A group seeking to take class action proceedings against insurer Hiscox has announced it is planning to place itself into the test case which is being brought by the UK’s insurance regulator.
Mishcon de Reya, the law firm acting on behalf of the Hiscox Action Group has announced it is seeking to intervene in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) business insurance test case scheduled to be heard in July.
The case will seek to test a number of disputed wordings which have been used by insurers to refuse to pay claims on business interruption claims which have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Policyholders have expressed their dismay that the cover the thought they have purchased has refused to be activated by claims generated form the social distancing rules which have been imposed during the current pandemic.
They say the FCA case does not currently include any of the policy holders who have lost out from insurers refusing to settle COVID-19 Business Interruption claims.
Mark Killick, of the Hiscox Action Group Steering Committee, explained: “It is not right that a case like this is proceeding without policyholders having a voice and this intervention will address that. It is our members that are going out of business and they are entitled to be heard.”
As such the Hiscox Action Group has formally applied to intervene in the FCA insurance test case following the refusal of Hiscox to agree to an expedited arbitration process.
No Hiscox Action Group policyholders are currently represented in the FCA action and there is concern that the weaknesses of Hiscox’s position might lose visibility. There are seven other insurers and wordings involved in the case.
Partner Richard Leedham, the lawyer leading the claim on behalf of the group, added: “Hiscox has so far refused to agree to an expedited arbitration claim and pointed to the FCA case. This case is clearly becoming increasingly important and it is imperative that Hiscox Action Group members – who are some of the victims here – have a voice. This refusal to honour its own arbitration process has left the Hiscox Action Group with no choice but to seek to join the FCA action.“