Axa offers settlements to French restaurants for Covid-19 losses
Axa has offered settlements totaling €300 million ($365.6 million) before reinsurance to 15,000 French restaurants for business interruption losses, after they closed to minimize the spread of Covid-19.
The move followed disputes between Axa and French restaurants since the outbreak of the pandemic, with some high-profile court settlements falling in favor of policyholders.
Axa France said the “fixed and definitive lump-sum payment” will be made to policyholders of its standard policy with extended cover for business interruption losses for “administrative closure.”
Axa said it “regrets the misunderstandings with some of our restaurant clients” over policy wordings but added that it stands by its argument that the policies do not cover “collective administrative closures.”
Axa said the cost of the settlement after tax and reinsurance is expected to be offset by “favorable developments in 2021 related to Covid-19, in France and Europe.”
The settlement offer covers closures announced by the government on March 14, 2020, and Oct. 29, 2020. It is expected to be open to policyholders until the end of September 2021.
“As restaurants are finally allowed to welcome their customers again, we are taking this initiative so that everyone can look to the future and focus on the restart of economic activity. Such a large initiative is unprecedented for Axa France,” said Patrick Cohen, CEO of Axa France.
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