This is a very brief overview of very recent developments and is most definitely not an analysis of the arguments raised earlier this month before the Supreme Court, other than by way of a reminder that:
- the competing arguments of the parties – the FCA and the interested insurers – focus on the question of whether or not the range of representative business interruption (BI) wordings provide indemnity for operating losses sustained by policyholders during the first ‘lockdown’ of 2020, and
- the decision at first instance examined this by grouping the relevant clauses into three broad types – disease clauses, prevention of access clauses and hybrid clauses – interpreting each in its context, dealing with causation, prevalence of Covid-19, counterfactuals and with the effect on claims adjustment of so-called ‘trends’ clauses.
The decision in Swift earlier in the month significantly changes how this head of loss is assessed in catastrophic injury cases. In the ten days since the judgment was delivered, there have been (virtual) acres of technical commentary and various on-line briefings have been held, including two that we facilitated and including our spreadsheet (attached at the end of this blog) which performs the new calculation.
The purpose of this blog is therefore neither to provide an in-depth analysis of the decision nor to offer a ‘how to’ guide to the new approach – however, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Andrew Hibbert or me if we can help with that – but rather to draw out core points, below, which have become a good deal clearer after considered reflection on the outcome.
This blog looks in brief at three cases in which the Supreme Court has decided on applications for permission to appeal. One concerns reinsurance recoveries following mesothelioma claims, another the alleged misuse of personal data by Google and the third deals with liability for uninsured off road driving.