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Insurance Outlets Facing Claims over Failure to Compensate for COVID19 Business Interruptions

Posted: October 2nd, 2020

An insurer’s refusal to honour a compensation claim for business losses caused by the impact of Covid-19 enforced closures has result in a South Dublin hotel operator initiating a High Court action.

The operator of Ranelagh-based Devlin Hotel, Premier Dale Limited,  filed the legal action against insurance broker Arachas Corporate Brokers Ltd and insurer RSA Insurance Ireland DAC. The claim states the the hotel sustaining “massive and mounting losses” without it being able to access funds from its insurer due to his refusal to pay out compensation. it is beign alleged that RSA’s refusal to pay compensation is tantamount to a breach of of the insurer’s obligations under a contract of insurance that was signed with RSA during October 2019.

Premier Dale is part of one of Ireland largest hospitality operators,  the Press Up group which employs hundreds of staff.

Paul McGarry SC, with Jack Tchrakian Bl, represented the claimants in the High Court and informed the court that the came about due to The Devlin being forced to shut its doors last March following the outbreak of COVID19. The argument is that the policy holder it is entitled to be indemnified in respect of financial losses expected to exceed €1million arising from interruptions of business at the hotel. The case was moved to the fast track Commercial Court list recently by Mr Justice David Barniville following an application by the operator and consent being provided by the defendant in the legal action.

The court was informed that Premium Dale requested to be indemnified in respect of its losses in the aftermath of the hotel’s temporary closure last March. However, during April RSA contact the policy holder to inform them that it would not be paying out on the policy.

In relation to the action taken against Arachas Corporate Brokers the operators claim that they this group provided with advice and other services in relation to the hotels insurance requirements. The Court was informed that Premium Dale was dependent on statements, representations and advices provided by Arachas when it agree the insurance contract with RSA.

Compensation is being claimed by the hotel operators for breach of contract, negligence, and negligent misrepresentation. Additionally, the hotel operator is requesting a declaration from the court that it is entitled under the terms of the 2019 insurance contract to be indemnified in relation to the financial losses from the interruptions of business since March 15 2020 and an order restraining RSA from refusing to indemnify the hotel operator and keep it indemnifying the hotel and keep it indemnified in respect of insurable losses.

The case has been adjourned until November.

Categories: Compensation News

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