In an oral judgment release on 23 October 2023 but dated March 2022, a Singapore court ordered two insurance companies from Singapore to pay a business entity (i.e. a resort) based in Thailand, due to the losses incurred in the years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The resort was insured against whole or partial closure and business interruption due to orders of public authorities as a result of an outbreak of infectious diseases at the premises of the business entity. When the resort was forced to close due to an order of the Phuket government, it filed an insurance claim. However, the insurers rejected the claim as the resort confirmed that no outbreak of COVID-19 had taken place at the hotel, while the insurance policy required such outbreak to occur at the premises.
The business owner filed a claim before a court in Singapore against this rejection. The judge upheld the insured party’s claim, noting that one employee of the resort had indeed been hospitalized for symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, and that such hospitalization had probably been part of those data on the basis of which the Phuket government decided to issue the order to close down business premises.
Therefore, even in the absence of an outbreak at the premises, the insurers are liable for compensation.