Brokers stunned as US insurer exits restaurant and takeaway sector

CNA Insurance Company has come under fire for suddenly exiting the restaurant and takeaway insurance market.

Brokers have been left fuming after being told they have just 14 days to find a new risk carrier.

In a letter to policyholders, CNA Insurance said it had decided to exit the restaurant and takeaway market following a strategic review.

It added: "All cover under this policy will cease 14 days from the date of this letter and you should make immediate efforts to arrange alternative cover from that date."

Broker Matthew Findlay of Spectrum Commercial Line said: "It is outrageous. CNA has taken a premium for a year, but suddenly we are having to rebroke policies very quickly.

"This is the first time this has happened to me in 15 years of broking. Normally, insurers wait until renewal time to exit a market."

Spectrum is currently working to find a new insurer for 185 takeaway outlets and restaurants.

Broker Richard Mikula of Topaz Insurance said: "This is leaving a big gap in the market. If brokers have already placed business and they are invoking the cancellation clause, it is a bit harsh."

CNA will be refunding policyholders' premiums relating to the unexpired period of cover.

A spokeswoman for CNA said the company had nothing to add to the letter it sent to policyholders.

CNA is a US-owned company established in 1897 as the Continental Casualty Company.

It became CNA in the late 1960s. CNA casualty companies are among the 10 largest in the US