Over 1,000 Irish pubs and bars are affected by the dispute which arose after the insurer refused to provide them with cover since the pandemic resulted in the temporary closure of businesses in mid-March 2020.
On Thursday Mr Justice Denis McDonald was asked by FBD's lawyers to delay his delivering his judgement to allow submissions be made on a judgment due to be given in an appeal by the UK's Supreme Court.
That appeal relates to the English High Court's ruling in a case where that court was asked to determine if the pandemic should trigger pay-outs to holders of business interruption insurance policies.
The English High court found in favour of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) , which brought the case on behalf of the policyholders, on the majority of the key issues.
The UK court ruled that pay-outs were triggered under certain “non-damage” clauses that covered disease and denial of access to business premises.
That decision was appealed to the UK's Supreme Court.
The actions have been taken by Dublin bars Aberken, trading as Sinnotts Bar; Hyper Trust Ltd, trading as ‘The Leopardstown Inn' and ‘Inn on Hibernian Way’ Ltd trading as Lemon & Duke.
The fourth action was taken by Leinster Overview Concepts Ltd the owner of Sean's Bar, which is based in Athlone.
Each of the pub owners claim that under their policies of insurance taken out with FBD they are entitled to have their consequential losses covered by what they claim is an insurable risk.
They also claim that by failing to pay out on the policy the insurer is in breach of contract.
The publicans claim the policies taken out with FBD contain a clause that states the pubs will be indemnified if their premises were closed by order of the local or Government Authority if there are "Outbreaks of contagious or infectious diseases on the premises or within 25 miles of same."
FBD disputes that claim and says the closures did not occur as a result of an outbreak of disease at the premises or areas where the pubs are located.
FBD also told the court that it has never provided cover for pandemics and no one in Ireland has ever asked for it.
The general insurance market in Ireland does not insure against events like pandemics, it claims.
Only specialist brokers, which he said are based overseas, on a bespoke basis offer an insurance policy that cover the fall-out from something like covid19, FBD also argued.