Covid 19 Update from Insurers – November 2020

Covid-19 Update for Business & Farm clients

As the world begins to learn more about the virus that has shaped everyone’s 2020, insurers are continuing to respond and adapt to the ongoing situation. During this time the FCA test case has continued and we wanted to let you have an update on this and other factors relevant to your business.

What is County doing about second or further lockdowns in the future?

As a family run, independent firm, County’s business continuity plans remains in effect. To that end:

  • We continue to provide customer service that puts clients at the heart of everything we do.
  • Staff are working from home during their regular hours
  • All staff are available to chat to clients and offer support and reassurance during these times
  • Regular catch up meetings are held with the team online to ensure staff welfare is kept high during these times.

Is cover available for Covid-19, a second lockdown or both and, if so, where?

As a broker we continue to provide a wide variety of policy types to clients and policyholders across a mixture of industries, so we’ll try to explain this on a policy-by-policy basis:

Property Insurance
While there is no strict cover for property damage from Covid, insurers are being supportive to those businesses that have to leave premises unoccupied during this time (and that weren’t unoccupied prior to March 2020). Precautions should include switching off mains water and gas, regular inspections of the property and a removal of high value or theft attractive goods. So long as these are followed the broadly insurers will continue to honour cover during a lockdown. To find out more on a policy-by-policy basis, please contact your Commercial Executive.

Business Interruption Insurance/Loss of Rent Cover
The FCA test case had reached a decision earlier in September. Some insurers are challenging the decision and the FCA is also contesting elements of the judgement. You can read the full text of the FCA’s summary of it here.

The test case only involves a limited number of policies. The majority of policies, unfortunately, do not provide cover.

Policyholders who insurers think may have a valid claim have been written to and updated on the progress of their claim.

If you still think you are entitled to claim from the policy then please get in touch and we will refer it to the insurer for a decision.

Employers & Public Liability
Cover continues to apply for Employers Liability for Covid-19 claims from employees alleging negligence against policyholders
While public liability continues to cover those who haven’t renewed, many insurers are now stating absolute ‘Covid-19 exclusions’ on policies to reflect the uncertainty of the ongoing situation. While this is being discussed at renewal reviews, please check with your Commercial Executive if your insurer has applied this and you want to understand more.

Management Liability
Free legal advice is included within Management Liability/Directors & Officers policies. The legal advisors will be able to provide guidance on the situation as it unfolds, including opinion on workplace management, managing working from home, and on any Wrongful Act alleged against a director. This can include legal advice or cover for landlord/tenant matters.

Some clients have chosen to extend their cover to also include Employment Practices Liability. If you’re faced with a claim from an employee arising from Covid-19 through the course of their work then the policy may respond.

To find out more from our partner legal advisors Rradar, click here.

At renewal, absolute ‘Covid-19 Exclusions’ may be applied. Again please refer to your Commercial Executive if you have any queries on this.