WE ARE HERE TO HELP
We understand this is a very unsettling time and are closely monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak. As the outbreak continues, I hope you and your families are managing to keep safe and well.
We know you have a lot of questions. Insurers are experiencing a high level of enquiries and therefore there are sometimes delays. As always, we are here to support you, so we’ve created some answers to your frequently asked questions, with some input from insurers and other suppliers. We’ve also launched our Coronavirus webpage which I hope will help.
We have also launched:
- a weekly bulletin providing access to our library of guides
- online video conferencing facilities
- access to our consultants’ dairies online
- a promise to respond back to you same-day
- direct access to our supplier hotlines
We will continue to update this website with information as it develops so please check back regularly and let me know if you would like to receive anything else.
Please do not hesitate to contact any of our team if you have any further questions.
Ascend Broking Group
Where can I get risk guidance on building closure?
Our insurer partners have produced a set of risk mitigation measures for our customers:
• Managing additional home working exposure
• Partial closure guidance
• School shutdown guidance
• Temporary closure new build construction sites guidance
• Temporary closure refurbishment risks guidance
• Temporary closure security guidance
• Zurich fire protection building closure guidance
• Decontamination COVID cleaning services
• Important websites
In addition, the following white paper is available to help businesses:
Download our following guides:
Coronavirus – Frequently Asked Questions
The response from insurers below are correct at the time of publication but, given the nature of the emerging trends, may be subject to change.
All insurers are open for business as usual. In order to comply with the stringent measures announced by the UK Government to help curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), all insurers are now working from home until further notice.
Yes. They are taking a little longer than normal to respond but have are operational and able to support us.
Please continue to work with us in the normal way. All telephone lines have been redirected and we are answering all emails and calls. If you have a specific query you can speed up a response by using the following contact deatials:
Insurers recognise the challenges faced by our customers as buildings are forced to close or operate on a limited basis going forward.
Every insurer will have different terms and conditions where buildings are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our Unoccupied.
Customers should continue to follow the risk management advice set out within our guides but also contact us to discuss in order that your insurers can be advised.
We would encourage continued/daily onsite presence unless explicitly restricted by Government guidelines and advice and if provisions exist for building closures already, ie. procedures taken during holiday periods, then these procedures should be taken forward during this unprecedented time. Where a site usually has a 24/7 presence and there are not adequate measures on site in the event of unoccupied closure (such as the absence of an intruder alarm) then please refer this to the terms advised by your insurer.
We recognise there is an increased risk of incapacity which may affect an your ability to finalise renewal terms. Our approach is to continue to offer renewal as intended and unless otherwise advised.
We are committed to being as supportive as we can and will work with customers accordingly.
There is widespread confusion over the coverage offered by business interruption insurance policies in these extraordinary circumstances.
This is a deeply worrying time for businesses of all sizes and we are doing everything we can to support customers with their claims during these unprecedented times.
As has been widely acknowledged, it is unlikely most UK businesses will be able to claim for disruption caused by Covid-19. Standard business interruption cover bought by the vast majority of businesses is intended to cover physical damage at a property which results in the business being unable to trade, such as from a fire or flood. Only a very small number of companies pay for extra cover for infectious diseases, and if they do, these policies include a list of specified illnesses known as ‘named notifiable diseases’. Consequently, new and emerging diseases, such as Covid-19, are usually not included.
The reason for this is that insurers price based on known risks. The approach to pricing insurance policies is to collect historical data and use that to understand how likely the event is to occur; the cost of returning the customer to the position they were in before the event; and the likelihood of a single event impacting multiple customers.
In the case of pandemics, which are rare compared with a car accident or flooding, these factors are difficult to estimate and likely to be significant when they arise. No insurance market can afford to underwrite the scale of losses a pandemic can bring and the coverage of policies reflect that reality. The other way to think about it is that, if policies included pandemic coverage, the difficulties in pricing and the size of the impact, would mean that they would generally make most insurance policies unaffordable. This could lead to underinsurance and for the normal risks that a business is exposed to not being covered.
Where insurance policies have a small inner limit of cover for infectious diseases, a few in very small minority of cases, a list of the diseases covered under policies are specified within the policy wording. This list does not include diseases linked to pandemics, such as SARs, Avian Flu or Coronavirus. This cover would usually also only apply when the disease was actually present at the premises or in the surrounding area.
We have every sympathy for all our customers who have been impacted by the coronavirus and, as always, will support you in whatever way we can.
We recommend you advise us in order that this can be noted on your insurance policy.
During times of reduced trade, you may wish to save costs by taking some of your fleet off the road. Generally you will have two options, either to remove vehicles from the policy completely or to request Laid Up Cover – typically to cover Fire & Theft only. It is worth highlighting that most policies have a minimum retained premium clause, so usually there is a limit to the level of return premium achievable. However we are approaching insurers with all requests in these unprecedented times.
If you would like us to remove vehicles please let us know which ones and remember to SORN them to avoid being fined for having no insurance on them.
Should you wish us to approach your insurers to amend cover to Laid Up please can you advise:
- Which vehicles this is to apply to
- Confirm they are being SORN and provide proof this has been done
- An up to date value
- Confirm where they are being kept and the security in place – eg behind locked gates, CCTV etc
- Confirm where the keys are being kept and how they are being secured
- Confirm batteries have been disconnected
Importantly please remember to advise us when full cover to include Road Risks is to commence again.