Monday, 25 May 2020

Business asks MPs for help with virus insurance claim

Business asks MPs for help with virus insurance claim

A FAMILY business which has been running for more than 50 years is calling on help from politicians to help fight a refused insurance claim.

Marc Antoni, which has hairdressing salons in Henley and Caversham, applied to Hiscox to help cover running costs during the coronavirus crisis.

Despite one of the areas of their business interruption cover being “human disease” they were told the claim was unsuccessful.

Around 60 staff have been furloughed, but the six company directors will not receive any money this way, as they are paid on dividends.

Following the rejection from Hiscox, director Julie Giamattei has written to Theresa May, MP for Maidenhead, and Matt Rodda, the MP for Reading East, for support.

She said: “We have applied for the grants, the rates relief for all five of our salons and have been told to apply for a £300,000 loan in order to pay all our running costs, rent rates etc.

“I have written to all our landlords and a couple have come back to me and said we have to pay service charge and we can pay the rent monthly.

“This is not good if we have no money coming in. Our only hope of help was our insurance company, who I have been in contact with since March 4, trying to finf out the ‘what if’ scenarios, so we could be prepared.

“Can you please help us fight our insurance company Hiscox. I spoke with...Hiscox, who informed me of their decision that we will not be covered, even though our policy clearly states human disease.”

The company was started by her father-in-law, Bruno Giamattei. His four sons have been running the business for nearly 40 years and many other family members now work for Marc Antoni.

The other salons are in Bracknell, Fleet and Woodley.

The rejection letter from Hiscox reads: “We understand the unprecedented challenges facing your business, indeed every business, as a result of the actions the Government is taking to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

“At Hiscox, we strive to pay claims that are covered by the policies we issue fairly and quickly. Unfortunately, the loss for which you have claimed is not covered by your Hiscox poicy. We understand this will be disappointing for you, so we want to explain in clearly.

“Your business interruption cover is provided as part of your property insurance. The coronavirus pandemic itself and the different Government measures taken to mitigate its impact do no involve insured damge to the property that is covered under the policy.

“The Government undersand that many businesses do not have cover for this type of event and as a result it has announced extensive help and support for businesses who are facing a difficult situation as a result of the steps it has taken.”

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