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30 March 2020

Ongoing insurance issues for businesses and charities due to COVID-19

Further to the recent government lockdown we have been giving further consideration to ongoing insurance issues for businesses and charities:

  • Business premises – If you have completely closed your business premises and will not be able to undertake a weekly inspection of them we recommend notifying your insurance brokers, especially as there may well be an obligation under your policy to notify insurers. Further, any business premises that are closed should be fully alarmed and any failure to set alarms may affect any claim under your policy following a break-in and resulting theft or vandalism;
  • Business activities – Many businesses are trying to adapt to keep trading, modifying their usual working methods (eg offering a delivery service). It is expected that insurers will be flexible about these sorts of changes, but it would be prudent to firstly advise your brokers and seek underwriter agreement;
  • Liability insurance – Both employers and public liability policies provide cover for injuries caused by acts or omissions of the business and in the current climate reasonable care will certainly include following government guidance as far as you possibly can, both in the workplace and when engaging with members of the public. A failure to do so may not invalidate your liability cover but following the guidance should reduce the risk of claims; and
  • Home-working – Employer’s liability insurance will automatically extend to cover employees working from home. However, we would recommend that you ensure you are complying with health and safety requirements for all staff now working from home. As a minimum you should be reviewing the adequacy of your health and safety policy for home-working, workloads and delivery times, adequacy on support, workstation risk assessments and if possible some form of PAT testing of electrical devices.

For further information please contact Alan Davies, Partner in BDB Pitmans’ insurance team.

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