French court orders AXA to pay restaurant’s COVID-19 Losses
Thursday, 06 25 2020, Category: Insurance and Reinsurance, Country: France
A Paris commercial court ruled that insurer AXA must pay a restaurant owner two months’ worth of coronavirus-related revenue losses, the restaurateur’s lawyer said on Friday, possibly opening the door to a wave of similar litigation.
AXA said it would appeal. It said there was a difference in interpretation over a specific type of contract signed by a several hundred restaurant businesses with a single brokerage.
Stephane Manigold, who owns four restaurants in Paris, was one of them. He filed a lawsuit requiring AXA to cover his operating losses after a government order in mid-March to close bars and restaurants to try to slow the spread of the virus.
“This is a collective victory,” he told Reuters after the ruling.
The court said that the administrative decision to close the restaurant qualified for insurance cover as a business interruption loss.
“This means that all companies with the same clause can appeal to their insurers,” Manigold’s lawyer, Anais Sauvagnac, said.
AXA has a 13 percent market share among French craftsmen and merchants. AXA said it had in its portfolio only 200 contracts with French businesses in various sectors that provide business interruption guarantees when there is no physical damage involved.
Source: Claims Journal