Complaints Template for Hiscox

Dear Claims & Complaints Team

Regarding your email below, our understanding of our policy is that we are indeed covered.

Please see below the relevant section of our business interruption wording.  

What is covered:

Public authority 13.        your inability to use the insured premises due to restrictions imposed by a public authority during the period of insurance following:

A. a murder or suicide;

B. an occurrence of any human infectious or human contagious disease, an outbreak of which must be notified to the local authority;

C. injury or illness of any person traceable to food or drink consumed on the insured premises;

D. defects in the drains or other sanitary arrangements;

E. vermin or pests at the insured premises;

This means that the business interruption may respond if you are unable to access your premise insured due to COVID-19. These instances are treated on a claim by claim basis.”

As we are now unable to use our premise insured due to the Government lock down, we believe this condition is met.



With regard to your email below:
“These sections only cover BI losses where those losses result solely and directly from an interruption to your business caused by a denial of access or an inability to use the insured premises due to restrictions by the Government or a public authority.”
Thank you for this clarification, as our losses are indeed solely and directly from an interruption to our business caused by a denial of access or inability to use the insured premises due to restrictions by the Government or a public authority. There is no other reason, and happily, our accounts up until closure reflect this.

You also state:
“The Non-Damage Denial of access cover applies where there is an incident within a one mile radius and then the Government or a public authority impose measures which prevent or hinder access to the insured premises. Examples would be where the police cordon off the area surrounding a riot or a hotel is evacuated by the police following a nearby gas leak or fire. The multitude of wide ranging measures the Government is taking to contain the Coronavirus pandemic are very different in nature”

Our policy states:
“Non-damage denial

of access

3. an incident occurring during the period of insurance within a one mile radius of the

insured premises which results in a denial of access or hindrance in access to the

insured premises, imposed by any civil or statutory authority or by order of the

government or any public authority, for more than 24 consecutive hours;”

You do not define ‘incident’ – the common dictionary definition being “something that happens, especially something unusual or unpleasant”. The outbreak of COVID-19 can be taken as something happening that is unusual and unpleasant.

As the outbreak is across the whole of the UK, it would be reasonable to assume that it ALSO falls within a one mile radius of the premises.

Restrictions are indeed in place – as the lock down has been ordered by the Government, to be enforced by the police (another public authority).

The examples you give of a riot or a hotel evacuation may be things that you would cover – they don’t preclude cover in this instance – they are merely, as you state, examples.

You go on to state:
“The Public Authority cover is narrower and only triggered following certain specific occurrences, all of which must happen either in the vicinity of or at the insured premises: a murder, an occurrence of a contagious disease that must be notified to the local authority, food poisoning, problems with the drains or vermin. The restrictions the Government has imposed are part of its national response to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic; they were not issued following or in response to “an occurrence” at your – or any – specific location, placing them outside the scope of the policy. “

Our policy states:
“11. your inability to use the insured premises due to restrictions imposed by a public

authority during the period of insurance following:

a. a murder or suicide;

b. an occurrence of any human infectious or human contagious disease, an outbreak

of which must be notified to the local authority;

c. injury or illness of any person traceable to food or drink consumed on the insured

premises;

d. defects in the drains or other sanitary arrangements;

e. vermin or pests at the insured premises;”

Under the current restrictions, it is clear that we are not allowed to use our premise insured, on order of the Government.
The Government has ordered the closure of non-essential businesses on the basis of the outbreak of COVID-19 – which IS a notifiable disease.
Our policy does NOT state “all of which must happen either in the vicinity of or at the insured premises”. We feel that since this is specified in other sub-clauses, this infers the clause b (an occurrence of any human infectious or human contagious disease, an outbreak) cannot be tied to the premises in the same way.

Finally, our BI loss is due solely and directly to the denial/hindrance in access to or inability to use your premises. We are not looking to claim for any general economic downturn.

We look forward to receiving your confirmation that our claim may go ahead.

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