Radio extract on Sud Radio:
All companies in France have insurance that covers them against the usual risks such as fire, theft and weather. From now on, in a large part of these contracts, there is a guarantee against operating losses, which is equal to the amount of the gross margin lost when the activity decreases or ceases.
There has been a lot of communication from insurers in recent months about the fact that operating losses related to the covid-2019 crisis were not covered. But this is not always true: there are two cases. On the one hand, there are contracts in which business interruption is covered even when there is no material damage due to fire or theft, for example. On the other hand, there are contracts which exclude reimbursement on the face of it but whose exclusions are invalid because of the way they are drafted. However, in French law, when the contract is unclear or the exclusions are null and void, this benefits the insured, i.e. the company.
Compensation for operating losses amounted to EUR 1.5 million for a household appliance distribution store which suffered a sort of collapse on its premises and had a turnover of EUR 12 million the previous year and EUR 2 million the following year.
A plastics company with a turnover of €8.5 million, which has to close down for three months due to administrative closure, was reimbursed €3 million.
Some insurers have started to fight publicly among themselves because some have tried to communicate to their policyholders by explaining that the contract excludes the consequences of Covid-19 but that as a commercial gesture, an indemnity of x thousand euros would be offered to them. The insurers themselves accused the other insurers, explaining that they were doing this in order to reduce their risks because their contracts were flawed. The insurers themselves quantified the risk if all the operating losses were covered by them at 60 billion euros. That is the totality of the equity capital of insurance companies in France today. These reimbursements could concern a not insignificant percentage of companies.
Jérôme Goy advises policyholders not to sign anything without talking to their lawyer or an expert and to study his contract with them carefully.