|Coronavirus Pandemic Information |
In view of the worldwide disruption due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a main focus has been around whether or not any cover is provided under a Business Interruption Insurance, when included within a Commercial Insurance policy, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Despite the sometimes confusing messages in the media around this topic most insurers have stated that their Business Interruption Insurance does not provide cover. A specified diseases Clause, when included in a policy, only provides cover in respect of those diseases noted in the clause and COVID-19, being a new disease, is not specified and in addition the specified diseases would need to be at the insured premises. Indeed, the interruption costs of a Pandemic have not been costed into policy premiums as these are massive and widespread hence the government's ongoing measures to provide a package of assistance to those affected. Of course policy cover will vary from insurer to insurer so we would encourage you to discuss your particular policy with us, if you have not already done so, and we recommend you keep up to date with the regular updates the Government are releasing in respect of the aid available to businesses.
As many business premises are now closed, our attention needs to move on to ensuring that the current changes to business activities do not adversely affect the cover that is in place, for example employees working from home may have business computers and phones at home, business premises may now be unoccupied and therefore subject to increased security requirements and some businesses may be diversifying to maintain some income such as making deliveries rather than have customers visit business premises.
These changes may require amendments to be made to your policy cover. Some insurers are offering automatic extensions and relaxation of unoccupancy conditions BUT we would strongly recommend that you review your requirements and your specific policy conditions, contacting us with any queries and notifying changes to your business and/or requirements.
If your business is closed and/or you have staff working from home, you should consider implementing the following measures:
As stated above, insurers will have varying requirements during this difficult time and so we would encourage you to speak to your account manager to discuss your particular insurers stance.
- Turn off electricity, gas and water supplies at the mains and drain down all water systems except those connected to fire suppression systems or in use to maintain a sufficient level of heating to prevent freezing. (Any utilities required to maintain security or allow employees to remotely access systems will need to be left on.)
- Ensure any intruder alarms, automatic fire alarms, automatic sprinkler installations or other fire suppression systems are in good working order and are switched on and in full operation.
- Ensure that all points of access to the premises are secured against entry by intruders.
- Remove all waste, unfixed combustible materials and gas bottles from the interior of the premises, including any communal parts, and store safely in external areas.
- Make sure that an internal and external inspection of the building is carried out, preferably every 7 days, but at least in accordance with the minimum requirements of the applicable policy wording. Keep a record of any inspections you make to refer back to if you needed.
- Carry out risk assessments to ensure staff working at home or undertaking new or additional duties are safe to do so, view guidance on the HSE website under News - Latest Information & Advice page.
- Review existing Risk Assessments and update where necessary.
- Consider if cover is required for business goods or equipment at employees’ homes or in transit and if so contact us to arrange this.
Changed circumstances due to Coronavirus?
Are you suffering temporary difficulty in paying monthly premiums?
Contact us to ensure that your policy accurately reflects the cover you need.
(Changes of circumstances can include changes of use, unoccupancy, or occupation.
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