In a combined judgment in seven actions handed down on Friday 26th January 2024, Jacobs J considered coverage and related issues in claims for Covid-19 business interruption loss on non-damage denial of access clauses in various commercial insurance policies. Charles Dougherty KC and Timothy Killen appeared for Allianz PLC in the International Entertainment Holdings action, which raised issues including the meaning of the word “incident”, “policing authority” and the application of limits. Jacobs J found that a case of Covid-19 did not amount to an “incident”, and that central government or the Secretary of State for Health could not be a “policing authority”, thereby holding that there was no cover under the policy, and dismissing the claim. Had there been cover, Jacobs J found that policyholders with multiple premises would have been entitled to a limit of indemnity per premises.
Jacobs J has given policyholders permission to appeal his conclusions in relation to “incident” and “policing authority”, and insurers permission to cross appeal on the question of limits and the relevance of knowledge to causation.
A link to the judgment can be found here:
Charles Dougherty KC and Timothy Killen acted for Allianz PLC, instructed by a team at DAC Beachcroft LLP led by James Deacon.