Guardrisk fights back against business interruption ruling – court appeal

Guardrisk media statement: 

The devastation that the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown regulations have and continue to wreak on us as a society is unprecedented. The extraordinary scale of the economic fallout in South Africa resulting from this, has reaffirmed that we, as Guardrisk, have an important role to play in helping people to navigate through this difficult time. As such, we have been exploring avenues to provide support to businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. We are continuing this process to implement measures of support and we will communicate these to our policyholders as soon as possible.

In the recent judgment released by the Western Cape Division of the High Court on 6 July 2020, the court found in favour of Café Chameleon CC relating to the interpretation of the terms of a business interruption (BI) policy in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The issues that we, and the broader insurance industry, are grappling with, as highlighted by the court proceedings, are not confined to Guardrisk, or even to South Africa, as is evident by the extent of litigation around the same issues currently occurring in the USA, UK, Europe, and Australia. After careful consideration, we have decided to approach the court for leave to appeal the judgment. It is important that we do so in order to obtain certainty for the industry, our business and for our policyholders going forward.

We are in continuous consultation with the relevant authorities to ensure that we deal with claimants and all policyholders fairly. This appeal process is likely to be lengthy and as stated, Guardrisk is committed, via HIC, our appointed underwriting manager and its brokers, to implement relief measures that will enable policyholders to weather this challenging time.

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