Restaurant owners' business interruption: the Court of Cassation rules in favor of AXA

AXAOn 1 December 2022, the French Court of Cassation ruled in favor of AXA in its case against four restaurant owners.

France's highest court found that the insurer did not have to compensate the operating losses sustained by these establishments during the administrative closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Court overturned four decisions issued by the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeals on 25 February 2020 and 20 May 2021, which were against AXA.

AXA's policies cover the risk of business interruption following an administrative closure ordered as a result of a contagious disease, murder, suicide, epidemic or poisoning. However, one clause provides that an insured is denied coverage in the event that another establishment in the same department is subject to an administrative closure for the same reason.

For the Court of Cassation, this formal and limited exclusion clause exonerates the insurance group from having to indemnify its restaurant-owning clients.

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