Nothing plain about pub takings revealed in insurance case

Lemon & Duke in Dublin says it will lose €770,960 as a result of coronavirus closure

The operators of Leopardstown Inn near Stillorgan say they are suffering a loss of €56,000 per week. Photograph: Eric Luke

The operators of Leopardstown Inn near Stillorgan say they are suffering a loss of €56,000 per week. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

The amount of money being made by some Dublin pubs is the most striking aspect of the claims that have sought entry to the fast-track Commercial Court list in a dispute involving insurer FBD.

The Lemon & Duke on Royal Hibernian Way, Dublin, says it will lose €770,960 as a consequence of being closed between March 15th and August 10th – the latter date being when pubs are scheduled to reopen while applying the social-distancing rules.

The operators of the Leopardstown Inn near Stillorgan say they are suffering a loss of €56,000 per week, based on weekly turnover of €80,000, and that losses are similar for the other pubs in the group.

The pint of plain may be a humble man’s drink, but the revenues that its vendors are taking in are far from modest.

In its application, the company behind the Lemon & Duke says its cover was negotiated with FBD over the late February to early March period, with a side letter from the insurer dated March 2nd confirming that the premium covered losses linked to coronavirus.

On March 19th the company submitted a claim arising from the closure of the pub four days’ earlier, and on April 15th FBD said that, following the receipt of legal advice, the “representations” that had been made in respect of the virus being covered were withdrawn.

In its application, Sean’s Bar, of Athlone, Co Westmeath, which stakes a claim to being Ireland’s oldest pub, cited some of what FBD had been saying in resisting the claims.

A nationwide closure of businesses has never occurred before, was never anticipated “even as the remotest possibility”, and was not a risk against which publicans sought insurance, the insurer has asserted.

An international pandemic is very different from insured perils that are capable of only affecting individual, or a limited number of, insured risks at the same time.

The insurer is also raising issues of “causation”. Even if the pubs had not been closed, the pandemic would mean hardly anyone would be going to them. They wouldn’t be worth opening, it argues.

With FBD providing cover to about 1,077 public houses around the State, the arguments over these issues amount to a lot more than pub talk.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.