Following the announcement that the Government will formally register Covid-19 as “notifiable”, I wanted to clarify, as far as is currently possible, the Insurance position. Although this is, in some respects, good news, it does not automatically mean that businesses will be able to claim under their business interruption insurance.
Depending on the insurer, and the business, there are certain circumstances that need to be met to trigger a valid claim. Most important is that the business premises will need to be closed due to the virus on site. For example, if there is an outbreak in a venue or attraction and it has to close, potentially some limited cover is available. However, If other businesses in the area lose custom due to people deciding not to travel, then there is currently no cover. Equally if a business decides to close their premises as a precautionary measure there would be no cover.
Also importantly, some insurers specify exactly what notifiable diseases they cover. If Covid-19 is not on the list, which is unlikely, there will be no cover.
I personally see that more claims are likely to be triggered if Public Health England start closing certain areas and businesses cannot access their premises. Similar to a denial of access type claim. As ever, we at Trust are happy to discuss personal circumstances with our clients or contacts and I would welcome any enquiries that you may have. Equally, in the event of a loss within a client’s business we will always look to present a potential claim to underwriters for clarification.
I will continue to monitor the position as things develop and forward any relevant updates to you.
In the meantime, please follow this link to a BBC news page which also explains the position according to the Association of British Insurers https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51742207