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Travel agent’s business interruption insurance class action grows

A travel agent has made a further plea to rally more agents together for a class action that he hopes can make insurance firms pay out on business interruption insurance.

So far, 48 agents have put their names forward after a call led by Bailey’s Travel owner Chris Bailey. This is an increase on 30 agents who pledged to support the campaign after it launched in April.

Bailey is now contacting a lawyer to assess the chances of a successful action with a group of this size, but said more agents would strengthen the case.

He had hoped for at least 50 agents to come on board, ideally those with the same policy. He took out business interruption insurance with Axa through broker James Hallam.

He said: “Ideally, I’d like more agents because it spreads the cost, should it go to court.

“The more agents we have, the better our chances.

“It’s going to be a long slog but this is a cause worth fighting because it could make the difference between paying off debt for the next five years or clearing it, or even the difference between surviving or not.”

A Supreme Court ruling in January found in favour of small firms. The court ordered insurers to pay out business interruption insurance claims where companies were affected by Covid-19.

Bailey had hoped to claim between £200,000 and £250,000 in lost earnings on his business interruption insurance.

But despite the ruling, Bailey’s claim was again rejected, based on the wording of his policy, which referenced a “notifiable disease manifesting itself at the premises”.

Meanwhile, Abta is now analysing the government’s response to its intention to take separate legal action over the level of Restart Grants.

Agents are currently entitled to a one-off grant of up to £6,000 from their local council, whereas gyms, hairdressers and pubs can claim up to £18,000.

An Abta spokesman said the association was working out its next steps after receiving a response to its ‘letter before claim’ advising of its intention to take action.


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