FAQs

Please see below for some of the frequently asked questions relating to the Coronavirus

General Enquiries 

Q: How can I prepare my business for the impact of Coronavirus?

For help and support on preparing your business for the impact of Coronavirus, please access our useful section on our website dedicated to COVID-19. In particular, you may find this factsheet useful: https://www.marshcommercial.co.uk/media-library/files/insurance/marsh-coronavirus-resilience-fact-sheet.pdf

 

Q: Where can I go for more advice on how to keep my business running in these difficult times?

Please click on these links below which you may find useful:

For information about Business Interruption Loan Schemes (CBILS):

British Business Bank - CBILS https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

UK Finance - https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/covid-19/business-support/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme

Other useful links and resources include:

ABI: https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-qa/

Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

 

Insurance Policy Enquiries 

 

Business Interruption

Q: The government announced on 17 March that the potential obstacle of premises closure was being addressed with the Insurance Industry Leaders.  Can I now claim for my income loss?

Unfortunately, a standard business interruption policy does not cover you for the losses relating to the impact from COVID-19. The standard cover is designed to respond to losses due to damage to property following say a fire or flooding.

 

Q: In the absence of clarity from insurers following this announcement. Does my policy cover me for the losses anyway?

Unfortunately, a standard business interruption policy does not cover you for the losses relating to the impact from COVID-19. The standard cover is designed to respond to losses due to damage to property following say a fire or flooding.

You may however have cover provisions under certain policy extensions if you have them:

  • Notifiable Diseases.
  • Denial of Access (non-damage).
  • Action of Competent Authority.
  • Operation of cover will however be dependent on the wording of these extensions which vary from insurer to insurer, and the individual circumstances that apply.

 

Q: I have cover for Notifiable Diseases in my policy ‒ can I therefore submit a claim?

Many policies will specify the Notifiable Diseases that are covered. Unfortunately, as COVID-19 is a new disease it is unlikely it will be specified in any policy.

Some policies will allow for Notifiable Diseases which have been newly declared under the Health Protection Regulations. In which case the cover may apply, but once again this will subject to the individual wording and circumstances.

 

Q: I have cover for Prevention of Access (non-damage) in my policy ‒ can I therefore submit a claim?

Many prevention of access wordings will specifically exclude actions to suppress and/or control the spread of a Disease. The standard cover is designed to respond to losses due to damage to property following say a fire or flooding.

 

Q: My policy refers to being covered for prevention of access relating to damage. How is damage defined? Or is Coronavirus classed as damage?

Many prevention of access wordings will specifically exclude actions to suppress and/or control the spread of a Disease. The standard cover is designed to respond to losses due to damage to property following say a fire or flooding.

 

Q: I have cover for Action of a Competent Authority in my policy ‒ can I therefore submit a claim?

Following the Government announcement, we are yet to hear from Insurers outlining how they intend to respond to business interruption claims relating to COVID-19.

Many extensions of this nature will specifically exclude actions to suppress and/or control the spread of a Disease.

 

Q: What should I be doing now?

You should do all you would do to keep the business operating; act in the same way you would to protect the business if you did not have insurance to rely on.

Keep detailed records of the reduction in income and increased business expenditure.

You should then consult your Account Executive for guidance on the presentation of your claim.

For further guidance, please refer to our Business Resilience, Insurance and Claims Advice document.

 

Q: Can I buy additional cover to protect my business from loss of earnings caused by the pandemic?

Unfortunately, you will not be able to purchase an additional policy for this event.

 

Q: If my suppliers are affected by Covid-19, will business interruption cover apply?

Most policies will not respond to this as a trigger for business interruption cover, unless specific extensions relating to pandemic have been added.

 

Q: For Property Owners – is Loss of Rent covered by my policy?

Reference does need to be made to your policy for full terms, conditions and exclusions as this will differ depending on insurer but the overall position is:

Your policy may respond in two different areas if the policy has Denial of Access (non damage) and Notifiable Disease extensions:

  1. An outbreak of a notifiable disease at the premises.
  2. Denial/Prevention of access on the advice of government, police or local authority.

Note that COVID-19 disease became notifiable on 05/03/2020 under the relevant English statutory instrument. It is only the contractual loss of rent that would be covered by the policy. If tenants simply suspend rent payments themselves this would not be covered nor would the Insured’s (landlord) decision to reduce rent on the part of tenants or a decision to provide a discount.

In normal circumstances, a standard lease will allow for rent suspension in the event that the property is destroyed or damaged by any insured risk [or uninsured risk] so that the premises are unfit for occupation or use or inaccessible. The situation is changing rapidly and we can only advise based on individual policy wordings.

 

Q: I will be closing my business temporarily ‒ do I need to do anything?

Many policy wordings will contain unoccupied premises clauses.  It is important that you notify your usual Marsh contact of any closures and provide details of the measures that you are taking in order that we can engage your Insurer.

 

Q: As part of recent government announcements, the Chancellor said for businesses with a policy that covers pandemics, Government action will allow them to make a claim. Does this mean I am covered?

Most policies will not respond to this as a trigger for business interruption cover, unless specific extensions relating to pandemic have been added.

 

Engineering Inspection

Q: What do I do if my plant is out of its inspection period?

If out of inspection, the plant cannot operate or be used.

 

Public Liability

Q: In the event of school closures, will my Public Liability cover cater for staff bringing their children in (they'll be in their place of work but have no access to the main shop floor / main work environment)?

As a general rule, you will be covered under your Public Liability insurance, subject to the undertaking and documenting of a risk assessment that clearly shows suitability of your workplace. This should consider things like:

  1. Has a specific risk assessment of your business been carried out i.e. is it suitable for their children to access?
  2. Have the relevant checks been made for any staff members (if applicable) i.e. the suitability of those undertaking the supervision of their children?
  3. Have you followed current Government guidance i.e. around any staff / visitor exposure to the virus, self-isolation and third-party visitors to their premises?
  4. Has a risk assessment been undertaken on the suitability of the area where their children will be?

 

 

General insurance cover

 

Q: Can I cancel my policy/let my cover lapse as I’m not trading so don’t need it?

We fundamentally believe that if a business intends to trade on the other side of this situation and carries any of liabilities mentioned below, then they should retain cover.

Please consider the following risks should you consider lapsing your insurance cover.

 

Q. Do you have premises?

 

If you own or rent premises then you could still be liable for damage or injury caused by the property. For example, if a roof tile should come down and injure someone, you would be liable.

 

Q. Do you intend to offer a different service to customers?

 

We’re seeing a lot of traditional pubs for instance now offering a delivery service to their communities. This means that they will have employees, they will be visiting customers and they will be holding stock. You will need to check with your broker whether your public liability, employers liability, stock and property covers are all adequate.

 

Q. Will you still be holding your current stock?

 

This stock is still at risk of theft and damage. In the event of a flood, theft or escape of water ‒ could you cover the cost of re-stocking your entire business?

 

Q. Do you own your premises?

 

You will still need to cover the rebuild and accidental damage risks that the premises is liable for.

 

Q. Do you lease your premises?

 

Have you checked your lease agreement to understand what liabilities you hold to your landlord? You may contractually and therefore be legally responsible for insuring all or part of the premises.

 

Q. Are there any residual liabilities connected to work previously carried out?

 

Some covers require continuous coverage to remain suitable where claims can occur some time after work was carried out. It is important to keep cover active.

 

 

 

Operational Enquiries

 

Q: Are you still open as usual?

Yes we are. We have taken appropriate steps to protect our teams whilst also remaining available for our clients.

We have created a useful section on our website dedicated to COVID-19, including some frequently asked questions (FAQs) which may answer some of the queries you may have. Please click here to access the site.

 

Q: What do I do about any changes I need to make to my policy?

Please contact your Client Adviser as normal with any changes you need to notify us of.

 

Q: My renewal is due soon, what do I need to do?

Please be assured that we will issue your renewal as normal and will send out all relevant documentation. If you would like to discuss your renewal once you receive your documentation, then please contact your .

 

 

Claims Enquiries

Q: If I do not follow Government advice will this invalidate my insurance?

There will be individual circumstances in the event of a claim. However, the latest government advice can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

 

Q: If the Government forces me to close my business, does this allow me to make a claim?

Most policies will not respond to this as a trigger for business interruption cover, unless specific extensions relating to pandemic have been added.

 

Q: I have cover that I would like to make a claim against ‒ how do I do this?

Please refer to your policy information which details how best to make a claim and speak with you customer services.

 

Q:  What do I need to do to prepare a claim?

We would recommend you do the following:

  • Please ensure that you comply with all relevant Government advice. If you are continuing to trade, you should act to mitigate any potential losses and operate as if you are not insured. 
  • Keep detailed records of any reduction in income and increased business expenditure.
  • Gather as much documentation as possible to support a potential claim including documentation from suppliers who may be unable to deliver, and evidence of mandated government closures.
  • Gather information in relation to any outbreak on the premises if applicable but be mindful of any data protection requirements in this situation.

  

Other Enquiries

Q: My business is struggling with cash flow in these uncertain times, is there anything you can do to help with my insurance premium?

We can offer you an instalment plan through our provider Close brothers. This will allow you to spread the cost of your payments over 12 months and can be set up electronically with your consent.

 

Q: I have a premium finance plan with Close Brothers but I am going to struggle to make payments, what should I do?

For any customers who pay their premium via Close Brothers please contact Close Brothers using the details below and they will talk through your specific case with you.

If you are a personal lines policyholder, please contact Close Brothers on 0333 321 8566.

If you are a commercial lines policyholder, please contact Close Brothers on 0333 321 8567.

Alternatively, you can contact Close Brothers via email at customerservicespf@closebrothers.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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