The precedent of the Supreme Court (KKO) in legal proceedings regarding Covid-19 restaurant restrictions

The Supreme Court has decided that Government decrees cannot be considered official regulations as referred to in the terms and conditions of Pohjola Insurance’s business interruption due to contagious disease insurance.

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, exceptional restrictive measures were taken in respect of opening hours, serving of alcoholic beverages and restrictions on the maximum capacity that caused financial losses to restaurants. Courts of law have assessed whether these losses are included in Pohjola Insurance’s Epidemic Interruption Cover.

The terms and conditions of Pohjola Insurance’s Epidemic Interruption Cover refer to official regulations which laws on restrictive measures enacted before 1 November 2020 cannot be considered. The district court has already previously dismissed an action presented by a restaurant concerning the period before 1 November 2020. Along with the Supreme Court’s ruling, the district court’s ruling remains legally valid in that respect.

From 1 November 2020 onwards, the issue has been enacted through Government decrees. According to the Supreme Court judgement, Government decrees are not interpreted as being official regulations as referred to in the conditions for compensation, so Pohjola Insurance is not liable to pay compensation for losses incurred by these restaurants.