Insurers Should Respond To Long-Standing Clients’ COVID Claims With Flexibility

 Friday, September 4, 2020

 Insurance Business

The economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis has been an unprecedented challenge for the insurance industry, with its devastating effect on numerous businesses causing a surge in business interruptions.

According to Julia Graham, deputy CEO and technical director of UK risk management organization Airmic, the insurance sector’s response to COVID-19 has been underwhelming from the client’s perspective.

“The experience of our membership suggests the industry’s response to claims has too often been inflexible and driven by near-sighted profit,” Graham told Corporate Risk and Insurance. “In too many cases, long-standing business clients have been treated with a one-size-fits-all rigidity.”

Graham acknowledged that insurers should not be forced to pay out where pandemic cover was clearly not intended in the wording of a business interruption policy. However, reality isn’t that clear-cut.

“Often there is ambiguity, poorly written or badly communicated contracts,” she said. “In these cases, insurers do have choices to make. They can either interpret ambiguous contract wordings with their balance sheet in mind, or they can act as partners to long-standing customers who seek business protection — this means responding to claims with fairness, flexibility and clear communication.”
Risk Management