20 May 2004

Insurers must pay for coup looting damage, says Fiji court

10:22 am on 20 May 2004

Four years after the Fiji coup, the Suva High Court has handed down two landmark rulings ordering insurance companies to pay for damages caused by the looting.

Fiji TV reports that the insurance companies had refused to pay millions of dollars saying that their policies did not cover losses caused by political insurrection and riots.

But the TV reports says Justice Devendra Pathik has ruled against Lloyds of London for the 2-point-9 million US dollars of damages caused to the Tappoos store in Suva.

Justice Pathik says the loss and damage to Tappoos was caused by looting and malicious rioting, and not events in parliament.

He said the looting was for personal gain, and not part of George Speight and his group.

In another ruling, Justice Pathik has ordered F.A.I. Insurance to pay Rajendra Prasad Supermarket US$1.5 million in damages on the same grounds as in the Lloyds of London case.

The rulings have opened the way for a range of claims against insurance companies for the damage caused during the looting and arson attacks of May 19th, 2000.