Edinburgh bar's insurance claim rejected because there's 'no Covid case within 25 miles'
BAR owner Anna Lagerqvist Christopherson is furious after having an insurance claim for business interruption turned down - because the insurance company says she cannot prove there has been a Covid outbreak within 25 miles of her premises.
She said: “We have a clause in our policy that covers an authority forcing us to close due to a notifiable disease - and Covid was made a notifiable disease on March 5. But they are just saying no, we can’t show we have been affected.
“They say if we had been affected by a case within 25 miles we would have a claim, but they say we cannot prove there had been a case and we had been affected.
“But that’s not the point. Even if there had not been a case, we were told we had to shut.”
Ms Christopherson runs the Swedish bar and restaurant group Boda Bars, which has seven venues in the city.
Two of them - Hemma in Holyrood Road and Joseph Pearce at the top of Leith Walk - are within less than a mile of the Carlton Hilton Hotel on North Bridge, where the Nike conference, now seen as Scotland’s Covid “ground zero”, took place at the end of February.
Ms Christopherson said the insurance claims was for a year’s loss of earnings caused by the lockdown, which she said would amount to £700,000 for just one of the bars, the biggest at Akva, Fountainbridge.
She said she had complained to the Financial Conduct Authority and written to her MP and MSP.
“I have said to them I’m not accepting this,” she said.
Even when lockdown is eased and bars are able to reopen, Ms Christopherson says she is likely to stay closed. “We can’t afford it,” she said. “If we can only have one customer every two metres it’s not going to cover the costs. So at the moment we’re setting up Joseph Pearce as the wine a spirit merchant it was in the 19th century.”