Following a recent Supreme Court ruling, Douglas Melville, the Channel Islands’ financial ombudsman, said people should contact their brokers and insurers and, if necessary, his office to assess claims. they felt the virus had destroyed their livelihoods. He urged Islanders not to be afraid to challenge decisions if an application is denied.
The judgment, which largely favored the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, found that a number of insurers had unfairly denied commercial insurance claims filed due to Covid-19.
Mr Melville said the judgment will help his team in their work, but the first step is for Jersey businesses to follow up on any potential claims they may have.
“How many companies are there in total? How many of them have policies? How many put the claim against the politicians? ‘ he said.
“How many of them don’t even know they have this particular type of insurance as part of their overall insurance package? There are a lot of unknowns here for all of us.
“But until people take action, we can’t help. The first step for us, of course, is to make sure they talk to their brokers and their insurer and file a claim if they have this insurance policy.
“If we tell them no and it’s dismissed, then all of a sudden it’s up to us to be able to look at it as a complaint.”
He added that the recent UK ruling set precedents that his team can now use to analyze claims in detail.
“What they will get from us is an impartial expert who examines their request with a view to making a fair and reasonable decision. And it’s not always in favor of the consumer, ”he said.
“If you look at the statistics, historically we are not a defender of either party. We are an impartial arbiter of what would be fair in the circumstances.
“What is happening in the UK is wonderfully helpful to us as they look at the complexity and take into account all the different policies of different insurers when it comes to the effect of Covid on local businesses.”
Mr. Melville’s views were echoed by Nick Steel, Industrial Development Manager at Jersey Business.
He said: “With everything we’ve been through over the past couple of months and of course the Supreme Court ruling, this would be a good time to really encourage so many people in Jersey and businesses to come back. and talk to their brokers and their insurers and see how they can make claims and see where they are now that things have changed.