have even been told by their insurance company they cannot claim – this may not be the case. We urge you to get in touch, our expert team can advise and guide you through the process. 
RLK are supporting thousands of clients in securing claims against business interruption insurance. Since March 2020 we have fought insurance companies who have wrongly denied cover for business interruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been involved in groundbreaking test litigation, including the Salon Gold Award and there has been further test litigation taken to the highest Court, the Supreme Court, by the insurance companies’ regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority.   
In January 2024 over 300 personal care sector businesses won a three-year battle with insurance companies who refused to pay-out after their businesses were forced to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Collette Osborne is a large salon owner in Nottinghamshire and is also the Vice Chair/Chief Policy Officer of the Hair & Barber Council. Collette was instrumental in getting people together to fight the case. 
Take a listen on BBC Sounds now as Collete shares her story and speaks on behalf of salon owners across the UK who have been impacted. 

How we can help.

As business owners we know your first priority is your business and revival in a post pandemic world.  
Our latest article provides some myth busting around claims and shares with you some frequent questions we hear from clients. 

What does this mean for your business and any losses it suffered due to Covid-19? 

The tide is turning against insurance companies who wrongly refused cover for business interruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Depending on your particular policy wording the policy may be valid and we recommend you provide us with your insurance schedule and policy wording to review. We will need to challenge your insurance company for you. 
We understand that legal fees can be a major concern for many individuals and businesses. That is why we offer a no win, no fee option for certain cases. This means that if your case is not successful, you won’t have to pay our legal fees. It’s just one of the ways we strive to make our services accessible and affordable for our clients. 

My insurance company / broker has said I do not have a claim? 

Insurers are declining to indemnify without any reasonable justification. In many of the cases we have been instructed, the decisions made by them are wrong. They are not paying business interruption claims where the policy in question indicates they should be. If we consider you have a case, then we recommend you challenge their decision. 

My insurance company is still denying my claim despite being an insurance company that was party to the FCA test case? 

Insurance companies have various versions of an insurance policy they provide. Each policy has different wording, so despite your insurance company possibly being party to the test case, your policy wording may not have been included. Your insurance company in this instance will argue the judgment does not apply. This does not mean your claim is not valid and we recommend you provide us with your insurance schedule and policy wording to review.  

My insurance company has confirmed my claim is subject to the test case but are denying it on other grounds? 

Unfortunately, we are seeing this tactic being used by insurance companies on valid claims. It is an unfair tactic the insurance companies decide to take to attempt to avoid paying under the policy.
This does not mean your claim is not valid and we recommend you instruct us to provide our expert advice and representation. 

Should I wait for my insurance company to contact me?

No. Any insurance company treating their customers fairly (as they are obliged to do) would have done so by now. We recommend we are instructed as soon as possible in order to protect your position and potential claim. If you do not follow the correct claims procedure, then your insurance company are likely to deny the claim on a technicality for late notification of the claim.

Should you be experiencing solvency issues then we also recommend our urgent instruction as insurers are able to deny the claim under terms of the policy regarding the solvency of the business. 

My insurance company has offered me a very low settlement offer in full and final settlement which is unacceptable 

This is something we have experienced and successfully challenged for a number of clients. Unfortunately, insurance companies will always seek to offer you a low settlement. Without our expertise, it is unlikely you will achieve the maximum potential settlement you are entitled to. 

Can I pursue my own claim or utilise the Financial Ombudsman Service? 

Of course, however, insurers are dealing with an unprecedented number of claims and are denying the vast majority of policy wordings. We make sure you have a valid case and present the evidence and loss correctly. This ensures your claim is processed quickly and you achieve the maximum potential damages your policy allows. 

Many of our clients have sought the assistance of the Financial Ombudsman Service to no avail. The Financial Ombudsman Service are not legally trained and do not have the same powers that the Court has. 

We ensure your claim is presented and dealt with in an expedited and efficient manner. 

Is Covid-19 and its consequences now excluded from my policy? 

Most insurers have moved to exclude any potential Covid-19 related cover, particularly in their property and business interruption wordings, since approximately April/May 2020. Depending on when your policy falls due for renewal, relevant exclusions are likely to be in place already.  

This, however, does not stop you from claiming under your older policy that was in force at the start of the pandemic. 
We urge you to contact us – the team are ready and on hand to review your policy and advise on next steps. Our team will support and guide you every step of the way so you can retain focus on managing your business.  
If you had a Salon Gold insurance policy, or a different insurance policy with business interruption cover in 2020 then you can either contact us on 0121 450 7800 or send your policy documents from 2020 to   
Trust us to challenge your Insurer.