On September 15, 2020, the UK’s High Court issued its highly-anticipated ruling on the “test case” for COVID-19 business interruption insurance coverage. The case was brought by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on behalf of several policyholders – many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – to determine how the Court would rule on several different policy wordings for business interruption insurance in relation to losses arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The High Court was presented with 21 different “lead” policy wordings and asked to rule on whether each provided coverage under the facts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The case was defended by eight insurers whose policies contained one or more of the representative wordings: Arch Insurance (UK) Limited, Argenta Syndicate Management Limited, Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc, Hiscox Insurance Company Limited, MS Amlin Underwriting Limited, QBE UK Limited, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc, and Zurich Insurance plc.
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