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UPDATE 1-UK watchdog sets Wednesday deadline for agreement on business insurance claims

Tue, 29th Sep 2020 07:43

(Adds reaction)

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Britain's Financial Conduct
Authority said on Tuesday it has filed for an expedited appeal
in its business interruption test case as a precaution against
insurers not agreeing by Wednesday to pay out on claims made
during the pandemic.

Hundreds of thousands of mainly small British businesses are
waiting to hear if their insurer will pay out imminently, or
keep them waiting while they appeal.

London's High Court ruled that some of the world's biggest
insurers were wrong to reject thousands of claims from small
firms battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FCA said it continues to "work closely and at speed"
with the eight insurers and two intervenors that participated in
the test case to reach an agreement in principle on a range of
issues to avoid a "leapfrog" appeal to the Supreme Court.

An agreement is needed by close of business on Wednesday,
and seven insurer parties have made similar precautionary
appeals, the FCA said.

RSA, one of the insurers involved, said it has sought leave
to appeal and that a court hearing in relation to the appeal
applications will take place on 2 October.

Hiscox, another insurer involved in the case, said it has
also taken the necessary steps to apply for an expedited appeal,
adding that it "has not yet made a decision on whether it will
seek to appeal".

Discussions are ongoing with the FCA and other parties to
try to resolve any outstanding issues before the October 2
hearing in line with the original court ruling, Hiscox said.
(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe and Sinead
Cruise)

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