In these unprecedented times I wanted to outline how CLA Insurance is responding to the challenge we are all facing with the escalating Covid-19 Pandemic and to reinforce that we are committed to continuing to provide the high level of service you have come to know us for. Whilst we have had to adapt our working practices, our agility and creativeness ensure that we have and will continue to deliver “Business as Normal in Abnormal Times”. Our business has been frequently stress-tested and proven its remote working capabilities and I am confident you will see normal service delivery.
To help our clients and CLA Members we have compiled some Frequent Q & A’s related to Insurance to help you understand the implications and the current support available to businesses:-
- Business Interruption/Loss of Revenue - for most businesses who have this cover under their Farm, Estate or Commercial policies they will find that their cover only provides insurance for revenue lost due to an insured contingency where physical damage has been caused such as fire, storm, flood etc. There is unlikely to be any cover for Loss of earnings due to the impact of coronavirus.
- Notifiable Disease/Infection Disease Extended cover - a small minority of business may have elected to extend their Business Interruption/Loss of Revenue cover section to include a ‘Notifiable disease’ extension. However most insurers in the market have wordings that define all diseases that are covered under this extension and they will find it does not include coronavirus. It is worth checking with your broker or insurer if you are unsure as wording do vary in the market.
Following the Governments recent announcement The Association of British Insurers (ABI) updated their information on the insurance markets stance on Covid-19 which can be found here ABI Covid 19 Q&A
We can only recommend in the meantime that if you have not already done so, ensure your Business Continuity Plans are up to date and fit for purpose in the ever-changing crisis.
Workplace Health & Safety
Protecting your Employee – where you have Employers Liability insured - the policy will continue to cover your legal liability for injury to employees or third parties (which includes illness or disease) however you would have to be negligent in some way for you to be found liable. An example of this would be not following government guidelines or not providing sufficient washing facilities for third parties.
Employment Absence & The Law
Make sure you understand your obligations as an Employer to protect your Employees and your Employees understand their rights to be protected whilst still protecting your business.
For example you may need to review your sickness absence and pay policy to ensure it is appropriate.
Also consider employees who remain at work as it is likely that increased sickness and dependent care absence may put pressure on other employees to work longer hours to cover for those who are off and keep the business going. Bear in mind that the provisions of the Working Time Regulations 1998 will generally still apply in relation to hours of work and rest periods and breaks.
Public Liability – Most commercial insurance packages include Public Liability this will protect your legal liability against injury or damage to persons or property. For your protection (particularly from a liability perspective), we would just recommend that you ensure that you keep thorough records of any additional precautions you are taking during this pandemic e.g. any additional cleaning undertaken, additional protective gear provided, changes to procedures for staff/guests etc.
Travel Insurance – the market policies vary in their coverage for Cancellations and we have found that many not include any cancellation cover due to travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus outbreak. As with most policies, the cover would also not be in force for travel to any countries where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are advising against all but essential travel and some won’t cover even when FCO advises against travel. Please check your policy or contact your broker for further advise if unsure.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
You must observe travel advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). No cover is provided under this section of the policy in respect of travel to a destination to which the FCO has advised against all or all but essential travel before the journey commences.
If the status of the country you are travelling to changes during the period of insurance, please contact us and we will advise you if we can continue to provide cover, and if not, the alternatives that apply. Travel advice can be obtained from the FCO by visiting their website at www.fco.gov.uk
Please see below link to Gov.uk for more information regarding what help and support the government is offering businesses at this time.
UK Government Financial Support Measures for Businesses (final paragraph refers to policies not covering Covid).
We remain available to support you in any way we can and I ask that you reach out to us using your normal contacts if we can assist.