Do I have Pandemic Cover and Business Interruption Insurance Cover?
Posted on 24th March 2020 at 10:40
Clients and other businesses have many questions about their insurance. Whilst we are in unprecedented times, the team at HI Commercial is working with our insurers to provide answers as quickly as possible.
Do I have Pandemic Insurance cover?
Following a Government announcement on 17 March which stated that businesses would be covered by their insurance policy, for loss of income under the Pandemic Insurance section, we received a number of calls/emails asking if this cover was provided. However, we have found this to be misleading. Our team has 75 years combined experience and we are not aware of this type of insurance cover. This is not a standard cover and therefore unfortunately, the majority of insurance policies will not include Pandemic Insurance.
Misleading information on Business Interruption
The Government also announced that Business Interruption insurance would cover loss of income due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this advice is not factually correct as Business Interruption cover under an insurance policy, provides for loss of income in the event that the insured premises suffer from physical damage (e.g. fire, flood, escape of water), resulting in the business being unable to trade. As there has been no physical damage caused by COVID-19, the standard Business Interruption section will not respond to loss of income claims, made by policyholders.
Some policies provide extensions to the Business Interruption section of cover, details of which can be found in your policy wording.
Some policies include cover for loss of income arising from ‘notifiable diseases’. However this varies between insurers. Some policy wordings provide a list of what notifiable diseases the insurer will cover. COVID-19 is in most cases not listed, therefore not covered.
Other policies refer to ‘notifiable diseases’ without a specific list of diseases. COVID-19 was added to the list of Notifiable Diseases by the Government earlier this month. This may mean that the insurer may provide cover in this instance. We await confirmation on this and will update as soon as possible.
Do I have Business Interruption cover?
The majority of ‘Package’ policies will generally include an element of Business Interruption cover. If you have Business Interruption cover this will be shown on your policy schedule. Package policies include shops, offices, pubs, restaurants, hotels.
Commercial Combined policies may also include Business Interruption cover however, this differs depending on if cover was specifically requested, or not.
Government forced closure of Cafes, Pubs, Restaurants, etc.
The Government forced closure of Cafes, Pubs, Restaurants, Cinemas, Gyms, Sports Clubs and similar businesses (to slow the spread of COVID-19), presents a separate issue in terms of loss of income for businesses. Again we are working with insurers to confirm whether or not, loss of income resulting from forced closure, is covered under an extension of the Business Interruption section of policy wordings. We are working hard to get answers as quickly as possible and would request patience during this very difficult time.
If you are not sure about your commercial insurance policies, please call HI Commercial on 01482 247477 for peace of mind that you will be protected at all costs. At your service, at your side – commercial insurance with a personal touch.
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