Has the official regulator/authority intervened to help resolve contractual uncertainty around the validity of BI claims?

No. Some businesses made enquiries about the ability to claim coverage for ‘business interruption’ (BI) under commercial property insurance policies as a result of some of the measures taken by the Singapore government in response to COVID-19.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is in charge of regulating financial institutions in the banking, capital markets, insurance and payments sectors in Singapore, but has not proposed any guidelines or issued recommendations on BI policy coverage to date.

Do insurance policies in your jurisdiction generally restrict BI to losses directly resulting from physical damage?

Not conclusive as it would depend on the BI coverage policy and language in question.

However, standard BI coverage (pursuant to an all-risks property cover) tends to restrict such cover to situations arising out of physical damage to the insured premises in question.

Ultimately, whether or not any type of insurance policy will cover COVID-19-related losses (whether as a result of “physical damage” or otherwise) will depend on what the policy includes or excludes.

Hypothetically, in a scenario where an insured premises is suspected of being contaminated with COVID-19, this may qualify as “physical damage”, but this will depend on the specific wording of the policy and any relevant exclusions.

Any such argument has yet to be tested in the Singapore Courts.

Are there any court proceedings currently dealing with the validity of BI claims?

There have been no public reports of any notable court proceedings to test BI Insurance coverage in Singapore. This might be because insurance policies are generally subject to arbitration clauses and/or disputing parties will generally seek to resolve their disputes before the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (Fidrec) first. Arbitration and Fidrec proceedings are confidential.

Nonetheless, it is expected that some dissatisfied insured companies/customers have filed or will be filing claims against their insurers for a determination on whether they are covered under the specific wording of their BI Insurance policies.

The UK Court’s decision in the FCA test case may provide persuasive guidance for the interpretation of similar policy wordings and claims that can be taken into account in cases brought to the Singapore Court.

English decisions are highly persuasive in the Singapore courts and under Singapore law.

Have any judgments been given that deal with BI claims in relation to the current COVID-19 pandemic or other contagious/infectious diseases?


Name of regulator, websites and articles of interest

Summary of MAS’ measures to support business affected by COVID-19.

Link to the FCA test case: