COVID-19 and your Parish Plus or Parishguard policy

21 August 2020
In light of the easing of national lockdown restrictions previously brought in due to the outbreak of COVID-19, whilst there may still be an impact on your insurance needs, the issues caused by a full lockdown have reduced. In turn this affects the enhancements we voluntarily applied to our policies. We have updated the temporary cover enhancements previously applied as detailed below.

COVID-19 Temporary Cover Enhancements to your policy

Please see below the updates applicable to your church insurance policy from 1/9/20, which we trust will provide peace of mind.
Employees (including clergy, church officials and authorised volunteers) working from home
Your church policy includes as standard, cover for contents whilst away from the premises and/or specifically at the homes of employees.
Liability - health and safety
Resources for employers are signposted by the Health and Safety Executive on their latest information and advice page. As organisations look to different working models for continuity, they also have useful guidance on homeworking and working alone.   
Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, both Employers’ and Public Liability policies provide an indemnity to the policyholder if they are held legally liable for accidental bodily injury or illness arising in connection with their business.
Churches that engage in emergency community support programmes or similar that help supply food and provisions to those affected by the movement restrictions.
We would consider this work to be part of the usual activities of the church. However, we would expect the individual churches to follow Public Health England (or equivalent body)/Government guidance at all times and observe any precautions stipulated by those bodies. There would be no additional premium in respect of these activities.
Church premises that are temporarily closed solely due to the COVID-19 outbreak 

We previously confirmed that temporary closure of your church buildings due to the COVID-19 outbreak would not result in us applying restrictions in cover or charging any additional premium. As church buildings are now able to reopen, your normal policy conditions apply instead. For those churches that remain temporarily closed, your cover will operate as normal. However, where your church building has closed on a permanent basis or has closed pending a decision regarding the future of the building we would consider the church unoccupied and additional terms or premiums may apply. If this is the case, please notify us in order that we can review your insurance cover.
Buildings, whether temporarily closed or permanently unoccupied, can be at greater risk. For temporarily closed buildings, we do expect that you manage the risks associated with a closed building and have developed a guide to help you.
For those properties permanently unoccupied additional policy conditions will apply.
If you have any questions please contact us.
Outstanding risk improvements, periodic conditions and maintenance conditions – will re-apply from 1/9/20 and all dispensations cease

We temporarily suspended compliance with risk improvements by the deadline specified by us, and other policy terms requiring regular maintenance or inspection, where these could not be completed during the COVID-19 lockdown because of the restrictions on movement and/or the lack of availability of contractors.
With effect from 1/9/20 the suspension of compliance will cease. Any policy term that requires regular maintenance or inspection re-applies from 1/9/20.
In respect of risk improvements, the deadlines for compliance are re-set as detailed below:
The period of time allowed for compliance/completion:
  • Will commence on the date we issued risk improvements to you and run to 31/3/20 
  • Will be suspended for the period from 31/3/20 to 31/8/20 – this period will not be counted
  • Will re-commence on 1/9/20
  • Will now include an additional 30 days in addition to the original period, to cater for the difficulties and interruptions caused by lockdown
For example, if the deadline set was 30 days from 14/3/20 the end date is now re-set as:
  • 14/3/20 to 30/3/20 (16 days elapsed with 14 days remaining of the original 30)
  • 31/3/20 to 31/8/20 does not count towards the deadline
  • Deadline period recommences on 1/9/20, so runs for 14 days to 14/9/20
  • Plus the additional 30 days now added makes the new deadline 14/10/20
If the re-set deadline is not sufficient for any reason please contact us immediately. Do not wait for the end of the allowed period to expire before contacting us.
We hope that this provides the reassurance you need in these unprecedented times. If you are unsure about any of the guidance or have any other questions relating to your church insurance please contact us on 0345 777 3322.