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Jonathan Moss comments on the insurance implications of border closures

22 December 2020
Jonathan Moss, insurance partner and head of the Transport sector at global legal business, DWF, comments on the likelihood of insurance claims resulting from the sudden closure of borders this week. 
He said: "As a result of the closure of borders owing to the UK Government's announcement of the new virus strain, there is likely to be a rise in claims related to transportation delays. 

"The standard Institute Cargo Clauses (A) (ICCA) clauses exclude delay under clause 4.5, but they include forwarding expenses for specific reasons. The duration, termination of transit and change of voyage clauses all provide cover for cargo should destinations change and advice be given to underwriters subject to exclusions.

"However, on April 17 2020, Lloyd's Joint Cargo Committee, the JCC, published a new communicable disease clause which excludes “any loss, damage, liability, claim, cost or expense of whatsoever nature caused by, contributed to by, resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with a Communicable Disease or the fear or threat (whether actual or perceived) of a Communicable Disease regardless of any other cause or event contributing concurrently or in any other sequence thereto.”

"This means that those policies which include the communicable disease exclusion clause could prevent hauliers and freight forwarders and those entities engaged in the transportation of goods, from recovering losses. 

"Underwriters had the choice to: 1) use a full exclusion or 2) to use an alternative exclusion with a limited buy-back. The buy-back option afforded a measure of expenses coverage in line with each specific policy wording. Each policy should be scrutinised carefully to see whether the exclusions apply or if there is any scope for cover."

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