German court rules insurer must pay restaurant's lockdown claim

MUNICH (Reuters) - A German court has ruled that a Munich restaurant’s insurer must pay out a claim for losses caused by the state-imposed COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year, the first prominent such case in Germany in which the court found in favour of the plaintiff.

There are hundreds of similar lawsuits pending after many insurers in Germany, including Allianz ALVG.DE, refused to pay businesses for lockdown losses, arguing that while effects of other pandemics would have been insured, COVID-19 had not been named specifically in the terms and conditions.

Versicherungskammer Bayern has to pay out 1.01 million euros ($1.18 million) to the operator of the Augustinerkeller, one of the city’s largest beer gardens, the Munich Regional Court ruled on Thursday.

The insurer said in a statement that it would appeal the ruling, while German insurance lobby group GDV said that the Munich ruling has no implications for other pending cases.

Elsewhere, in Britain, a markets regulator said on Wednesday it had failed to strike a deal with major insurers over prompt payouts to small businesses battered by the coronavirus pandemic, dashing hopes that a Supreme Court appeal could be easily avoided.

($1 = 0.8530 euros)

Reporting by Alexander Hübner,; Writing by Arno Schuetze; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise