It goes without saying that our top priority is protecting our people. Alongside this, we still need to make sure our customers have the peace of mind they need from insurance protection. Our prime focus is on our existing customers and supporting them through this difficult time. And as new guidelines emerge from our insurers and the government we will be proactively communicating with those customers who may well be directly affected.
As a small business, we know that you’re likely to be concerned by the recent outbreak of Covid-19 and maybe worrying about how it could affect your livelihood. If you have Business Insurance we wanted to provide some information regarding your insurance policy and the possibility of making a claim against the impacts of Covid-19.
Standard business insurance policies are designed and priced to cover standard risks, which means that they tend to cover more general insurance risks like damage to your property due to perils such as fire or water escape. This means it is unlikely that Covid-19 is specified within the Business Interruption element of your insurance policy, nor its effects such as self-isolation.
As we’re a broker we don’t provide the underlying insurance and so we would recommend that you take a look at your insurance policy wording. There are two specific areas that you should check:
It may also be titled “murder, suicide and disease”. Some policies cover compulsory closure caused by any notifiable infectious diseases; however, as Covid-19 was unknown until recently it may not be named in the specified list of notifiable infectious diseases. Some policies will cover on a “non-specified” basis, meaning there is not a specific list of diseases covered but instead the wording will state along the lines of “any notifiable disease”.
Under this form of wording, as Covid-19 is now a notifiable disease, losses arising as a direct result of the disease affecting a business would potentially be covered up to an inner specified limit.
Many policies contain a Denial of Access extension to the Business Interruption section. The majority require the denial of access to be as a result of “insured damage in the vicinity of the insured premises which prevents or hinders access to the insured premises”. As there would be no physical damage, there would be no cover under such an extension.
However, some policies will contain a “non-damage” Denial of Access clause which opens the cover-up with a wording consistent with “a denial of access or hindrance in access to the insured premises imposed by any civil or statutory authority or by order of the government or any public authority”.
Under a “non-damage” Denial of Access extension, losses arising to the business as a direct result of such denial of access due to Covid-19 would potentially be covered by the policy if the premises have been closed in line with the above.
We hope this information has given you a clearer direction on how to proceed with your business insurance. And if you do feel you need to make a claim you can find your insurers claim number in your insurance policy wording.
If the policyholder becomes sick due to Covid-19, like any other sickness they do not have any cover under their public liability policy for lost earnings. If they have a Personal Accident & Sickness policy or a life insurance policy elsewhere you may wish to contact your provider to see if any cover is available.
There is no cover for Covid-19 on a property owners policy with the possible exception of “Employers Liability” if this has been added.
Please see below regarding your obligation in respect of Employers Liability
There is no cover for Covid-19 on a Transit policy.
There is no cover for Covid-19 on a Fleet policy.
If you are an employer who has Employers Liability insurance we suggest that you keep up to date with government guidance with regard to your duty of care to your employees to mitigate any claims that could be made against you or your business. A government
source of information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response