In order to absorb part of their losses due to the health crisis and sued by several hundred of them for several months, the insurance group Axa announced Thursday, June 10 that it would release an envelope of 300 million. euros for 15,000 of its restaurant customers.
“We want to support our restaurant customers in this reopening. It is important to put behind us this difficulty, the legal vagueness that we have experienced in the case of restaurateurs. This solution is not compensation, it is a transaction ”, said on Europe 1 Thomas Buberl, CEO of the Axa group, confirming information from the Parisian. “We offer a transaction to many people who have not asked for anything, even people who have lost [en justice] now have the right to this transaction “, added the insurer.
Several hundred restaurant owners who are Axa clients have taken the insurer to court in recent months, with decisions that are certainly contrasting, but often losing for the group so far. So far, the company has recorded some 1,500 legal proceedings. “I regret everything that happened, because we were divided with the restaurateurs by a misunderstanding. We have seen that the courts of appeal have ruled in several directions. We want to put this behind us “, insisted Mr. Buberl.
First payments in June
“Axa has 100 million customers, for 15,000 we put 300 million on the table. It is really a large sum ”, he said, adding that the group’s agents would now work in the field to assess the needs of each client. The first payments should take place from June and extend until the end of September, said Patrick Cohen, the new CEO of Axa France.
With the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, a large number of businesses and hotel and catering establishments were forced to close for months due to the containment measures. Those of them who hoped that their operating losses would be covered by their insurer must have been disillusioned, most companies explaining that they do not cover losses linked to a pandemic episode. This interpretation has been particularly contested by a number of restorers.