The insurer’s claims director believes the insurance sector has taken a ‘collaborative approach’ to dealing with the BI claim fallout arising from the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns

The legal action around coronavirus-linked business interruption (BI) claims brought by the FCA to the High Court and Supreme Court last year was “handled well by the industry in [a] collaborative approach”, said Robin Challand, claims director at Ageas UK.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, Challand said that “the engagement in the process and the transparency of the process is a good thing for the industry and the customer base as well”, however “in terms of where the outcomes lead us to, it’s difficult to say” – especially as the Supreme Court has yet to issue its final ruling on the appeals hearing, which was completed virtually at the end of 2020.

“It’s been handled well by the industry in [a] collaborative approach, actually saying ‘let’s engage in this process and engage in the outcomes’,” Challand added.

Not forgetting valid claims

Ageas was not directly involved in the legal proceedings, however the issue of BI claims resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has still led to the insurer issuing payouts to policyholders.

“We’ve got a number of policies that cover amateur dramatics and productions and the cover’s included, therefore the approach for us was very much ‘you’ve got a valid claim, how can we get you get back to where you need to be, how can we help?’,” he explained.

“When the cover’s in place, and it’s often easy to forget those cases, I think it’s important that we make sure we take the right steps for our customers.

“Our obligation to our customers [is] to get them back to the position they were prior to the accident, or the incident, or the event as quickly as possible in the best possible way - of course within the confines of the policy terms and limitations that that particular policy might have.”

A key facet of this process, Challand added, is customer engagement, which is “very much front of mind” for Ageas UK.

He continued: “Customer engagement is something that we focus on in all of our processes, which is we are here to help get them back to where they were prior to the accident or the incident. That’s very much front of mind in our way of working.”