Borough businesses ‘fear closure’ after delayed insurance payouts following London Bridge attack

Admin (03 August, 2017)

MP Neil Coyle said insurance providers had 'dragged their feet and denied help to some of the businesses worst affected'

17545Borough Market traders bow their heads during a minute's silence in memory of the London Bridge terror attack victims in 2017 (Credit: Christian Fisher)

Three businesses caught up in the London Bridge terror attack “fear closure” as a result of delayed payments from insurers, MP Neil Coyle has said.

Mr Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, accused the government of being “absent from support” while insurance providers “dragged their feet and denied help to some of the businesses worst affected”.

“Some payments are trickling through but the pace is unacceptably slow,” he said.

MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark Neil Coyle (Credit: Chiara Giordano)

Meanwhile, he said some businesses feared that without adequate help they faced “the imminent threat of closure”, with mortgage payments at risk of being missed for traders who lost stock, bookings and access to crucial vehicles as a result of the attack.

Following the London Bridge attack on June 3, a police investigation meant Borough Market and surrounding businesses were cordoned off and closed for 11 days.

Market traders and businesses in the area were left in limbo for weeks because insurance providers were unable to pay out until the Treasury officially classified the attack as terrorism on June 28.

Business Minister Margot James MP buys flowers from The Gated Garden at Borough Market (Credit: Chiara Giordano)

Last month Business Minister Margot James vowed to “call in” any insurance providers yet to pay out to traders who suffered losses after the terror attack.

Mr Coyle also said the government approach to terrorism insurance was “based on an outdated model”, covering attacks targeting infrastructure but not vehicle, knife and cyber-attacks.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “We are committed to ensuring that businesses can protect themselves against disruption caused by terrorism. There is nothing in law that prevents insurers from providing cover for other types of terrorism risks, for example where no physical damage occurs. However, we understand that these policies are not commonly offered or bought. We are in active discussions with Pool Re and other interested parties to look at all the possible options to close the insurance gap.”

Theresa May joined Australia’s Prime Minister during a visit to Borough Market at the start of July.

Prime Minister Theresa May visited Borough Market alongside Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to meet traders (Credit: Chiara Giordano)

The pair met with first responders and traders during the visit, accompanied by MP Coyle and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.

Eight people were killed and 48 were injured when terrorists wearing fake suicide vests rammed into pedestrians on London Bridge shortly before 10pm on June 3, before going on a stabbing rampage.


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