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Covid-19: setback for Axa against several restaurateurs

It is a battle of almost two years that leads to more restaurateurs being insured with Axa. While the Covid-19 pandemic had cost them dearly, all affected by the health measures put in place and forced to close, many had nevertheless taken out multi-risk insurance with a guarantee of operating loss. But Axa refused to compensate them. From then on, the restaurateurs had taken him to court. A total of 1,500 managers had gone to court. Finally, by the end of 2021, the insurance company had agreed to resolve these cases amicably by compensating 15,000 restaurateurs thanks to an envelope of 300 million euros.

However, as France Bleu reports, these compensations were sometimes five times lower than the established losses, which is why some had refused them and decided to end the legal procedure. According to France Bleu Touraine, six restaurateurs from Tours won their case at the commercial court in Tours. The judge recognized the invalidity of the reason for the exclusion for six of them. But all is not over and this is only the first round, according to their lawyer, Me Sajjad Hasnaoui-Dufrenne.

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What compensation?

Restaurant owners now want to be compensated for their losses. This “calculation of operating losses will be subject to legal expertise”. But for the lawyer, the recognition of this invalid clause is a victory. “It is indeed a good decision in the sense that today the commercial court tells us ‘you have been right for two years’. But at the same time we tell ourselves that it has been two years since Axa should have compensated restaurateurs of their operating losses and that they didn’t do it”, retorts the lawyer.

If Axa wants to appeal, it can, but it still has to compensate the restaurateurs. The six clients would have lost between 20,000 and 300,000 euros. At the end of 2021, another insurance company, Crédit Mutuel, had also been ordered to compensate restaurateurs for operational losses related to Covid-19. Axa is also at the heart of a case in the Gironde, where a gardener is denouncing his practice. The insurance company refuses to cover damages caused by the bad weather in June. Already confronted with such a disaster earlier, however, the insured had since taken out multi-risk insurance.

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