There are still a number of pending Covid-19 policy interpretation cases being dealt with by the courts in England in the coming months. Stonegate v MS Amlin, Various eateries v Allianz and Gregg’s v Zurich all grapple with the issue of aggregation.
Stonegate and the other claimants for example argue that their business interruption insuring clauses are triggered multiple times attracting multiple sub-limits. The insurers seek to restrict the claim to a single limit.
Stonegate will also consider whether furlough payments made by the government should be taken in account as income in the business or as a cost saving in assessing the quantum of the business interruption claims. Insurers deduct furlough payments arguing that to do otherwise would result in the insureds receiving the benefit of receiving compensation twice, once from the government and once from insurers.
Also to be heard is the case of Smart Medical v Chubb which will consider “at the premises” disease extensions which require Covid-19 to be present at the insured’s premises. The question is whether the court will apply the Supreme Court findings on causation to such clauses, or find that they are only triggered by local restrictions specifically applied in related to the insured property.
Also to be considered in Chubb is whether an exclusion for “atypical pneumonia” extends to Covid-19.
The outcome of those judgments will be of interest to any South African insurance parties still grappling with the issue of aggregation and cost-savings in quantifying Covid-19 claims.