Business Interruption Policies continue to be a topic for debate in the courts as the recent decision in Rockliffe Hall Ltd v Travelers Insurance Company Ltd [2021] EWHC 412 (Comm) offers further guidance and clarity to both businesses and insurers. The policy in question included a comprehensive list of diseases, an outbreak of which could result in the insurer incurring liability to reimburse a business for its losses. It was argued that the inclusion of ‘Plague’ on the list should be interpreted broadly to encompass the global impact of COVID-19, however, as COVID-19 was not included on the list specifically, it was determined that the claim should be dismissed. The list of diseases included in the policy was a defined list that was not regularly updated. This was distinguishable from the list of Notifiable Diseases included in the polices considered in the FCA test case, which were “externally-maintained and [a] dynamic list regularly updated by the UK Government”. Whilst there will inevitably be a number of issues that continue to arise when determining liability under BI policies, it is positive to see that the courts are endeavouring to provide clarity and direction where possible.

Ellisons continues to help businesses navigate their way through the COVID19 crisis, to discuss how we could help you please contact Ellisons’ Dispute Resolution team on 01206 764477.