The group’s law firm is planning to launch an expedited arbitration claim against the insurer in the next few days

The Hiscox Action Group (HAG) will proceed with legal action against insurer Hiscox after the group’s legal representative, law firm Mishcon de Reya, confirmed that there is a “good chance” of success.

The HAG is a collective of Hiscox clients whose coronavirus-related business interruption (BI) claims were rejected. Led by film company Media Zoo, the group is arguing that their claims should be paid because Hiscox’s BI policy wording insures against financial loss arising from an inability to use an insured property due to ‘an occurrence of any human infectious or human contagion disease’.

Last month, the HAG appointed Mishcon de Reya as its legal representative and secured funding from dispute risk management and litigation funding firm Harbour Litigation Funding in order to progress legal action.

Simon Ager, member of the Hiscox Action Group, said: “Everyone has been working really hard to move this claim forward. For many of our members, this insurance is the difference between survival and bankruptcy and we are determined that they should get the money they are entitled to as soon as possible.”

Next steps

After reviewing HAG’s case against Hiscox, Mishcon de Reya has today confirmed that the action has a “good chance” of success.

Representing more than 400 policyholders with claims of almost £40m, the law firm now intends to launch an “expedited arbitration claim” against Hiscox within the next few days.

Mishcon de Reya has further suggested that the Enterprise Act may be used during this process for the first time; this allows for substantial additional claims to be made against insurers who unreasonably drag their feet on payment.

In light of Mishcon de Reya’s stance, Harbour has also agreed to fund HAG’s case through whatever legal steps are considered necessary.

Mark Killick, creative director at Media Zoo and member of the Hiscox Action Group Steering Committee, said: “This is great news for all our members. They paid for a policy that Hiscox has dishonoured and shame on them. ‘Doing a Hiscox’ will soon become a byword for a company that avoids its responsibilities.”

Fellow HAG member Daniel Duckett added: “Many of our members have lost out because Hiscox has refused to pay out and forced us to go to these extraordinary lengths to get settlement.

“The insurance provisions of the Enterprise Act will mean we can now not only recoup the money we are entitled to but also get significant extra payments to compensate us for our additional losses.”