A claim event which impacts the normal operation of a business needs to be handled promptly and intelligently. The CILA Business Interruption SIG committee comprises seasoned loss adjusters who are skilled in finding appropriate solutions to such business interruption claims. The group encourages industry debate on issues associated with business interruption policies and supports the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of CILA members by delivering thought provoking and informative sessions at our conference each year.

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SIG Committee

Chairman

Damian Glynn - Sedgwick International UK

Members

  • Terri Adams - Charles Taylor Adjusting
  • Aruna Chandrapalan - Sedgwick International UK
  • Neil Greaves - Marsh
  • Sharon Green - McLarens
  • Mark Harris - Harris Balcombe
  • Ann Hewlett - Arthur J Gallagher
  • John Holland - Crawford & Company
  • Andy King
  • Jonathan Marshall - Zurich
  • Steven Nock - Harris Balcombe
  • Heather Parkinson - Parkinson Consulting Ltd
  • John Thompson - Hilton Thompson Ltd

 

Latest Updates

Businesses throughout the world have been affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The purpose of this paper is to highlight some of the considerations for business interruption claims.

The writers first highlight the importance of considering existing and ongoing claims, in particular, the application of the Other Circumstances clause. The paper also considers the question of whether Damage can be said to have occurred at the premises. BI extensions for Notifiable Disease and Act of a Competent Authority are discussed and the writers recommend consideration of legal cases such New World Harbourview and Orient Express Hotel.

  • Business Interruption claims and COVID-19
  • A useful paper which provides an introduction to accounts, the terminology that is used and the type of financial information that loss adjusters can expect to obtain from commercial policyholders.

    The basic principles of costings are outlined, including direct or indirect costs, fixed, variable or semi variable costs and standard costing systems. The paper also sets out a profit and loss account and balance sheet, explaining terms such as turnover, cost of sales, gross profit, overheads, assets and liabilities. The accounting requirements for different types of business are discussed and the requirements of the Companies Act are outlined.

  • Download Introduction to Accounts and How to use them
  • This updated version of the 1990s paper by John Ball is a guide to the stock reconciliation process, including helpful questions to ask and what to consider in claim calculations.

    The pros and cons of stock reconciliation are outlined, along with the steps required. The writer suggests preliminary actions to take before progressing to the stock reconciliation calculation. Considerations for establishing the opening stock, purchases, sales and rate of gross profit are discussed, plus the need to focus on tracking stock movements rather than cash. The paper covers adjustments such as obsolete stock, shrinkage, price fluctuations and stock on approval.

  • Download An Adjuster's Guide to Stock Reconciliation
  • The very popular report “Business Interruption Policy Wordings – Challenges Highlighted by Claims Experience” has been reissued and the latest version is now available to download.

    Whilst it is now over six years since the original publication of this report, it remains topical and the issues discussed continue to cause difficulties in claims.

    Our thanks to the Insurance Institute of London (IIL) for producing this latest edition of the report and also to Damian Glynn, Harry Roberts and other CILA members who contributed to this important piece of work.

    BI Policy Wordings Cover

    On 24th May 2017 the Insurance Institute of London (IIL) and the London Business Interruption Association (LBIA) hosted a joint lecture entitled “Gross Profit – are we all still getting it wrong?”. The speakers were Damian Glynn, Chair of the CILA Business Interruption SIG, and Steven Nock, Council representative for the CILA Business Interruption SIG.

    If you are a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) you can access a podcast recording of the lecture via the IIL website: http://www.iilondon.co.uk/home/cpd-events/lectures/2017/may/gross-profit-are-we-still-all-getting-it-wrong/

    Alternatively, you can view a copy of the presentation material here: 

    View Presentation

    The speakers refer to a survey which was conducted by the Risk Management Society (RIMS) and this can be accessed by logging on to the RIMS website: https://www.rims.org/RiskKnowledge/RiskKnowledgeMain.aspx

     

    Christchurch Earthquakes – Orient Express, Residual BI and Other Issues

    The earthquake that hit Christchurch over five years ago was, from an insurance perspective, the largest disaster of its kind. Such a significant event was bound to test existing thinking on how BI policies respond to wide area damage and related issues, yet few if any principles have been publicly tested despite the magnitude of the sums involved. It is estimated that it could be another decade before the city is fully rebuilt and recovered. Peter Faire, an experienced local loss adjuster and BI specialist, will examine what legacy this event may yet provide in terms of insurance principles and practice.

    Speaker:
    Peter Faire, Director, Fawcett Faire Limited

    CILA Conference 2016 - Christchurch Earthquakes - Orient Express, Residual BI & Other Issues

     

    Summary of Key Points

    The original purpose of Declaration based Business Interruption Policies was to avoid Policyholders losing out due to underinsurance resulting from high rates of inflation. Policyholders could over insure and if, when they made a (second) Declaration at the end of the year this was proved to be the case, Insurers would refund that proportion of the premium.

    Unfortunately, Declarations are generally not being made, as Declared amounts are often substantially low.

    The Declaration Linked basis was introduced with the idea that at the outset of the Insurance year the Policyholder would estimate the Gross Profit for the Policy Period and make an intial Declaration to the Insurer. At the end of the Period, a second Declaration should be made confirming what the actual Gross profit was, and thereby the premium that should have been paid. The balance is then paid or a return premium made.

    In return the Policyholder was given a limit to the amount that could be claimed at 133.33% of the Declared amount, with no proportionate reduction (average) clause attaching to the policy. Harry Roberts view was that in his experience it was incredibly rare for the uplifted sum insured to be insufficient.

    Damian Glynn went on to explain that 60% of BI policies were written on a Gross Profit Basis, 25% on a Gross Revenue basis and the remaining 15% on an Increase Cost of Working basis. Of the policies underwritten on a Declaration Linked basis, 43% were under declared, by an average amount of 50%.

    This presents two issues:

    Firstly, Insurers are receiving insufficient premium ; secondly, the result of the process is inequitable. This was exampled by the fact that a business that made an accurate Declaration would pay the full premium but a firm that under declared would still receive the same benefits of full cover without the application of proportionate reduction, but would not have paid the full premium. This means the underinsured businesses are subsidising the fully insured businesses.

    Damian went on to provide a list of reasons why Gross Profit may be under declared as follows:

    1. Failure to multiply the annual figure to match the Maximum Indemnity Period
    2. Miscalculation of Gross Profit (Insurance definition may be misleading)
    3. Misunderstanding the declaration form
    4. Business calculating their “Estimated Maximum Loss” and using this figure
    5. Simply paying what could be afforded
    6. Deliberately under declaring, knowing there is a 133.33% uplift

    For the Loss Adjuster there are two other factors to take account of. Firstly, the basis of the declaration varies from policy to policy and therefore the Loss Adjuster should check the precise wording in place. Secondly, there is a danger that, if the adequacy of the Declaration is not considered at the outset, when dealing with a combined material damage (MD) losses and BI loss, the Adjuster may recommend payments under the MD section, potentially estopping Insurers from taking action if it is later found that the BI element was under declared. Estopple was not discussed in detail.

    Damian discussed the causes of under declarations and explained his view that perhaps Insurers could choose how to deal with the under declaration issue dependent upon what Damian describe as the “gravity” of the act leading to the under declaration. On the above list 1, Failure to multiply the annual figure to match the Maximum Indemnity Period could be seen as a low gravity unintentional act whereas 5, “Deliberately under declare knowing there is a 133.33% uplift” could be seen as most severe and perhaps more severe action taken. This section of the presentation focused on the causes of under declaration. Damien stated that very often a compromise was reached, depending on the cause

    The issue as to how or whether Insurers could take punitive action was discussed by Jonathan Hall, a Partner with Clausen Miller solicitors who noted that the cause of an Under Declaration may not be relevant from a legal perspective.

    Jonathan Hall explained the position concerning an under declaration and this rested on whether this was a statement of expectation or belief or a statement of fact.

    For a representation to be a misrepresentation there must be:

    (1) a positive statement made by the insured to the insurer;
    (2) which was untrue;
    (3) was material; and
    (4) induced the insurer to give the cover for the premium that it did,either on the terms offered, or at all (Section 20 Marine Insurance Act 1906 (‘MIA 1906’), Pan Atlantic Ins Co Ltd v Pine Top Ins Co Ltd [1995] 1 AC 501 (‘Pan Atlantic’) and Assicurazioni Generali v ARIG [2002] EWCA Civ 1642 (‘Arig’).

    A representation will be interpreted objectively by a tribunal: that is, what would the prudent insurer have understood the representation to mean? In doing this the tribunal will look to the context in which the representation was made. Highlands Insurance Co. v Continental Insurance Co. [1987] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 109.

    Section 20 MIA 1906 makes a distinction between statements of expectation or belief and statements of fact.

    If an under declaration is a statement of fact (a statement about the past or present but not the future), the remedy is policy avoidance, irrespective of whether the untrue statement was made innocently, negligently or fraudulently (Section 20(4) MIA 1906, Pan Atlantic and Arig).

    But if an under Declaration is a statement of expectation or belief, the insurer will not be able to avoid the contract, unless the statement was not made in good faith; that is it was made dishonestly (Section 20(5) MIA 1906, Economides v Commercial Union Assurance Co plc [1997] 3 All ER 635 and Rendall v Combined Insurance Company of America [2005] EWHC 678 (Comm) (‘Rendall’)). Statements of expectation or belief include estimates (Rendall).

    If the Declaration is dishonest, either section 20 (4) or (5), or both, could apply. The question is whether section 20 (4) applies if the declaration is innocent or negligent.

    In summary, the seminar covered the central issues of Declaration based BI policies, the possible inequities of under Declarations and the options available to Insurers to penalise those who under Declare and the basis in law upon which these remedies exist.

     

     

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    Business Interruption SIG in association with:

     

    • BRE

    • Kennedys