Survey shows that less than 1% of businesses have successfully claimed on interruption insurance

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UKHospitality survey shows that less than 1% of businesses have successfully claimed on interruption insurance during Coronavirus crisis

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Fewer than 1% of hospitality businesses have successfully managed to claim on their business interruption insurance according to an industry survey carried out by trade body UKHospitality.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of businesses say they have claimed, or intend to claim for business interruption insurance.

However, UKHospitality says the results of its research suggest their chances of receiving a payout appear limited.

The survey, which analyses the responses of 378 restaurateurs and operators from across the sector, also reveals the struggles businesses are facing trying to access the respective loan and grant schemes introduced by the Government to help businesses navigate the Coronavirus crisis. 

UKHospitality says the results highlight the flaws in the level of support provided to hospitality businesses during the pandemic so far.

Just under half (48%) of businesses say they have applied for a loan under the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, with 57% of those receiving a response saying they have had their bids turned down. 

Government-imposed State Aid rules account for over a quarter (26%) of rejections, alongside banks telling business to exhaust their own capital first (28%).

Meanwhile, as of mid-April only 25% of eligible businesses said they had received a payout under the Government’s Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme.

Under the scheme, businesses with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000; while those with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

“These findings lay bare the extra work that needs to be done by governments, banks and landlords to make sure as many businesses as possible can survive this crisis,” says UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls. 

“Hospitality was the first hit, the hardest hit and will suffer for the longest, and Government support needs to reflect these facts. Hospitality businesses will be key to recovery as prolific employers, major tax contributors, and hubs for social interaction.

“Governments across the UK have provided unprecedented support to assist hospitality through this crisis, and that is extremely welcome. Yet, we are in this for the long haul. 

“Everyone is rightly looking to how the economy and the industry restarts in a way that avoids a return of this horrific pandemic. Before we get to recovery, we need to make sure that the support measures already announced are getting through to business.”

The ongoing struggle faced by operators in trying to claim on their business interruption insurance has led Black and White Hospitality legal director Rob Atkinson to launch a crowdfund campaign​ to fund support and possible legal action against insurers who are refusing to payout.

Billed as a campaign by hospitality, for hospitality, the crowdfund is supported by UKHospitality alongside both the Best Western, and Vine Hotels groups.

Business that wish to have their specific policy reviewed are asked to make a donation of £200 to the fund. Businesses, or anyone with an interest in hospitality, that wish to support the campaign generally are asked to donate whatever they can afford.

The donated funds will be held by a legal-specific, fully-regulated crowd fund page called CrowdJustice and any surplus funds generated will be donated to charity.

The crowdfunding page can be found at here​. 

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