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    HSX   BMG4593F1389

HISCOX LTD

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Insurers should pay UK businesses over 'cataclysmic' pandemic, court hears

07/20/2020 | 12:37pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: High Court in London

Some of the world's biggest insurers are wrong to deny a payout to hundreds of thousands of small British businesses, battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the London High Court was told on Monday.

Britain's markets watchdog has taken eight insurers, including Hiscox, RSA, QBE and Zurich, to court.

The businesses, from restaurants to leisure groups, said they faced ruin after insurers rejected their attempts to claim millions of pounds collectively in compensation for lost business.

Colin Edelman, a lawyer representing the Financial Conduct Authority, told the court on the first day of an eight-day hearing that the 17 policy wordings under scrutiny in the case were similar to wordings used by more than 60 insurers in total. Around 370,000 policyholders could be affected, he said.

The FCA says the pandemic should trigger payments under the policies, which provide cover when insured premises cannot be used because of restrictions imposed by a public authority and in the event of a notifiable disease.

The insurers say the policies covered local incidents, rather than a pandemic and national lockdown.

"They're not to be protected from the fact that a cataclysmic event has happened. That's just bad luck being an insurer," Edelman said.

The FCA, which is concerned customers should be treated fairly, said in its skeleton argument published last week that the policyholders in the case were "generally not sophisticated or well-resourced insurance buyers".

The hearing is due to conclude on July 30.

(Editing by Kirstin Ridley and Barbara Lewis)

By Carolyn Cohn


ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
HISCOX LTD -2.10% 849.8 Delayed Quote.-14.51%
QBE INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED 1.74% 11.7 End-of-day quote.37.16%
RSA INSURANCE GROUP 0.00%End-of-day quote.1.00%
ZURICH INSURANCE GROUP LTD -0.80% 385.1 Delayed Quote.3.11%
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Financials
Sales 2021 3 125 M 4 272 M 4 272 M
Net income 2021 164 M 224 M 224 M
Net Debt 2021 - - -
P/E ratio 2021 18,0x
Yield 2021 3,01%
Capitalization 2 944 M 4 025 M 4 025 M
Capi. / Sales 2021 0,94x
Capi. / Sales 2022 0,87x
Nbr of Employees 3 000
Free-Float 96,3%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 17
Last Close Price 849,80 GBX
Average target price 992,32 GBX
Spread / Average Target 16,8%
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Managers and Directors
Bronislaw Edmund Masojada Group Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Hamayou Akbar Hussain Group Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Robert Simon Childs Non-Executive Chairman
Ian Penny Chief Information Officer
James Edward Millard Chief Investment Officer
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