COVID-19 Business Insurance Update
Many Business Owners are feeling a bit nervous about the impact COVID-19 may have on our economy.
Here are some quick notes that I have put together based on the most common questions that we have been asked over the last few weeks.
Business Interruption Insurance
From a Business-Insurance perspective, generally/most ‘Business Interruption’ insurance covers have exclusion for diseases under the Quarantine Act 1908. Different insurers have different wordings, so it’s important to double-check. Or ask your Insurance Broker so they can double-check for you. Also, you will need to prove the reasoning, and “social distancing” unfortunately is not claimable.
Domestic Landlords Insurance – Rent Default
Same as above, although if your tenant does not pay their rent and defaults (and you have the correct level of cover), then you may have a recovery option as per the usual steps you would take under the Residential Tenancies Act, then the insurance coverage for Tennant Default.
Commercial Property Owners – Loss of Income/Rent Default
Some Business Insurers are now placing ’embargos’ on any new or increased covers for ‘Loss of Rent.’ Some Commercial Property Owners have this cover in place already.
Corporate Travel Insurance
Some financial losses may be claimed, depending on the Insurer, when the policy was renewed/purchased, when the tickets were purchased, etc. Again you will need to prove what caused the Loss. Domestic Travel Insurance is similar to the above, and hopefully, you bought through a registered travel agent who would assist you with any queries.
If a client of yours contracts COVID-19 from you/your workers/your workplace, then there is no cover. First of all, you have to be found Liable. Exclusions for diseases under the Quarantine Act 1908 exist on most Liability Insurance policies.
Workers Compensation Insurance
If a worker contract COVID-19 during their ordinary course of the work, then a claim can be made under Workers Compensation. If there is compelling evidence that the worker contracted the virus while being at work, the policy would respond. However, if there were circumstances where a travelling friend/relative could have contracted it, or they attended a public area outside of work where the virus has been known to be, the claim would likely be declined. It is also possible that the claim would be investigated to ensure the worker did in fact contract this at work.
Can my employees work from home?
If you have any questions on how/why/can your employees work from home & when do they have to stay away from work – follow this link it is very informative.
Please ensure that your employees’ work environment’ is safe. It may be something that you need to consider before you send employees home. Check with an HR expert. Also, you should consider the safety and security of any on-line activities they perform at home – cyber risks & your data security.
For those of you who don’t have a Management Liability insurance in place, it may be a time to reconsider, especially if there will be changes in your workforce. If our economy drops and people lose their ability to earn an income, we will see increases in claims and accusations.
On the UP-SIDE
The government has recently provided information on stimulus packages available. Please note: I’m not an accountant or a financial advisor, please consult your advisor for more details.
If you experience any financial difficulty in making your premium payments – please chat with your Insurance Broker, or talk to us. We are a small business, and like you, will do our best to accommodate you. If your turnover is reducing or your employee numbers/wages are reducing – please check we are here to help you as much as we can.
There are opportunities to be made with these changes if we all think outside of the box and help each other.