The UK Supreme Court has told the Financial Conduct Authority that no judgement will be handed down before January 2021 on the business interruption (BI) test case.
The appeal by the FCA and six insurers in a test case over BI payments because of the COVID-19 pandemic is being closely watched by parties across the globe. The FCA said in September that the lower court found in favour of policyholders’ arguments in most issues. Thousands of small firms in Britain, from holiday cottages to restaurants and night clubs, had to shut down or restrict trading because of the pandemic, arguing that the rejected BI claims are bringing them to the brink of failure.
Both sides appealed some aspects of the original judgement in a four-day hearing last month. The case revolves around whether 21 policy wordings, affecting potentially 700 types of policies, 60 insurers, 370,000 policyholders and billions of pounds in claims, should cover disruption caused by the virus.
The wordings cover business interruption when insured premises cannot be accessed because of public authority restrictions, in the event of a notifiable disease within a specified radius and hybrid wordings.