U.K. Pub Giant Launches Billion-Dollar Suit Over Covid Insurance

Britain’s largest pub group, Stonegate Pub Group Co., sued three insurers for 846 million pounds ($1.2 billion) over losses it suffered after bing forced to shut during the coronavirus pandemic

Owned by TDR Capital, the company filed a suit against MS Amlin Ltd, Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE and Zurich Insurance Plc, according to a U.K. court filing. The insurers said that parts of their policies have been triggered, but that their liability is capped at 17.5 million pounds, most of which has been paid out already, according to Stonegate’s claim form.

Stonegate has been battered by repeated U.K. lockdowns forcing them to temporarily close all 760 of its pubs, bars and restaurants. It owns popular chains including Slug & Lettuce and Be at One. Government restrictions have limited hospitality for months to curb the spread of coronavirus putting thousands of businesses and jobs at risk.

MS Amlin, the lead insurer, owns 55% of the share of the policy, while Zurich and Liberty Mutual are each responsible for 22.5%, according to the court documents, filed in March and made public this week.

Zurich said in an emailed statement that it has “already made an interim settlement.” Spokespeople for Stonegate, MS Amlin and Liberty Mutual declined to comment.

Stonegate pointed to the fact that a business interruption clause in the policy has been triggered on several occasions over the pandemic warranting the pay out.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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