The two hope to pool resources and share information as they seek a pay out from Hiscox
The Hiscox Action Group and the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) have formed an alliance to pursue legal action against Hiscox in a battle over business interruption pay outs.
NTIA represents more than 100 pubs, bars, restaurants and nightclubs whereas Hiscox Action Group act for a range of firms in different sectors – all of these businesses have had to shut due to the pandemic, therefore their survival rests on an insurance payout.
Together the two represent more than 500 Hiscox policy holders, and the combined total cover they are fighting for is estimated at more than £50m.
Working together will allow the two groups to share information and pool resources for closer collaboration in pursuing legal action.
It follows the NTIA and NDML Insurance writing to the chancellor of the exchequer last week urging him to release Pool Re funds as a solution.
MIchael Kill, chief executive at the NTIA, said: “This alliance will ratchet up the pressure on Hiscox. These policies have clearly been triggered and we are determined to do everything we can to get Hiscox to pay out quickly and in full.”
Meanwhile, Mark Killick, part of the Hiscox Action Group Steering Committee, added: “Hiscox’s behaviour has been disgraceful and is threatening thousands of UK businesses. By working together with the NTIA, we hope to force Hiscox to do the right thing before it is too late for many of our members.”
The Hiscox Action Group however has instructed London law firm Mishcon de Reya as its legal counsel and had its legal action underwritten by litigation funder Harbour.
Richard Leedham, the Mishcon de Reya partner leading the action, welcomed the alliance with NTIA.
“Hiscox has said that it did not intend to cover what has happened,” he said. “This is irrelevant. We are looking at what is in the contract. Hiscox has provided a very broad form of wording and its natural meaning would cover someone whose business was interrupted by the lockdown.”
Philip Kolvin QC of Cornerstone Barristers who was recently appointed as the NTIA’s barrister said that he hopes these claims can be met soon, and in full, to avoid the need for litigation.
He added: “The Hiscox policies we are relying on clearly cover government closure due to the coronavirus.”
NITA are also represented by insurance brokers NDML.
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