Bordeaux restaurant owner who claimed COVID-19 losses on insurance loses case

A Bordeaux restaurant which claimed operating losses due to COVID-19 on insurance – and had the claim denied by its insurance company – has lost an appeal in the city’s commercial court.

AFP reported Tuesday that although the company that owns L’Ombrière restaurant was insured in the case of an epidemic, it was only covered if the epidemic – or contagious disease – occurred inside the restaurant itself.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic affected the whole of France and much of the world, and forced all other French restaurants to close during its lockdown earlier this year, the claim was not covered.

An exclusion clause in the contract stated that if another restaurant in the area had to close for the same reason, the claim could be denied.

In a judgment dated Monday, it said that “it is not because of an epidemic in the establishment that the restaurant was closed. The contract […] covers cases of epidemics occurring within the restaurant and not outside it.”

The court said that the exclusion clause was applicable and that the insurance company, Axa, was right to reject L’Ombrière’s claim for compensation, estimated by the restaurant at 298,530 euros.

L’Ombrière plans to appeal the verdict.

In September, a court in Paris ordered Axa to pay out compensation to five restaurants forced to close during France’s coronavirus lockdown.

Euronews has reached out to Axa for comment.

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