Companies hit by the sanctions due to the Russian-Ukrainian war: it is unlikely that the exclusion of insurance policies is valid. Which claim to declare?


Insurance policies covering business interruption sometimes include coverage for loss due to political sanctions.

To protect against this new risk, which comes after the Covid-19 pandemic, insurers have started to explore the generalization of standard exclusion clauses: the London insurance market has already published models of war risk exclusion clauses, along with other players, in order to create a “market exclusion”.

The drafting of such exclusion clauses is often flawed, which makes them void according to French law. In any event, they must not concern potential claims, current or prior to the introduction of the clause. Insurers may be tempted to insert a retroactive clause in the insurance contract but French law would still consider it void.

The current war market clause is in fact old and unsuited to the current situation, and therefore possibly inapplicable.

The willingness of insurers to include new clauses is a further indication that current policies cover losses arising from the war in Eastern Europe and the sanctions against Russia.

During the Covid-19 crisis, the global insurance industry reacted in the same way by introducing a “Covid 19 market exclusion”, so it is important to prepare a clear and precise statement of claim to your insurer now.