Waiter with a mask

Bars and restaurants have been closed in many countries to slow the spread of the corona virus.

(Photo: Bloomberg)

Paris The French industry giant AXA has suffered a defeat in the dispute over business closure insurance for hotels and restaurants in the corona crisis. A commercial court awarded the operator of four restaurants in Paris compensation for lost sales for two months, as his lawyer said on Friday.

The restaurateur Stephane Manigold sued Axa after the French government closed bars and restaurants in mid-March to slow the spread of the corona virus. “This is a victory for everyone,” he told Reuters.

The ruling could lead to a wave of lawsuits against those insurance companies that do not want to cover the loss of revenue in the catering sector in the corona crisis. Axa shares fell 0.8 percent.

In Germany, too, the dispute arises over the question of whether insurers have to vouch for business closure policies. Many restaurateurs and hoteliers who expected compensation for their damage had been disappointed.

The insurers are of the opinion that they do not have to pay because the policies relate to the outbreak of an infection in the respective restaurant and not to precautionary measures by the authorities. The virus that triggers the lung disease Covid-19 was also not yet known when the contracts were signed.

In Bavaria, some insurers – led by Allianz – had reached a compromise on the mediation of the state government with the hotel and restaurant association, after which they would pay 15 percent of the damage.

For many innkeepers this is not enough. The BaFin financial regulator called on the industry to provide goodwill solutions to avoid expensive processes. Many contracts are unclear or misleading.

More: Corona crisis could cost insurance industry more than $ 200 billion.

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