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Frequently Asked Questions
Insurers’ definition of unoccupied differs from what we would normally consider as unoccupied. Insurers will consider a building unoccupied if it is not visited for a certain period of time, normally around 30 days (if you are a school, this is amended for holiday periods but not during term time), and often even if only part of a building is unoccupied. After this period cover can be restricted, often automatically, and certain conditions are put in place to manage the increased risk. Most (not all) insurers provided great leniency around this condition throughout the lockdown periods; however some have now begun reverting back to applying this condition in its traditional sense. If you are unsure how you should comply with your unoccupied building, please get in touch with us.
The same comment is applicable if you are a marina or boatyard.
There is likely to be a “reasonable care” condition within your policy, requiring you to maintain your buildings and take reasonable care. Again, most insurers provided an element of leniency towards this condition during the lockdown periods, but they are largely now requesting that this condition is adhered to.
Yes, but insurers will want to see some risk management procedures, such as:
a) Risk assessing and ensuring the site is safe for the child to be in
b) Following Government guidelines around self-isolation and third party visitors
You do not need to arrange for additional Liability insurance providing you do not have business visitors visiting your home regularly. You may however have significant amounts of organisation owned computers and contents at home, and you may need to inform insurers of this to ensure cover extends outside of your normal place of work. Some insurers have now agreed to extend cover to employee’s/volunteers homes without charge or the need to notify them, for the period of the pandemic.
Insurers are continuing to cover costs if you were to become ill from COVID-19 either prior to a trip or whilst on that trip. In terms of cancellation costs due to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office telling you not to go, this generally wouldn’t be covered, as most insurers are drawing the line at “all but essential” travel for their cancellation covers.
Unfortunately there is evidence of a significant increase in cyber attacks. Existing cyber insurance should cover these attacks, subject to normal terms and conditions of the policy, and if you wish to discuss cyber insurance please get in touch. CFC have created a guide for working from home, which can be found here.
If you have Directors & Officers/Employment Practices Liability insurance or Legal Expenses, it will be a condition of these policies to notify insurers prior to certain HR actions including redundancy. We strongly recommend the insurers advice helpline is contacted prior to any actions, or please contact us to discuss further. Most insurers are being more flexible around furlough, but would expect you to notify them at renewal of the actions you have taken to furlough employees.
If your insurance policy comes with an employment helpline, you may want to make use of this helpline during the furlough process.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, insurance premiums have been increasing, with the financial results of insurers mostly deteriorating in the last couple of years. Whilst most organisations will be unable to make a claim, the ABI still estimate the costs to insurers to be over £1bn in claims, and this is before you consider lost and reduced premiums as cover is cancelled or slimmed down. You should therefore budget for insurance to increase in the coming months. At this stage it is not possible to estimate by how much, but it is still the case that the UK has one of the most competitive insurance markets in the world, which should help keep increases down.
It will not be possible for insurers to exclude cover under the Employers’ Liability section of any policy should you be legally liable to someone employed by you for catching coronavirus. Your Employers’ Liability policy will cover both defence costs and any awards made against you. Most insurance policies will cover you for third parties including pupils and clients for any similar legal liability claims. However, most insurers have now excluded claims brought against you for coronavirus from their Public Liability policies. We strongly disagree with this stance but we have had little choice in accepting this exclusion as it has become commonplace. Insurers will not be able to exclude cover retrospectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has confirmed that you don’t need to advise your insurer/broker if you are working from home for clerical purposes. If your work involves any manual element then please do contact us, as certain insurers may have additional queries.
If you are working from home and receiving visitors to your home on business matters, you should contact us. In some cases, there may be some restrictions in cover, such as loss of money and theft being excluded unless there is evidence of forcible and violent entry to the property.
Insurers will be taking a pragmatic approach to individuals who are unable to return to their property within the timescales set out in their policy. However, you should contact us in the first instance to obtain advice on this issue.
The ABI has confirmed that if you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to update us if this is the case. This applies to all categories of NHS Volunteer Responders, including transporting patients, equipment, or other essential supplies.
If your work is critical to the national response to Covid-19 and you need to use your own car to drive to different locations for work purposes because of the impact of Covid-19, the ABI has confirmed that cover will not be affected. You do not need to update us.
You should contact us and have the individual added them to your policy as a named driver. If the person who is helping you has car insurance that includes a “Driving Other Cars” extension and they use your car with your permission, they can drive your car. However, they will only have third-party cover and “Driving Other Cars” is intended for short-term emergency use. This means that damage to your vehicle caused by this individual will not be insured.
If you have to drive to your workplace because of the impact of Covid-19, the ABI has confirmed that cover will still be valid. You do not need to update us.
It is a legal requirement to have valid car insurance unless you register your vehicle off the road and apply for a SORN. Different insurers have different processes for these situations. If you want to keep your car but won’t drive it for a while, please contact us and we will discuss the various options and permutations.
Insurers are generally tending to apply exclusions relating to Covid-19 either from renewal or for a new policy. However, this would not generally impact any trips already booked if you were to renew with the same insurer. Therefore, if you have any trips booked which may be affected, we’d strongly recommend renewing with your existing insurer where possible to ensure that you maintain cover if required. We’d also recommend you make us aware of trips booked but not yet cancelled, for us to ensure that cover remains in place after renewal for cancellation and travel delay.