The Civil Section of the Hearing of Girona has sentenced an insurance company to compensate a pizzeria with 6,000 euros that he claimed alleging a section in his policy that included the ‘stoppage of activity’ with an amount of 200 euros a day for 30 days. The restaurant contracted the policy on February 13, 2020 for its location, and due to coronavirus restrictions applied from MarchIt was closed for more than 30 days, so the company claimed compensation from the insurer.
The sentence, consulted by Europa Press, overturns the first ruling on the matter -the Court of First Instance 2 of Girona dismissed the claim in November 2020- when estimating the company’s appeal, and it is the first sentence that convicts an insurer for the effects of Covid-19 .
The insurer objected, considering that the closure was a consequence of general circumstances and the measures of the Government in the face of the pandemic, and argued that “nowhere in the policy (particular or general conditions) is it said that they are covered (as if it was one of the claims that both parties had the intention of insuring) the costs of paralysis “because of the restrictions decreed by the Government.
The magistrate of the Girona Court considers that the first judgment does not take into account the characteristics of the insurance contract and bases its decision, “purely and simply, on the testimonial evidence provided by employees or persons related to the defendant insurer”.
Point out that the policy does not expressly contemplate coverage due to the stoppage of business due to the pandemic, but highlights “the expectations that the insured could have when they accepted the policy to see covered, expressly, ‘Loss of profits / Cessation of activity “. “Accepting the opposite would mean as much as restricting the coverage expected by the insured, leaving the paralysis of the business covered, in principle, by the insurance contracted, denatured,” argues the magistrate when ordering compensation.
It also indicates that insurance for loss of profits or business stoppage “is normally subject to the existence of prior material damage”, which did not occur in this case. The judge suggests that “Perhaps, insurers should expressly contemplate pandemic situations in their policies”, and it refers to a judgment of the Supreme Court (TS) that remarks that the clauses that delimit the risk can be used to avoid ambiguities but not in a contradictory way with what was contracted or in an unusual way.
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