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07/05/2020

First Minister’s Question Time: Insurance Company Obligations

At First Minister’s Question Time on 6th May, the following question was asked regarding insurance company obligations:

David Stewart (Highlands and Islands) (Lab): The First Minister is aware that thousands of small businesses—from hotels to hardware stores—across Scotland are trying to claim on their insurance policies because of the interruption to their trading caused by the lockdown. However, several insurers have been accused of wriggling out of their obligations, which puts at risk the future of many businesses. Will the First Minister meet insurance companies and spell out to them that leadership and social responsibility are crucial during the pandemic, so that, when the lockdown ends, we can still have a functioning economy?

The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon): I am clear that insurance companies, like everyone else who has a responsibility, should play fair and understand the difficulties that businesses—through no fault of their own—are having. I send that message without equivocation. Anyone who is trying to wriggle out of their obligations is doing a disservice to the challenge that all of us are facing and dealing with. I am happy to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Finance to have a more direct discussion with the insurance sector, to make sure that there is an understanding—and to make sure that there is no further guidance that we can offer to provide clarity on what people should do and how they should act.

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