20th March 2020

COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Claims Update

Most businesses will not be covered for business interruption due to COVID-19, but there is a small chance that you may be, find out more below.

The Government has informed the public that struggling businesses will be able to claim on their business interruption insurance for business interruption claims due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). For most, this is wrong. In fact, the vast majority of policies do not cover anything related to COVID-19.

At the time of writing, the Government has not ordered the closure of businesses in the UK such as restaurants, bars and cinemas. Instead, they have told customers to stay away. This is despite the current coronavirus forcing many small businesses to shut due to health and financial reasons.

The insurance industry has been extremely vocal that there is no cover for any coronavirus-hit businesses during this tough financial period.

You may be covered, but not know it

It is not certain that you will not be covered, there is a small chance that your current cover already protects your business against the consequences of coronavirus, and the nationwide response to it – though those with this cover are unlikely to realise it.

There are two types of policy extensions to your business interruption cover that can potentially cover you for this situation:

Infectious Disease Extension  

  • Many policies expressly state which diseases fall within the realm of being an infectious or notifiable disease. If this is the case, your policy will not provide cover. Being a new disease, when the policy was written, COVID-19 will not have been included.
  • Other policies will define the disease with reference to the actions of the government. Since the UK Government has named COVID-19 as a notifiable disease throughout the UK, it is possible you may fall into this definition, and be able to make a claim.
  • Many policies require the disease to be on your premises, others specify a radius from your premises.

Denial of Access Extension (non-damage)

  • This may cover you if you are prevented from accessing your property by an event, or by the actions of a competent authority, thus causing your business interruption cover to engage.
  • In this clause, there are often very subtle differences in wording, depending on the insurer or policy. You may be covered, but it will depend on your particular circumstances and the specific policy wording.

We have the most experienced team of business interruption insurance experts acting for claimants in the UK, who specialise in large and complex claims. Although these claims are not simple, our team has the skills and knowledge necessary to work through such complexities.

People throughout the world are understandably facing all kinds of worries because of the current pandemic. If you own a business and are unsure about whether you can claim for business interruption please get in touch with us here.

 

 

Call our 24/7 helpline on 0330 022 9179 for a free no obligations assessment

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