It is one of a series of Covid-19 BI claims arising from the pandemic lockdown when businesses were forced to shut

London West End theatre group International Entertainment Holdings Limited (IEH) – which includes the Savoy Theatre and The Ambassador Theatre – is suing insurer Allianz for allegedly failing to pay a Covid-19 business interruption (BI) claim.

The theatre group is pursuing Allianz on behalf of itself and 14 of its owned or managed subsidiaries and venues.

The firm’s legal claim alleges that Allianz is in breach of contract for refusing to provide the indemnity sought by IEH – this is based on an email sent by Allianz to IEH on 14 July 2021 and subsequently referenced by IEH.

The claim form said: “The defendant is bound to indemnify each claimant in respect of the interference and/or interruption of each of the claimants’ businesses carried on at each of the premises specified in schedule one up to a maximum amount of £500,000 with an indemnity period of three months in respect of each separate interruption and/or interference with each of the claimants’ businesses.”

Bruce Hepburn, chief executive and founder of indepedent insurance governance consultant Mactavish Group, told Insurance Times: “IEH is one of a growing number of companies we’re seeing take legal action against their insurers.

“The claims against Allianz are being pursued in the High Court, alongside a growing number of claimants on a wide range of wording variations across the relevant parts of business interruption policies.

“If we trace the legal claims back a few years to the FCA test case, it’s clear to see that insurers were looking to protect themselves from early on.”

The defence to the claim has yet to be filed.


An Allianz spokesperson said: “While litigation is never ideal, we appreciate that the impact on some businesses has been substantial and the application of cover in response to a pandemic can be complex.

”We welcome the clarity that litigation should provide but are confident that we have applied cover correctly and in alignment with previous legal precedents, including the Supreme Court judgement in the FCA test case.”

This BI claim is one of a series being sought against various insurers in the High Court. Other cases include Slug and Lettuce owner Stonegate pursuing insurers MS Amlin, Zurich and Liberty Mutual, for example.

Tip of the iceberg

Hepburn explained that during the pandemic, many businesses faced unprecedented disruptions to their supply chain because of BI losses and forced closure, which has been topped off with a lack of support from insurers.

As a result, several companies have sued or are suing insurers over neglecting to pay out for Covid-19 BI losses.

Mactavish conducted an analysis of disputed insurance claims filed in the High Court between 2012 and 2021 and found that businesses were now more than three times as likely to have to sue insurers to get their claims paid.

The firm also showed a 280% surge in legal action brought against the top 20 insurers since 2018.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” added Hepburn.