The hospitality sector was among the hardest hit by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent UK government lockdown from March to July 2020. Restaurants, pubs, and other hospitality venues were restricted to providing takeaway services only, leaving many already-stretched small businesses effectively unable to trade. While government financial support packages, including furlough schemes, business rates relief, and grants, offered some assistance, they fell short of compensating for the significant loss of revenue and gross profit that business owners faced.

The lockdown measures imposed during the pandemic forced many hospitality businesses to close their doors or drastically alter their operations. For businesses that thrive on in-person dining and social interactions, the transition to takeaway services was far from sufficient to sustain their revenue streams. The reduced income, coupled with ongoing fixed costs such as rent and utilities, created an untenable financial situation for many.

Government support, though crucial, was not comprehensive. The furlough scheme helped preserve jobs by subsidising wages, business rates relief provided some respite from local taxation, and various grants offered temporary financial aid. However, these measures did not address the core issue of lost revenue and gross profit – the lifeblood of any business.

This is where business interruption (BI) insurance comes into play. BI insurance is designed to cover the loss of income that a business suffers after a disaster. The intention is to help businesses return to the same financial position they were in before the incident occurred. For many in the hospitality sector, this type of insurance could have been a lifeline during the pandemic.

However, the reality has been more complicated. Many hospitality business owners have found their BI claims denied, with insurers arguing that pandemics were not covered under the specific terms of their policies. This has led to widespread confusion and frustration, as businesses struggle to understand their rights and the specifics of their coverage.

If you’re a hospitality business owner who has suffered a loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial to understand the specifics of your business interruption insurance policy. Key steps include:

Review Your Policy: Carefully read the terms and conditions of your BI insurance policy. Look for clauses that pertain to infectious diseases, pandemics, or government-ordered closures.

Document Your Losses: Maintain detailed records of your financial losses, including revenue figures before and during the pandemic, as well as all related expenses. This documentation will be critical when making your claim.

Seek Professional Advice: Consider consulting with legal and insurance experts who specialise in business interruption claims. They can provide invaluable guidance on the best approach to take and help you navigate the complexities of your policy.

Submit Your Claim: Work with your insurer to submit a comprehensive and well-documented claim. Be prepared for possible pushback and ensure you’re ready to appeal if your initial claim is denied.

At, we specialise in helping businesses in the hospitality sector navigate the intricacies of business interruption claims. Our team of experts is dedicated to ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve. We understand the unique challenges faced by hospitality businesses and are here to provide support every step of the way.

Don’t let the complexities of business interruption insurance add to the stress of an already challenging situation. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you in making a successful claim and help your business recover from the financial impact of the pandemic.

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