Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

MSP Asks First Minister To Tackle Insurance Companies Who've Wriggled Out Of Their Obligations

6th May 2020

The First Minster is to ask the Scottish Government Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, to have direct discussion with the insurance sector about companies who are "wriggling out of their obligations" to Scottish businesses.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart, asked Nicola Sturgeon today at First Minister's Questions about the problems firms were having claiming their business interruption insurance.

He said: “The First Minister will be well aware that thousands of small business across Scotland, from hotels to hardware stores, are trying to claim on their insurance policies because of interruption of their trading caused by the lockdown.

“However, several insurers have been accused of wriggling out of their obligations which puts the future of many businesses at risk.

“Will the First Minister meet with insurance companies and spell out that leadership and social responsibility are crucial during the pandemic so that we can still have a functioning economy when the lockdown ends?”

Nicola Sturgeon replied: “I am very clear insurance companies, like everybody else who has a responsibility right now, should play fair and should understand the difficulties that businesses are having through no fault of their own.

“I send that message without equivocation. I think anyone trying to wriggle out of obligations right now is doing a disservice to the challenge that all of us are facing and dealing with.

“Certainly, I am happy to ask the Finance Secretary to have a more direct discussion with the insurance sector just to make sure there is an understanding and to makes sure there is nothing further that we can do to in terms of guidance to provide clarity about what people should be doing and how they should be acting.”

Afterwards Mr Stewart added: “I am grateful that the First Minister recognises the problem and hope that any discussion with the insurance section can bring home how devastating it is for companies who have had their claims for business interruption insurance turned down.

““Companies who can’t claim are at risk of going under sooner and that puts the whole local economy at risk.”

Last month Mr Stewart found widespread frustration and concern from Highlands and Islands firms over delays in accessing loans and a refusal to pay out on business interruption insurance.

The MSP wrote to business groups across his area asking if banks were making it harder to get business interruption loans and if insurers were refusing to pay out for claims on business interruption insurance policies.

Among those to respond to the MSP’s request, were Chambers of Commerce in Caithness, Moray, Lochaber and Mid-Argyll.

Last month, Moray Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Executive, Sarah Medcraf, told the MSP: “I have not come across one business who has been able to claim on their insurance for this”.

She went on to give examples of responses from insurance companies including:

“Unfortunately, there is no cover in place which would allow you to claim for this particular pandemic, sorry to be the bearer of bad news.”

“To clarify, COVID-19 is not covered under our standard Business Interruption policies and, as the chancellor said, you cannot retrospectively change insurance contracts at this time without threatening the future of the insurance industry.”

“Unfortunately, there’s no cover for this type of loss on your policy. You’re right, we’ve been busy with queries, worrying times. The only cover, Liability &/or Business Interruption, for a specified disease would be if the disease originated at your premises or within a five-mile radius.”

Trudy Morris, Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce said: "We are deeply concerned that even businesses who believed they had purchased appropriate insurance cover are not having success in making claims. We are finding that either businesses are being told they are not covered as COVID-19 was not named on their policy, or because it has not been confirmed on their premises.

"While we appreciate the pressures that the insurance industry will be facing at this time, it is disheartening that many businesses have paid a premium for this kind of cover only to discover that their claims are being denied. It is incumbent on the UK and Scottish Governments to work together to find a solution to this issue and ensure that businesses can survive this crisis."

Jane MacLeod, of Mid Argyll Chamber of Commerce, had also been made aware of many businesses unable to claim business interruption insurance.

She told Mr Stewart; “One local hotelier said ‘my policy, like many other businesses, states ‘Infectious Disease’ as a reason with the usual list. Plague is listed but it has to come from within the business and not outside in. If it came from inside I would have a personal liability in that I allowed it into the workforce.” The hotelier went on to say ‘Blatant avoidance’ “.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

27/8/2020
#protectnorthhighlands Launches Offering Free Test And Protect Solution Across Caithness And SutherlandThumbnail for article : #protectnorthhighlands Launches Offering Free Test And Protect Solution Across Caithness And Sutherland
Caithness Chamber of Commerce's new Test and Protect service, #ProtectNorthHighlands, goes live today (26 August) across Caithness and Sutherland.  Offering a simple, secure way for businesses to store customer data in line with Scottish Government's requirements for Test and Protect, the service is free to all businesses across the region thanks to the generous support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  
20/8/2020
Scottish Chamber of Commerce Respond To Scottish Government Gdp Statistics For Q2 2020
Commenting on the publication of Scottish Government GDP statistics for Q2 2020, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said: "The collapse in Scotland's GDP in the second quarter sets alarm bells ringing even if the fall was expected.  The 19.7% decline from April to June makes Scotland’s and the UK’s economies among the worst performing in Europe.  
20/8/2020
Caithness Chamber Of Commerce To Launch Free Test & Protect Service For North Highland Businesses
Caithness Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce that, thanks to the generous support of Highlands & Islands Enterprise, it will be launching a free, simple online service to allow hospitality businesses across the North Highlands to safely collect and store customer data in line with official guidelines to support the Scottish Government's Test & Protect Programme.   This new service, #ProtectNorthHighlands, will be launching on 26 August and will be free for any business in Caithness and Sutherland to access.  
5/2/2020
Sottish Chambers Of Commerce Reacts To Mixed Results Of Holyrood Rates Vote
Scottish Chambers of Commerce reacts to mixed results of Holyrood rates vote.   Whilst welcoming the Scottish Parliament's decision to retain the Uniform Business Rate, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) has urged the Scottish Parliament to reconsider what it believes is a major barrier to a more flexible, responsive rates system outside of the revaluation cycle following voting on the Non Domestic Rates Bill (Scotland) today.  
New Apprenticeship Hub to Support North Highland CommunitiesThumbnail for article : New Apprenticeship Hub to Support North Highland Communities
North Highland College UHI and Developing the Young Workforce North Highland (DYW) initiative, led by Caithness Chamber of Commerce, have signed a partnership agreement to formalise their new initiative, The Apprenticeship Hub.   The initiative aims to create a collaborative approach between North Highland College UHI and Developing the Young Workforce North Highland to support growth in the apprenticeship family to benefit the Caithness and Sutherland economy.  
22/2/2019
Brexit Business BreakfastThumbnail for article : Brexit Business Breakfast
The Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) for the North Highlands & Islands, hosted by Caithness Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting a business breakfast on 1 March 2019 at the Pentland Hotel, Thurso to update you on the latest around Brexit and what it means for businesses in the North Highlands.   As part of our Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) contract, the Caithness Chamber will be hosting a business breakfast on 1 March 2019 at the Pentland Hotel, Thurso to update you on the latest around Brexit and what it means for businesses in the North Highlands.  
22/2/2019
Brexit Drop-in Sessions - To Find Out About Your Citizen StatusThumbnail for article : Brexit Drop-in Sessions - To Find Out About Your Citizen Status
Questions about Brexit? Citizens' rights and settled status? Drop in and talk to the Europe Direct Information Centre team who will be available to answer your questions and offer guidance on where to find reliable, up to date information.   Sessions in Thurso and Wick..  
16/3/2018
Developing The Young Workforce - Caithness Chamber Of CommerceThumbnail for article : Developing The Young Workforce - Caithness Chamber Of Commerce
The Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) initiative was established following the report by The Commission for Developing the Young Workforce, led by Sir Ian Wood, which agreed that all of our young people are entitled to an education relevant to the world of work.   Regional groups have been created across the country to lead and support the development of Scotland's Young People identifying issues of skills gaps and youth unemployment.  
5/5/2016
Reaching customers overseas - Caithness event
Local business support organisations in Caithness are coming together on Thursday 12th May 2016 in Thurso to host an event as part of an ongoing initiative to help local businesses find out about, and harness, the support available to do business overseas.   Entitled ‘Reaching Customers Overseas', the event will take place at Caithness Horizons between 1-4pm.  
13/2/2016
Business Support and Mentoring ProgrammeThumbnail for article : Business Support and Mentoring Programme
Through a project jointly funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), Caithness Chamber of Commerce is offering business support and mentoring aimed at aspiring businesses in the Caithness & North Sutherland area.   If you are considering setting up your own business (either full time or part time), then the Chamber is able to offer guidance and support in areas such as:· · Business planning and writing business plans · Employment responsibilities · Establishing and registering a business · Intellectual property / trademarks · Market research · Marketing and sales This project is open to those looking to start up as a new business or those who have started a business which is less than 6 months old.