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CT eatery not celebrating court victory against insurer just yet

The court ruled that the insurer was liable for any losses the eatery suffered since 27 March when the nationwide lockdown was implemented.

The inside of Café Chameleon in Cape Town. Picture: Facebook

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town eatery is not yet celebrating their recent court win as there is still a long road ahead.

Café Chameleon took its insurer, Guardrisk, to court for failing to pay out business interruption insurance claims linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business interruption insurance typically kicks in when something like a global pandemic hits. However, insurers have been reluctant to pay, saying that the damage was caused by government's lockdown, not the actual pandemic.

Cafe Chameleon is one of many businesses in a battle to get its business interruption insurance payout.

The eatery this week won a reprieve when Western Cape High Court Judge Andre le Grange ruled in its favour.

The court ruled that the insurer was liable for any losses the eatery suffered since 27 March when the nationwide lockdown was implemented.

Guardrisk argued that the restaurant’s loss was not covered under the infectious diseases extension clause in the policy, as it was the lockdown causing the harm, not the infectious disease.

Judge Le Grange however found that it was clear that the lockdown was the result of a notifiable disease covered by the insurer.

Lawyer representing Cafe Chameleon, Ren Dunster, said that they were not celebrating yet.

"I think it's going to go on appeal. I have no confirmation of that yet but that's our expectation. It's nice to be one step up going to Bloemfontein [supreme court of appeal]."

Guardrisk said that it was still studying the judgment and considering the next steps.

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