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Our response to Covid-19

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Covid-19 and Your Insurance

Brightside is currently taking every step to help protect our people and our customers. 

 

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.

 

Brightside brands include Brightside Insurance, One Insurance Solution, Axa Specialist Risks and ProSport.

 

 

Remember, if you're a Brightside Car, Van or Bike customer you can manage your policy online including confirming you're going to renew your policy with us if you haven’t already opted-in.

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Help and Support

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on individuals and businesses in the UK. If you have been affected you may want to contact one of the organisations below for impartial advice

Money Advice Service 
moneyadviceservice.org.uk
0800 138 7777

Citizens Advice
Citizensadvice.org.uk

National Debtline
Nationaldebtline.org
0808 808 4000

StepChange
Stepchange.org
0800 138 1111

Advice UK
Adviceuk.org.uk

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We want to provide some information for our insurance customers who have the following insurance policies with us.

Business Insurance

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:

 

Notifiable diseases

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.

 

Denial of access

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.

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Combined and Package Policies

What you need to do if you have to temporarily close your business premises?

If your premises are left empty for a long period of time, insurance cover often becomes restricted to the core risks of Fire, Lightning, Aircraft and Explosion cover. Each insurance policy may have different lengths of time a premises can be left empty before this restricted insurance cover comes in force, which are normally 30 or 45 days. However, during the COVID-19 outbreak, in many cases Insurers are extending this period.  Please check your Insurer Policy documents.

What to do when re-opening Business premises after an unoccupied period?

Business owners will no doubt be keen to get back up and running as quickly as possible when the government announce a relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Should the nature of your business activities change and the sums insured, do let us know of any changes to ensure you are fully covered.

Please call our Customer Service teams on 0333 222 1060 who will check with your insurer on a case by case basis.

Property Owners and Landlord Policies

What to do if your property becomes temporarily unoccupied?

Within each insurance policy, there will be an un-occupancy condition which provides a timescale that the building can be unoccupied before cover downgrades to Fire, Lightning, Aircraft and Explosion cover. This will vary from policy to policy and some insurers are increasing this time frame. It is important to check you have the necessary cover in place.

Please call our Customer Service teams on 0333 222 1060 who will check with your insurer on a case by case basis.

What to do when your property becomes re-occupied?

Once the Property is occupied again, you will need to contact us if the type or occupation of tenant changes, as this could affect your insurance cover. In addition, you will need to contact us immediately, if the premises changes from long term unoccupied to tenanted.

 

Tradesmen and Public Liability Policies

Liability Insurance and COVID-19 – Should I keep my Insurance Policy in force?

The simple answer is Yes. If you’re planning on undertaking any paid or unpaid work at all during the current restrictions period, then we recommend your policy remains in force.

Some key reasons:

  • Tradesman policies often include Employers Liability, Personal Accident cover and in some cases, cover for tools and plant too.  Keeping a policy in force will also ensure these covers remain current and any claims get paid. 
  • Some Liability policies may be arranged on a minimum and deposit basis. This means you would not get a refund from the Insurer if you were to cancel the policy at any time.

If you do decide to cancel your Policy, we will be on-hand as soon as you want to get back up and running again. In most cases, we should be able to source the insurance cover at the same or similar terms to those cancelled. When the time comes, please call our specialist agents on 0344 902 8316

 

Professional Indemnity Insurance Policies

Professional Indemnity Insurance and COVID-19 – Should I keep my Insurance Policy in force?

Yes. Professional Indemnity Insurance differs from most other types of insurance. It operates on a claims made basis which means any claim made against you will be covered by the policy which is currently in force and not the policy which was in force at the time the work was done.

This means if you cancel your policy, all past works will cease to be covered in the future. It is essential to maintain cover or convert to a Run Off basis (should you cease trading altogether) to protect yourself and your business.

Professional Indemnity is also often written on a Minimum and Deposit basis so you may    not be entitled to a refund in any case as the insurer will still be covering your past liabilities.

 

Transit policies (Such as Goods in Transit or Tools cover)

There is no cover for Covid-19 on a Transit policy.

 

Fleet Policies

There is no cover for Covid-19 on a Fleet policy.

 

All the things you need to know about your vehicle insurance 

Find out more

 


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Covid-19 – press reports 

There has been a lot of commentary in the press about the new rules the FCA have bought in to help support customers who have become financial vulnerable due to Covid-19.

Find out more


Further COVID-19 Advice and Information

In these times of uncertainty, it is important to stay on top of the latest advice and guidelines regarding various insurances that apply to you during COVID-19. For further information, please see our current selection of COVID-19 insurance blog content and be sure to check back in future for new articles and updates.