Business Interruption Insurance Claims Lawyers – Hiscox BII Claims Advice
Many policyholders of Business Interruption Insurance (‘BII’) are approaching us seeking advice and guidance following their insurers refusal of what, on the face of it, would seem a justifiable claim.
Like so many insurance policies the BII policies are steeped in difficult wording and at all times you are strongly advised to take your own advice on the specific wording your own individual policy.
The following is designed to guide those, very generally, on the position of BII and the steps to take to intimate a BII claim and then following the refusal of a BII claim:
1. You must hold a valid Business Interruption insurance policy which, generally, insures you for your financial losses caused as a result of an interruption to your business activities. Check your policy to ensure this is covered.
(a) If you arranged your insurance via your Insurance Broker, in the first instance contact your Broker for guidance on your policy and methods of formally intimating a claim to your Insurer.
(b) If you didn’t arrange your policy via a Broker then check your policy for ‘how to make a claim’.
3. The next step is the most obvious, but also the most important- make a claim
- We recommend that all claims be made in writing, but if they are made over the phone then you must follow up your verbal claim with an email confirming your understanding of the telephone call you held.
- It is vital that when sending any written communication you have proof that it has been sent.
- If you are sending a letter make sure you keep a copy of your letter and then send this by recorded or special delivery and keep the proof of postage safe.
- If you have sent an email obtain both a read and delivery receipt as well as keeping a copy of the sent email.
- Don’t be afraid to send by both post and email but make sure you keep copies of them all.
- It is very important to keep all communication saved into a folder, electronically or otherwise. This is likely to become the ‘evidence’ you will need at a later stage.
4. At either the point of making your claim or once your claim is accepted you will require to ‘quantify’ it. This is how much should your insurers pay for the interruption. We strongly recommend that to do so you contact either your business Bookkeeper or Accountant to assist with the numbers/quantification as they will know your business best. You should be looking at your Turnover and Gross Profit comparisons from what you would normally expect and what you are currently experiencing.
5. If your claim is refused then your options are:
(a) Follow the internal complaints/appeals mechanism as specified by your Insurer;
(b) Complaining to the Financial Ombudsman Service (‘FOS’). Most insurers are regulated by the FCA therefore you are entitled to make your complaint to FOS. However this is normally only after the complaints process internally at the Insurer has been completed We would also highlight that complaint to FOS is likely to take many months to complete and the FOS have ‘limits’ and/or ‘caps’ on what compensation levels you may be entitled to in the event of a successful complaint.
6. Seek assistance from help groups. See here. This ‘group’ however are limited to claims arising in certain policy/schedule wording types.
7. At any point in the above process we can assist. We know that at these extremely difficult times that a legal expense is not one you can afford but we want to help which is why we are offering a free 30 minute consultation to any business owner affected by any of the above. Simply click here.