The UK Supreme Court has handed down judgment in the Financial Conduct Authority’s COVID-19 business interruption insurance test case, providing much-needed clarity regarding the coverage generally afforded to businesses for their COVID-19 related financial losses.

The judgment considers issues of principle on policy coverage under 21 sample policies underwritten by eight leading providers. The Supreme Court held that:

  1. “notifiable disease” clauses specifying a strict geographical area may be triggered by a single person within that area falling ill with COVID-19;
  2. public authority instructions to close insured premises need not have the full force of law to trigger cover;
  3. the partial closure of insured premises may be sufficient to trigger cover; and
  4. it is irrelevant that COVID-19 related losses may have been suffered in any event (for example, due to people being instructed to stay at home).

Together with our Dispute Resolution team, we have published an alert setting out key points in the judgment for both insurers and policyholders. For further details, please click here.


Kim is a Knowledge Lawyer within the Financial Services Regulatory group at Baker McKenzie. Her expertise covers both contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters across a wide range of sectors. She is particularly interested in issues relating to investigations and enforcement, vulnerable customers, regulatory reform and change, and the impact of Brexit on financial services regulation.