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Responses to Chameleon judgement

Guardrisk and HIC reacted to the judgement by saying that it recognised the plight of business owners in the hospitality industry and the need to get clarity on Covid-19 related business interruption insurance as a matter of extreme urgency.

“We have been paying and will continue to pay claims in line with our policy wordings. In addition, we have noted the ruling made in the Western Cape Division of the High Court on the matter between Café Chameleon CC and Guardrisk Insurance Company Limited. We are in the process of engaging with our legal team to study the judgment and consider the next steps.”

According to BusinessDay, Santam has indicated that it still intends to contest a hotel group’s lockdown lawsuit scheduled for 1 September. “While the insurer is adamant it’s not liable, it also says its balance sheet is strong enough to handle an adverse judgment.”

Moneyweb reports that Nico Schoeman, Café Chameleon’s owner, said while he is pleased with the successful declaratory court order ruling, for now “we can’t get too excited because we expect an appeal. There are probably other small businesses like ours with the same policy wording who are following this case and for whom this is likely to have an impact. We built this business for 20 years and just want our businesses to continue and provide an income for our employees who are among the less privileged in society.”

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