UMIH takes action against French insurers to safeguard the sector
The COVID-19 crisis severely impacted our sector, threatening the solvency of UMIH‘s members and, through them, the economic fabric. UMIH feels that French insurers repeatedly failed companies in the sector at a moment when hospitality professionals needed them the most by refusing to cover for business interruption insurance, and imposing a change in termination policies.
Given the circumstances, the French association decided to react and took two relevant decisions.
On 20 November 2020, UMIH launched a dispute management platform: a unique and innovative tool available to all professionals which they created to give UMIH’s members a chance to take action against insurers who unduly refuse to cover for their business interruptions insurance when included in their insurance policy. This two-phase digital platform combines the analysis of insurance policies by our team and a legal action lead by partner lawyers. As of today, 2200 professionals, members and non-members (70% restaurants) used this platform: among them, 1600 filled up a request to have their insurance policies analyzed. Already 300 files were declared eligible and 180 letters of formal notice have been sent.
Moreover, UMIH worked on an ambitious project to create two new insurance products that were launched in November 2020 and February 2021. Last but not least, UMIH is negotiating the development of an insurance scheme for exceptional disasters which will cover future business interruptions.
So far, 30 cases against insurers were successfully brought to justice since the first one in France. The latest court decisions are the following:
- Commercial court of Caen, 6 January 2021 – the insurer was sentenced to pay over €150,000 in compensation;
- Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence, 25 February 2021 – the insurer was sentenced to pay approximately €40,000 in compensation.