Updated 28 May 2020

Financial Difficulties due to Coronavirus

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed a series of measures aimed at assisting insurance customers who may be suffering financial difficulties as a result of Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The targeted measures being implemented require firms to consider what options they can fairly provide to benefit customers, including:

  •  Reassessing the risk profile of customers. This may have changed because of coronavirus and there may be scope to offer customers materially lover premiums.
  • Considering whether there are other products they can offer which would better meet the customer’s needs to revise the cover accordingly.
  • Waiving cancellation and other fees associated with adjusting customers policies.

These actions could result in a reduction in the monthly premium for customers paying by instalments or a partial refund of the premium for customers who have paid up front.

We want to do all with can to assist you at this difficult time, so please contact us if you are suffering from financial difficulties, or anticipate that you might in the near future, in order to discuss whether any premium savings can be achieved.

Business Interruption Insurance

There has been a lot of media attention around Business Interruption insurance and you will no doubt be wondering whether your Business Interruption insurance protects you against a loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Business Interruption usually provides cover only for a specific number of notifiable diseases, as detailed in the policy wording, which has been the situation since the SARS outbreak in 2003. These policies therefore exclude business interruption due to new and emerging diseases.

There are some few exceptions, but the current COVID-19 outbreak is not covered under a significant majority of business interruption policies and we regret to advise you that it is unlikely that you will be covered.

However, the Government launched the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme on 23 March. The scheme will provide government-backed loans of up to £5m to small and medium sized businesses, while the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility will provide working capital for large firms.

You can find details of the scheme and participating lenders at British Business Bank

Business Insurance

If your premises becomes unoccupied due to having to temporarily close, or staff working from home due to Covid-19

AVIVA INSURANCE -Aviva have extended their full cover period to 90 days. Please contact us to discuss your situation once this period is coming to an end

AXA INSURANCE – Have extended their full cover period to 60 days, please notify us nearer the expiry of the 60 days to review the situation

ALLIANZ INSURANCE –  Will continue to provide full cover for the first 60 days of unoccupancy if it is due to the Coronavirus restrictions. Nearer the time to the expiry of the 60 days contact us to review the situation.

AGEAS INSURANCE – Where any premises becomes temporarily unoccupied as a consequence of COVID-19, Ageas will not restrict cover from the time the unoccupancy starts, until such time as the restrictions on premises being used or occupied are lifted. This is subject policyholders applying appropriate best endeavours to manage their premises, including appropriate security measures while they are closed, and adhering to governmental advice and action.

You don’t need to notify Ageas of the unoccupancy, where it occurs as a result of COVID-19.

This amended approach will apply for the next 60 days (from 24 March 2020). We may (subject to review) extend this period further.

Ecclesiastical Insurance – Temporary cover Enhancements

FOLGATE INSURANCE – The full cover period of unoccupied properties has been extended to 90 days, policies incepted up to and including 25 March, where the unoccpancy is as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you have made arrangements to work from home then you do not need to notify us if this only involved clerical work. If any stock/office contents have been removed to the home please notify us immediately.

NIG – NIG have extended their full cover period for unoccupied properties to 90 consecutive days and encourage policy holders to ensure the building is secure, where practical turn of gas, water and electricity supplies at the mains. If possible to visit the premises every 7 days to check and carry out any work to maintain security. Remove all trade refuse and waste materials.

RSA – would consider such business premises to be temporarily unoccupied. However, certain standard restrictions in RSA policies for unoccupied properties will not be applied, provided that the period of closure does not exceed 90 days. What this means for such premises is that, for the period that they may be closed for the above reasons or for up to 90 days maximum (whichever is the shorter period):
1) Where the policy wording excludes Malicious Damage, Escape of Water or Theft with respect to buildings that are empty or not in use, such exclusions will not apply
2) Security and Inspection conditions applicable to Unoccupied Properties will not apply

ZURICH INSURANCE – It is Zurich’s intention that where buildings are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, their Unoccupied Conditions will not apply and they will not be taking any further measures to restrict coverage.

Currently all other insurers have not changed their standard unoccupancy terms. Please continue to notify us as soon as your property becomes unoccupied.

Agricultural Insurance

An update from Farmweb is available at their website – Farmweb

Currently all other insurers have not changed their standard terms. Please contact us to discuss your specific situation.

Personal Insurance

Working From Home

AGEAS INSURANCE – Ageas household policies would not be impacted if you work from home, as long as it’s on a clerical business use basis only.

However, contents cover only extends to your owned home office equipment and furniture, which is used for administrative and clerical activities undertaken at home.

AVIVA INSURANCE – Will during the duration of the lockdown consider office equipment in the home as contents in the event of a claim.

Health & Protection Insurance

Access to remote GP Service

Vitality Health – Vitality have extended their access to their Vitality GP to all Vitality Members – Life, Health and Invest

WPA- have extended access to their remote GP service for all members of a private medical scheme, both group and individual.

Useful Information

Keep up to date with the latest details and guidance from the UK Government via their website – Gov.UK

Concerned about symptoms visit NHS Online