Swiss insurer Helvetia in a statement confirming shareholders of its ability to acquire Spanish insurer Caser has also released information on Covid-19 pay-outs to restaurants.
The statement from Helvetia’s website reads: “The settlement solution for Swiss gastronomy companies with a pandemic exclusion in their epidemic insurance has since been implemented and well received. The financial consequences from COVID-19 including this settlement solution will run into the high double-digit millions for the net insurance result (before taxes). The net negative impact of COVID-19 on the investment result will be in the low three-digit millions (before taxes). Nevertheless, Helvetia remains solidly capitalised.”
In a statement last week Helvetia said most of its restaurant business policyholders have now accepted settlements following disputes over cover for the COVID-19 pandemic, even though policies did not offer cover pandemics.
Most of Helvetia’s restaurant customers in Switzerland have now accepted the settlements, which amount to hundreds of millions in Swiss francs. Helvetia said it has also offered settlements to policyholders in Europe including Germany and Austria.
A spokesperson for Helvetia said: “This pragmatic approach has enabled Helvetia to provide security for the affected businesses and, at the same time, reduce its own risks, resulting from legal action for example.”
Helvetia said its settlement offer applies to companies that have a policy offering cover for epidemics, but not for pandemics. The insurer said that alone was sufficient to mean it could dismiss claims, although it acknowledged that there are “conflicting views on the effectiveness of the pandemic exclusion.”
Here in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority is in now the process of taking multiple insurers to court in an attempt to get a legally binding ruling over liability, using the wording of 17 business interruption policies. Let’s hope that they take a lesson in pragmatism from their Swiss counterparts.
insurer pays restaurants Covid-19