The First Instance Judgment
The trial of the test case in the High Court commenced on 20th July 2020 and lasted 8 days. The Court examined 21 representative sample policy wordings issued by 8 different insurers. A decision by Lord Justice Flaux and Mr Justice Butcher of the High Court (also referred to as the 'the first instance judgment') was delivered on Tuesday 15th September 2020.
A copy of the judgment can be found on the FCA website, here.
Although Chubb is not a named party in the test case, it supports the FCA’s aim to achieve clarity for all concerned in this unprecedented situation.
Potential to Appeal
The parties to the test case will now have time to consider the judgment and determine whether they would like to appeal it in part or in whole.
Any applications to appeal the decision will be heard at a further 'consequentials' hearing before the High Court. The date of this hearing has yet to be determined. The parties to the test case have agreed that they will seek to have any appeal heard on an expedited basis, given the importance of the matter for so many policyholders.
What the judgment means for policyholders
In line with the FCA's Guidance, insurers are required to promptly assess all outstanding claims and reassess all rejected claims and complaints following the final resolution of the test case. The 'final resolution' of the test case occurs when the Court has determined the questions in the test case after all rights of appeal have been concluded. It is currently unknown whether the parties will appeal the first instance judgment.
Chubb is contacting all policyholders who have made claims under policies that may be affected by the test case in accordance with the FCA's guidance.
Information about the test case can be found on the FCA website and information concerning business interruption insurance can be found on the Financial Ombudsman Service website. We recommend that all policyholders subscribe for FCA email alerts about the test case so that they are kept fully up to date on the progress of the case. Policyholders can sign up for FCA business interruption insurance email updates, here.