Toronto restaurants plan to sue their insurance provider for losses due to COVID-19
It's no secret that COVID-19 has been a rough time for many industries and the restaurant business in particular has been seriously struggling.
Many restaurants and small local businesses have had to permanently close their doors since the pandemic.
But chef Anthony Rose didn't want his restaurants to face the same fate so after realizing he may have been taken advantage of by his insurance provider, he decided to make a claim after his restaurant’s losses during COVID-19.
The Toronto chef took to Instagram to urge other restaurants to reach out if they have faced similar experiences.
"Hi Restaurant Peer Re RSA Insurance Policy. Wilder and Rose restaurants (fat pasha, fet zun, schmaltz etc) have been working with Aird and Berlis on an insurance claim. The team there feels we have the following claims and would like to push forward on a class action or multiple party process on behalf of restaurants that are insured under a policy issued by RSA. We would like to have you guys team up on this. Here are the potential claims: 1. The RSA policies reviewed include an "outbreak" endorsement which appears to specifically apply to the situation at hand. While the endorsement is limited to $1000 per day for a maximum of 20 days, there appears to be a strong argument that coverage exists for payment of the full $20,000. Not unexpectedly, RSA has denied coverage alleging that the outbreak must occur specifically at the premises insured. This position misses the point that the COVID-19 outbreak occurred across the province at all premises including each insured's premises and thus this pre-condition appears to have been met. 2. The RSA policies contain coverage for damage to stock which includes perishable foods. While the endorsement is intended for damage caused by perils like fire and theft, the policies are all perils policies and this arguable includes the risk that the Province issues a closure order which, as a result, caused damage to the perishable stock by making it unmarketable. 3. There may also be coverage for business interruption losses. Using the same argument, namely that perishable food stock was damaged by the closure order, the conditions necessary to make a claim for business interruption may have been met. Please email us if you are interested and we will arrange a group call with Dennis at A&B. Or email Dennis O’Leary at email@example.com Anthony and Rob. "
"Wilder and Rose restaurants...have been working with Aird and Berlis on an insurance claim," the post began.
"The team there feels we have the following claims and would like to push forward on a class action or multiple party process on behalf of restaurants that are insured under a policy issued by RSA," it continues.
According to Rose's post signed by Chef Anthony Rose and partner Robert Wilder, the RSA policies are supposed to contain coverage for damage stock.
Some of their stock became damaged when the Province issued a closure order but the insurance company did not cover that.
Rose and Wilder also believe there is coverage for business interruption losses and that they are owed money for something called an "outbreak" endorsement, yet the RSA has denied coverage.
Rose told blogTO he submitted a claim to his insurance company but they denied it so he posted on social media to get more people interested and involved.
"It’s not a class action until the court deems it a class action," he said. "Even if it's issued, there's no guarantee that it's going to be certified."
Rose's restaurants have their policy with RSA so he says they need to find others with policies through RSA.
"Whether the claim is launched depends on the interest of potential participants," says Rose. "And it helps to have a variety of people fighting for the same cause - without other people, we can’t do this."
Rose told blogTO that it has been "horrible" being a restaurant owner during COVID-19.
"You’re closing on a dime because the government tells you to close," he says. "There were massive losses across the board."
Rose said he had to try and get this money from his insurance provider.
"We need other people to be aware we’re all struggling together," he says. “We need to all try together."
Rose's restaurants have patios that are at a quarter of capacity, following COVID guidelines. Their tables are six-feet apart and they are relying heavily on take-out orders.
Fareen at The Grand Elvis
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