Scottish ministers are urging insurance companies to be “flexible” as businesses across Tayside and Fife continue to have their compensation claims rejected by brokers.
The “vast majority” of businesses are expected to receive no business interruption payments from their insurers with Covid-19 not specifically listed in most policies.
Cupar Bowling Club in Fife fears the virus may spell the end for the historic organisation which has been running for 264 years after their insurance company knocked back their claim.
Helen Vickery, treasurer at the club for more than 20 years, has been “worrying herself sick” as she tries to find £800 a month to keep the club operational despite all their bookings and league matches being cancelled.
The 78-year-old said: “We feel they’ve let us down.
“The only claim we’ve made in the time I’ve been here is for a new carpet but we’ve paid in over £30,000.
“We’re a club that survives from year to year and we’re not profit making.
“We’ve lost bookings and we’ve lost stock, it’s pretty hard on us, it’s a big hole.
“If they would just give us something to tide us over it would make a lot of difference.
“We’ve been here 264 years, we’ve been in Cupar since 1756, and it would be a shame if coronavirus kills us.”
Helen said the club’s policy covered them for “infectious and contagious disease” but was told it did not apply because Covid-19 was not listed.
Beverly Dolan of Loch Leven Lodges said: “I just felt ill when they said we weren’t insured.
“This is supposed to be our busiest time but we’ve had everybody cancel.
“We’re insured for business interruption so I thought I would be covered but when I phoned up immediately when we closed they said I wasn’t.”
Sara McCrae, who owns Linktown Day Nursery in Kirkcaldy, wants the government to confront the insurance companies about their current stance.
Sara said: “I don’t think insurance companies are bothered because they say the government is going to give us money.
“But that’s an absolute scandal. Everyone is paying in to make sure we’re covered, that’s what we pay insurance for.
“We’ve got no money coming in at all. We’ve no business.
“We only opened last year and now everything is on hold and I’ve also got staff to think about.”
One shopkeeper who owns three businesses in Fife said they could potentially lose up to £150,000 if their insurance doesn’t pay out and has threatened to go to the Ombudsman.
The shop owner, who wished to remain anonymous due to ongoing discussions with their insurance broker, said: “We’re going to lose a lot of money. It will be about £150,000 if this goes on for more months.
“It’s a nightmare.
“It’s very hard on a lot people. We’ve got a bit of back up but I don’t know how long that is going to last.”
The Courier revealed on Monday that Birks cinema in Aberfeldy faces a £30,000 short fall after their insurance company rejected their claim for business disruption.
The Scottish Government say issues relating to insurance were reserved to Westminster but that they would be raising the concerns with the industry.
A spokesperson said: “Scottish ministers expect insurance companies to be as flexible as they reasonably can to support businesses and citizens through these difficult times and will raise these issues with the industry at the earliest opportunity.”