Insurers take a dive – FCA referee gives them the yellow card
The FCA hearing about Business Interruption insurance claims is this week 16th -20th. You can see the minute detail of what is being appealed here. Insurers took a metaphorical “dive” when Covid arrived. The FCA have given them the yellow card. Only policyholders can give them the red card.
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It was interesting to see the article about Royal Sun Alliance being subject to a takeover last week. It didn’t mention the fact the company had, partway through the FCA legal case, decided to pay Covid claims. Insurers will try to sweep this whole “we’re not paying” issue under the carpet. So we have to show them the red card to ensure they do not get away with it.
The FCA have already told insurers that “in the light of the upcoming decision”, they should review whether their products are “Fit for purpose”. I hope policyholders are going to check if their insurance supplier is too. If they have tried to delay payments in this scenario, they might not be fit for their policyholders purposes. Policyholders can show them the Red card by registering their displeasure and voting with their feet.
The behaviour of insurers has made me feel uneasy.
It’s been difficult to express how bad this feels yet I think I have cracked it. You may not know that I played amateur football before my discs started herniating. First things first, turn off any unconscious bias that just cropped up about football, believe me, there is plenty of bias about “The Beautiful” game, yet I love it because it has given me so much.
Sadly, over the last few years “diving” worked it’s way into the professional game in the UK. It is a form of seeking an unfair advantage and considered ungentlemanly. It’s insidious and it changes results for the paying public.
When non football people see this, it used to be highlighted when it happened, it was easy to think that all footballers cheat. Understandably. That is not the case and I was pleased that it never really made its way into the amateur game.
When people dive in the amateur game, they are laughed at, literally. Even by their own team mates. The referees fine them with a yellow card and they learn their lesson. I haven’t seen anyone get a red card for 2 dives. If a team mate dived, banter ensued in order to encourage a change in their behaviour. No-one wanted to be known as a team that dived. Yet most professional teams copy this act so as to level their playing field. Like so many insurers copied the first that said “we don’t cover Covid”. It is saddening.
All insurers know that it would be exceedingly “unhelpful” to deduct grants from insurance claim settlements so they should sign up to an agreement not to deduct them. We are supposed to be helping each other out at times like these. Insurers are stitching up their own customers and taxpayers in one fell swoop.
No-one wants their hard earned tax lining an insurers pocket or boosting insurers profits. One to write to your MP about, if you like that sort of thing.
Insurers will have to pay claims.
The dive that insurers have taken has left the UK Public with the impression that insurers do not pay out. This is a horrible outcome, especially if you believe me when I write that insurers love it when this happens. Luckily, and it is luck, the FCA have referee’d this situation and taken them to task.
Not everyone is going to benefit from this because most policies don’t cover business interruption if there is no damage. Yet every policyholder can check again once the results of the case are known. Insurers should notify their policyholders by, roughly, December 4th.
Contact us, if you have not already, if you want us to check yours.
Not all insurance people like their employers refusal to assist or attempts to deduct grants. Their company’s may ask them to do it, yet most of them do not do so willingly. It’s been hard for people in claims departments. They want to do their job, hopefully, the verdict will allow them to.
Top Tips – 3 of them this time, for when the case closes
- If you think you have cover for business interruption after being closed down get ready to contact your insurer after 20th. They may not have enough people in their claims departments if there’s an avalanche. Get your place in the queue.
- Do not accept a weak offer to settle meanwhile. It may have to be revised as soon as the hearing is concluded. However, persuading people to accept lower offers, especially if insurers or loss adjusters indicate it is the only offer they will get, is against the wishes of the FCA.
- Make a complaint if they have delayed your payment. Complaints are one of the measures the regulators look at. You must make a complaint if you are unhappy with the outcome of a claim.
The real custodians of the beautiful game are typically amateurs at grass roots level, not the FA where too many people can make money out of the game without loving it, treasuring it or making it accessible for all. The real custodians of insurance have to step up now and set examples where they are needed.