With the progression of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and in light of the ongoing measures announced by the UK Government, we want to let you know about the steps that CCi is taking to ensure that we can continue to service and support you as best as we can during these unprecedented times.
Our Operational Procedures
In response to the stringent measures announced by the UK Government to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the CCi team are now working from home until further notice.
The team has full remote access to our IT systems and all telephone numbers have been redirected to back-up telephones / mobiles, hence we are confident that we will continue to provide a ‘business as usual’ service.
How is COVID-19 affecting insurance policies?
As an overview, standard commercial insurance policies – the type the vast majority of businesses purchase – are designed and priced to cover standard risks, including damage caused by fire, flood, losses by theft, along with the subsequent impact that these type of losses may have to the business’s Income or Gross Profit and accidents involving employees or members of the public.
The “Insurance Industry” provides protection against these possibilities based on known exposures i.e. the sums insured / limits of indemnity / working practices etc. and the likelihood of these events occurring based on their past experiences, but they are generally unable to offer cover for all known or un-known eventualities, as this would not be financially viable and if they did, the cost to policyholders would probably mean that they could not afford the premiums that would need to be charged to cover the claims in the first place.
Many of our commercial clients have been asking questions about the extent of cover that they have for COVID-19 related issues and more specifically, whether the interruption to their business’s Income or Gross Profit will be protected. As the situation evolves insurers’ responses may change but as things stand at this present time, the stock answer is unfortunately “most probably not”.
There is significant variation between insurers and policy types as to how cover may be provided to protect a business’s reduction in Income or Gross Profit from “Diseases”. This invariable falls into two categories i.e. cover responding to Specified Diseases (i.e. a specified list, which almost certainly will not include Covid-19) and Notifiable Diseases as dictated by the government, but some insurers go as far as specifically listing which Notifiable Diseases are included.
Many businesses do not have this form of insurance cover and those that do will invariably either exclude Business Interruption due to new and emerging diseases e.g. Coronavirus &/or Covid-19 or explicitly state that no diseases will be added to the list without the insurers prior written agreement, rendering the government’s recent decision to include Covid-19 irrelevant.
In any event, whatever the extent of cover, it will only respond if a Public Authority has instructed the policyholder to close their premises following a manifestation of a Specified or Notifiable Disease at (or within a certain radius of) the premises.
There are other Covid-19 insurance related matters to also consider, such as the impact under the following classes of insurance:-
- Cyber / Internet Liability
- Business Travel Insurance
- Employer’s Liability
- Public Liability
- Directors & Officers (Management) Liability
- Employment Practices Liability
We are of course happy to discuss your own specific insurance coverages, if we have not already done so.
COVID-19 is unprecedented and the financial and non-financial impact remains unknown. The support measures recently offered by the UK Government (including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) are welcomed and further direct support may well be provided to UK businesses. For the latest guidance, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses.
We continue to monitor developments with our insurer partners and will notify you of any insurer / UK Government imposed changes.
This is a very difficult time for everyone and our team remain committed to helping you through this challenging period.
If you have any questions, please call or email your normal CCi contact.