Hampshire House Corp. Sues Insurance Providers over Denied Business-Interruption Claims

Hampshire House Corporation filed a compliant in U.S. District Court in Boston July 27 against its insurance providers for denying business interruption claims from the losses its restaurants have sustained since mid-March due to the pandemic.

The company, which owns and operates Cheers Beacon Hill, Cheers Faneuil Hall, 75 Chestnut and 75 Liberty Wharf, is suing Allianz Global Risks United States Insurance Company, and their subsidiaries, Fireman’s Fund Insurance and Associated Indemnity Corporation, for financial damages to be determined by the court.

“It is so important that Allianz/Fireman’s is paying out the insurance policy as it keeps the Hampshire ‘family’ of employees paid and employed, which keeps families across Massachusetts fed,” wrote Markus Ripperger, president and CEO of Hampshire House Corporation. “It’s exactly the reason that we purchased the policies to start with. We had to furlough 250 people we employ, and are suffering millions in losses, in this generally very trying time. We are trying to survive this as a small business that has been in the neighborhood for over 50 years.”

While Hampshire House Corporation did receive money from the Paycheck Protection Program, Ripperger said the funding “was used to reduce layoffs, not subsidize the insurance industry, valid insurance claims and the insurance carriers’ bottom line.”

Hampshire House’s insurance “provides blanket coverage limits of $10,860,000 for business income losses and expenses,” according to the lawsuit, and “[t]here is no exclusion in the policy for lost business income and expenses caused by emergency Orders restricting Hampshire’s business activities at their properties.”

Tucker Merrigan, an attorney representing Hampshire House and a principal with Boston-based Sweeney Merrigan Law (sweeneymerrigan.com), said, “This is a breach of contract case; there is no virus exclusion and no basis to deny [the claim].”

Sabrina Glavan, an Allianz spokesperson, said the company has “no comment” on the matter at this time.

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