Canmore company files $ 180 million class action lawsuit against Lloyd’s for denying pandemic coverage

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A Canmore vacation rental company is suing its insurance company for “wrongly denying” coverage for pandemic losses in a proposed $ 180 million class action lawsuit.Representative Plaintiffs, Wataga Properties, a Calgary-headquartered property management company, claims Lloyd’s Underwriters violated the policy.

“These companies have purchased insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances, just like the COVID-19 pandemic. They should be able to count on this disaster insurance, ”said lawyer Mathew Farrell.

The statement was filed at the Calgary Courts Center. A defense has not yet been filed. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The Guardian Law Group says Wataga has so far been the only company involved in the lawsuit, but expects other companies to come forward.

‘Peace of mind’

The policy “was intended to provide peace of mind for owners,” argues the claim.

COVID-19 and the resulting orders closing borders, businesses and restricting travel have had a significant impact on Wagata’s rental business, particularly between March and May, according to the court document.

Wataga, who owns five properties in and around Canmore, has requested payment for its rental income coverage, but says Lloyd’s refused.

The business was insured under Lloyd’s “all-risk” commercial insurance policy, which provided coverage in the event of business interruption or loss of rental income.

The claim argues that there is nothing in the insurance policy that excludes coverage for losses related to the pandemic.

Claim Not “Direct Physical Loss or Damage,” Lloyd’s Says

In July, Wataga received correspondence from Lloyd’s advising that the company’s claim “must result from an order from the civil authority which prohibits access to insured property due to direct physical loss or damage. . ”

But Wataga’s lawyer argues the pandemic is physical due to the virus’s ability to spread physically.

“Just because you can’t see it doesn’t make it less real or less physical,” Farrell said.

Wataga and other potential members of the group understood that Lloyd’s would protect them from loss of rental income “due to fortuitous or unforeseen events that were beyond their control,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit must still be certified as a class action suit and Wataga must be approved as a representative plaintiff.

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