Marc Antoni Fighting for Survival After Business Insurance Claim Rejected

Like many organisations, Marc Antoni hairdressers looked to their business insurance to claim against the loss of revenue because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They have had their claim rejected for this by their insurers Hiscox even though the insurance policy includes a clause which states “inability to use the salon due to the restrictions imposed by the public authority during the period of insurance following an occurrence of a human disease.”

An email from Hiscox, confirming the refusal of the claim, states that “The Public Authority cover is narrower and only triggered following certain specific occurrences, all of which must happen either in the vicinity of or at the insured premises.  The restrictions the Government has imposed are part of its national response to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, they were not issued following or in response to ‘an occurrence’ at your or any specific location, placing them outside the scope of the policy.”

The Financial Conduct Authority wrote to insurance companies on 15 April saying, “Insurers and brokers have an essential role to play in supporting their customers who maybe unclear whether they have appropriate cover in place.  Clear, accurate and timely communication is crucial, which we expect firms to deliver.  The FCA is collecting information from firms in order to asses how they are interpreting policies.  For policies where it is clear that the firm has an obligation to pay out on a policy it is important that claims are assessed and settled quickly.” If not, insurers must tell the FCA how they reached the decision and how it is “a fair outcome for customers”.  They have set up a small business unit to gather “intelligence about the treatment of small businesses by financial services firms during the crisis and ensuring a co-ordinated response by the FCA to any issues identified.”

Marc Antoni’s insurance policy has Business Interruption cover of £100,000 at each of their 5 salons.  Their annual insurance premiums including building insurance for the Henley one in Hart Street was around £4,200 which was renewed in November 2019.  They have been a Hiscox insurance policyholder for about 10 years and the insurance was brought through Direct Business Insurance.

Julie Giamattei, Director at Marc Antoni said, “Our insurance broker, who has 45 years experience, has said he will now fight this refusal.  We have written to our MP Theresa May asking for her help with this too.  We have furloughed our 60 members of staff and have applied for grants but this won’t help with paying our Directors or our rent, rates etc.  It has been suggested that we take out a loan to cover our costs but we don’t want to get into a large debt.  We want to highlight this to other businesses who are in the same scenario and we will fight to save our business and get what we deserve.”

Ann Manning from ManningUK, our news sponsor commented, “The Government is reviewing the situation and therefore the stance insurers are taking may change but at the moment this is the current situation.”