French insurance company AXA agrees to pay for restaurant losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic
A French multinational insurance company agreed on Tuesday that it would respond to the bulk of claims for service interruption by restaurant owners in France after losing a lawsuit that was considered a potential precedent for litigation related to coronaviruses across the country. world.
A Paris court ruled last week that AXA, the largest French insurance group, should pay the restaurateur two months of lost revenue due to the virus pandemic. Insurers argued that his policy did not cover the business disruption caused by the health crisis.
Stéphane Manigold, owner of four Parisian restaurants who has brought an action against the French insurer, has received calls from Great Britain, South Africa, Spain and the United States since the court decision , asking him for details about his contract and the court decision.
“This decision in Paris has a global resonance,” he said.
In Britain, the financial regulator has also turned to the courts to try to find out if insurers should pay coronavirus claims to small businesses.
AXA has said it will appeal the Paris decision, but CEO Thomas Buberl said on Tuesday that the company is looking for an amicable solution and plans to respond to most of the claims from restaurateurs whose contracts contained some ambiguity.
“These contracts represent less than 10% of the total contracts with restaurateurs and I am confident that we will find a solution,” said Buberl.
“We want to compensate for a substantial part of these contracts, we want to do it quickly.”
AXA also announced that it will provide an additional 500 million euros in aid to small businesses, in addition to the 1.7 billion euros already announced by French insurers to invest.
“The idea is clearly to strengthen companies that have been weakened by this crisis,” said Buberl.