Munira Wilson, MP for Twickenham, has called on insurance provider Hiscox to honour its obligations towards local businesses who have taken out insurance to cover situations such as the current pandemic.

This follows Hiscox refusing to pay out to Brasserie Bar Co, a business that is headquartered in Teddington and runs the popular King’s Head pub, despite the company having paid extra to secure cover for enforced closure due to infectious disease.

Munira wrote a letter to Hiscox, urging them in “the very strongest possible terms” to process local businesses’ claims to avoid putting livelihoods at risk in a time of national crisis.

Munira Wilson MP said:

“Local businesses such as Brasserie Bar Co have paid enhanced premiums in good faith for a policy that is quite clearly meant to cover situations such as the coronavirus pandemic, and they have been hung out to dry. It is unacceptable.”

Mark Derry, Executive Chairman at Brasserie Bar Co, said:

“While we recognise that some policies may well exclude pandemic cover, we strongly believe that ours quite clearly does not. This is something that we have paid for over several years and are therefore frustrated that Hiscox refuse to recognise the veracity of our claim.”

In a response to Munira’s letter to the Government that urged them to address unfair practices from insurance companies during the coronavirus, the Department for Business, Enterprise & Industrial Strategy said:

“…for those businesses which do have an appropriate policy that covers Government-ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government has been clear that its social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.”

Commenting on the Government’s response, Munira Wilson MP said:

“This response is not good enough for addressing the concerns of businesses in my constituency. It is clear insurance companies are not paying out even when they should be.

“I urge the government to bring much more pressure to bear on the industry as we all pull together as a country to play our part in dealing with this crisis.”

– from a Munira Wilson press release - 20 April 2020