What Will Your Business Insurance Cover During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Within a matter of weeks, the coronavirus has completely ripped through the UK economy, forcing the majority of businesses to move their entire operation to work remotely.

With lockdown measures expected to continue for at least another three weeks, a significant number of businesses will face further disruption, as they try to balance reduced revenue with maintaining the same level of service delivery.

 A key area of concern for many business owners is how their business insurance will be impacted and what changes they need to consider now employees are working from home.

Review your Employer’s Liability Insurance

Employer’s Liability Insurance protects businesses in the event that they are sued by an employee or ex-employee for a work-related illness or injury.

With employees now working remotely, it is advisable for business owners to contact their insurance provider to check that their policy extends to working from home. If it doesn’t, you should have the option to extend your policy to ensure it covers remote working, for which you should request a copy of the policy terms.

Whilst it is important to ensure you have adequate Employer’s Liability Insurance in place, it should be noted that it is the responsibility of the employee to look after themselves and ensure their home environment is safe.

However, negligence claims could be raised if certain tools were provided for an employee to use in their home environment without the right health and safety equipment. In this scenario, it is important to run through full health and safety procedures and ascertain as to whether the completion of the work is fundamental or if it is safer for operations to be placed on hold until you can resume work in your day-to-day working environment.

Overall, it is unlikely that courts would rule against the employer if a staff member had an accident when working from home, due to the difficulties all businesses currently face in trying to protect their staff and maintain operations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst it is important to ensure you have adequate Employer’s Liability Insurance in place, it should be noted that it is the responsibility of the employee to look after themselves and ensure their home environment is safe.

Business Interruption Claims

Business Interruption Insurance covers the financial losses that result from a direct consequence of business interruption, such as loss of revenue.

If you have business interruption insurance and your business cannot operate due to the impact of the coronavirus, it is worth contacting your insurance provider to see if you can make a claim.

While it is likely that the majority of business insurers will have now clarified their policies and imposed exclusions relating to COVID-19, this won’t have been included in your original policy.

Review the policy terms to see if ‘notifiable diseases’ are covered as part of your business interruption policy, as opposed to a list of specific diseases, together with a clause stating the business must be closed by a competent authority to be covered under the scheme.

In these circumstances, you may be able to commence the claims process and recover your lost revenue.

Increased Cyber Risks

With the majority of employers now working from home, there is an increased cybersecurity and data risk.

For example, there has already been a steep rise in coronavirus phishing emails, with thousands falling for the scam. With workers working remotely, this is likely to continue, and it is, therefore, advisable for business owners to review their existing cybersecurity policies.

If you haven’t yet invested in Cyber Security Insurance, now might be a good time to assess its value. However, with insurance providers constantly updating their policies to coincide with the disruption caused by COVID-19, it is important to review all aspects of the policy before you purchase it.

Ultimately, COVID-19 has caused a period of unprecedented disruption for millions of businesses across the UK. To avoid further disruption, it is advisable to review all of your existing insurance policies to ensure your business remains as protected as possible both in the short and long-term.

Leave A Reply