Coronavirus & your Business Insurance
In maintaining Pace Wards usual high level of customer service, we’ve directly spoken to a number of our business and commercial clients over the last couple of weeks regarding their own situation and policy coverages.
At the same time, we’ve been liaising with insurers and of course keeping informed of broader statements issued by both the insurance regulator and the UK government. In trying to summarise a message for our wider commercial customer base we wanted to highlight a few FAQs and what we know so far:
Where included within a commercial insurance, business interruption for the vast majority of UK policyholders relates to a list of additional insured costs and expenses together with a form of income protection following physical loss at the insured premises. Physical loss refers to classic perils such as fire, flood, malicious damage and so on. Over the years, some insurers have widened their cover in this area to provide their clients with differentiators and added value. The inclusion of business interruption extensions for Loss of Licence, Lottery Wins and of course Enforced Local Authority Closure amongst other perils, were not designed as core product sections. So, what does that mean for your business?
- Only a very small percentage of UK businesses will have automatic cover for COVID-19 resulting in a loss of revenue
- Where cover for Enforced Closure by a Local Authority through the identification of a communicable and infectious disease is shown, this invariably comes with an exhaustive list of diseases of which COVID-19 is not currently included, by any UK insurer
- Where statements were given earlier in the week by the government regarding discussions with insurers, nothing new has yet been agreed in changing either the existing cover or the involvement of insurers in handling claims through the economic relief programme
Reductions or Changes in Commercial Activity
During this period, you may be looking at winding down your commercial activities through either a reduced workforce or, indeed, full closure. A statement released by the FCA, and since backed up by some of the main insurance companies, confirmed that increased flexibility will be granted as a special measure to consider such things as increased periods of unoccupancy, changes in wages and turnover for declaration based policies or even increased stock limits for those trades supporting the national policy. In order to reassure business owners that claims will be met should current information or circumstances differ from that at the time of inception, allowances have been agreed and support will be given. If, however, you believe your premises will be unoccupied longer than 30 days please contact the commercial team to ensure the best solution is arranged.
Renewals and General Service
Many, if not all, insurers have now engaged in a full or partial home working plan and we expect there to be a small delay in continuity whilst systems are put to the test. A number of providers have informed us that they will not be considering new clients during this time and the ability to remarket certain products at renewal could be affected. Your commercial account manager dealing with the renewal will keep you informed during the run up to your policy expiry and of course Pace Ward will continue to ensure that all your demands and needs are met in the placement of your business.