As we navigate through the UK’s second national lockdown, we understand that our policyholders will want some peace of mind regarding their insurance policies during these uncertain times. This update contains important information for our brokers and clients regarding the mandatory closure of certain trades and businesses following the latest government-imposed restrictions.
Whilst many employees continue to work from home, we realise that certain business premises will temporarily become unoccupied, untenanted, empty or disused due to the recent government rules which would normally result in the cover provided by our policies being restricted and/or subject to certain policy conditions. A higher premium is also normally charged on unoccupied premises.
To assist our policyholders, we are pleased to advise that the definition of “unoccupied” as shown in our policy wordings will not apply to insured premises which are temporarily closed and unoccupied solely due to the Covid-19 outbreak and the most recent measures implemented by the government to tackle the spread of the virus. By enhancing our policy in this way, it means there will be no:
- reduction in the level of cover provided;
- increase in excess(es);
- increase in premium;
due to unoccupancy as a result of the latest lockdown restrictions.
This policy enhancement will automatically apply during the current lockdown period until further notice in England and will apply to any similar lockdowns in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as per the dates announced by those countries.
As matters develop, we will continue to monitor and review our unoccupancy terms along with all other relevant matters. It is important for you to note that this is not a permanent change.
This coverage change applies to all commercial property business including landlords’ policies where unoccupancy occurs as a result of Covid-19.
In accordance with our previous advice regarding temporary closure and unoccupancy, our decision to apply this policy enhancement is subject to all policyholders taking reasonable and appropriate steps to manage and protect their premises by:
1. applying appropriate security measures including all available security devices being put into full and effective operation;
2. inspecting the business/buildings internally and externally by an authorised person at least once per week to check the security and general condition of the premises.
Please continue to record any property inspections undertaken in writing and make such record available for our review should it be necessary for the event of a claim.
All other policy terms, conditions and exclusions remain unchanged.
We hope this update will bring with it some relief to our customers and may we take this opportunity again to wish you and your families safety and good health during these difficult times.
If you would like to speak to any member of staff directly, please continue to dial 020-7256-3100 followed by their extension number which can be found here.