Insurer ordered to pay CentralWorld B3.7bn

The civil court yesterday ordered Deves Insurance to pay 3.7 billion baht in damage claims to the CentralWorld shopping centre resulting from the 2010 clashes between security forces and red-shirt protesters in the Ratchaprasong area.

The court ruled that the May 19, 2010 riots and arson attacks were not acts of terrorism.

The court told the insurer to pay CentralWorld 2.7 billion baht in damage claims and 989 million baht in compensation for business disruption. It also ordered Deves Insurance to pay 7.5% interest backdated to March 31, 2011.

Central Pattana Plc, the owner of CentralWorld, filed a lawsuit against Deves Insurance in 2011. The department store said it had about 30 billion baht industrial all-risk (IAR) coverage with Deves Insurance.

The insurer, however, withheld payment arguing CentralWorld's IAR policy excluded protection from terrorism.

The government at the time said arson following the riots were terrorist acts.

In its ruling yesterday, the civil court said Deves Insurance must take responsibility for the policy as the May 19 incident was not a terrorist act or any other incident excluded by the coverage.

The court also told Deves Insurance to pay 60,000 baht to CentralWorld in lawyers' fees.

Deves Insurance later said it will wait for the full text of the court's ruling before deciding how to proceed. It will also have to consult with its re-insurers, both domestically and internationally, who share a stake in the policy.