A negotiation marathon begins at the Munich II Regional Court: numerous landlords have sued Allianz. The insurance company does not pay for the corona-related closure.
Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen – “Because anyone who insures Allianz is fully covered,” a singer once trilled in a commercial for the insurance company. But in times of the corona pandemic, advertising promises and reality are not always congruent. Georg Lichtenegger and Bernhard Haindl, among others, have had this experience. The hosts of the Klosterbräustüberl on Reutberg had taken out so-called business closure insurance long before the outbreak of the coronavirus. This insurance, which is common in the catering and food processing industries, is liable for damage that occurs when authorities close businesses to prevent the spread of notifiable diseases.
But when the Klosterbräu hosts reported the damage to their insurance company in the first lockdown, they experienced a nasty surprise: Allianz refuses to pay. It’s about 250 950 euros that the restaurateurs claim on the basis of the insurance policy.
Some innkeepers accepted Allianz’s 15 percent offer. Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs had negotiated this aid.
Instead, Allianz offers them – like all of their other policyholders – to pay 15 percent of the maximum amount agreed in the policy. This offer was the result of negotiations between the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Hotel and Restaurant Association and several insurance companies in April 2020. Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters) initiated the meeting to support the catering industry, which was particularly hard hit by Corona – independently of specific individual cases.
To fob off customers like that is a cheek ”
“We were able to provide the hotel and catering businesses concerned with liquidity quickly and easily without recognizing any legal obligation – without bureaucratic obstacles,” emphasizes Allianz spokesman Christian Weishuber. “More than 77 percent of Allianz customers have accepted this aid so far.” The landlords from Reutberg, however, reject the offer. “To fob off customers like that is a cheek,” says Lichtenegger. Only those restaurateurs would have been satisfied with the 15 percent who had their backs to the wall and needed money immediately. “We didn’t want to be cleared like this.” On March 1st, the Munich II district court hears the dispute between the Reutberg hosts and Allianz.
Covid-19 is not listed and is therefore not insured in our opinion “
“The central question is how the average policyholder understands the terms of the contract,” explains the Munich specialist lawyer for insurance law, Markus Goltzsch, who represents the Reutberg hosts. Goltzsch quotes from the landlords’ insurance contract with Allianz: “The insurance offers compensation if the competent authority closes the insured business due to the Infection Protection Act when a reportable disease or pathogens occur to prevent the spread of reportable diseases or pathogens.” Goltzsch means who read that, assume extensive insurance coverage.
However, an extensive list of reportable diseases is also part of the insurance contract. It names all diseases listed in the Infection Protection Act, if the occurrence of which the insurance is liable: from cholera to tuberculosis and botulism to rabies. Corona is not mentioned, after all, the virus was still unknown at the time the contract was signed and – unlike today – not listed in the Infection Protection Act. For Allianz it is clear: “Covid-19 is not listed and therefore not insured in our opinion,” said Allianz spokesman Weishuber to our newspaper.
The amounts in dispute are between 5,000 and 770,000 euros
The Reutberg hosts are by no means the only restaurateurs who have taken legal action: Almost 30 proceedings for company closings are pending at the Munich Regional Court, specifically at the 10th Civil Chamber. According to court spokeswoman Ulrike Fürst “a total of 3.45 million euros have been sued”. The amounts in dispute range from 5,130 to 770,000 euros.
The Guggenbichler family’s lawsuit, who run the Klosterschänke in Dietramszell, will already be heard this Wednesday. It’s about 83,000 euros. “We only insured a closure for 30 days, which is why the sum is not that high. Nevertheless, it would be very important to us, ”says Florian Guggenbichler. Also on the long list of plaintiffs is the Gasthaus zum Fischmeister, the “Bierbichler” in Ambach (Münsing municipality). The operators are demanding 102,000 euros from their liability insurance. The trial date is June 10 this year.
As reported, the Munich Regional Court had already dealt with such lawsuits in the past. A prominent example is the dispute between Nockherberg host Christian Schottenhamel and Allianz, which ended in an out-of-court settlement last autumn. Carl-Christian Eick / Bettina Stuhlweissenburg
Also read: This is how hosts deal with the lockdown.