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Commercial Insurance Position - COVID-19

The purpose of this article is to provide clarity to our members in these unprecedented times of uncertainty caused by COVID -19 pandemic and its implications on business insurance.

The reality is that sadly very few policies, for any business sector, including the hospitality trade, have any provision built within them because such an event of this type on this scale has not occurred before.

We have been in constant communication with PXL - our trusted insurance partner. Operations Director, Howard Broadbent has provided us with the following statement:

“We have been getting a large volume of enquiries from clients asking if their insurance will now cover COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak after the Government statement last night (17.3.20)

Please note this is NOT the case and this is backed up by the two following statements issued by the ABI (Association Of British Insurers):

 

‘Following the Prime Minister and Chancellor's comments on insurance during the Government press conference earlier this evening, the ABI has issued this further comment;

“The Chancellor's statement today is consistent with our statement this morning where we said in the event businesses have the right cover, this type of notification could help make a claim.

But, as the Chancellor acknowledged, the vast majority won’t have purchased extended cover and this remains unchanged."’


ABI Statement on Business Insurance - 17th March 2020

'Irrespective of whether or not Government orders the closure of a business, the vast majority of firms won't have purchased cover that will enable them to claim on their insurance to compensate for their business being closed by the Coronavirus.

Standard business interruption cover - the type the majority of businesses purchase - does not include forced closure by authorities as it is intended to respond to physical damage at the property which results in the business being unable to continue to trade.

A small minority of typically larger firms might have purchased an extension to their cover for closure due to any infectious disease. In this instance, an enforced closure could help them make the claim, but this will depend on the precise nature of the cover they have purchased, so they should check with their insurer or broker to see if they are covered.'


Some policies have an element of insurance cover that may have protected premises where they were formally identified as the source of an outbreak, but this is virtually impossible to prove.

Government therefore has acknowledged that the vast majority of businesses won’t have purchased extended cover and this has been the main driver for them introducing such comprehensive packages of financial support for all businesses.

As long established insurance brokers, we are doing all we can to support our customers in the hospitality sector in these challenging times. There have been several posts circulating on social media and beyond, suggesting that there are insurance policies that could be purchased now that would protect businesses against the impact of coronavirus.

This is simply not the case and we would strongly advise you to avoid dealings with any company that says they can offer this service or product. A retrospective insurance policy is not something that can be provided.”

 

Whilst we respect the expert advice of our partners, PXL, we would still advise members to speak to their insurance provider and see what cover they may have for business interruption – as each policy will be different depending on the cover you have in place.

For all other sources of help, financial and otherwise, please keep checking the BII website, www.bii.org and follow our social media channels for updates.

Call us on 01276 684449 and leave a message which we will return as soon as possible.