Home insurance: COVID-19 Temporary Cover Enhancements - January 2021 (now extended)

15 March 2021

Further to our announcement in January, and in light of the extended lockdown period, please note we are extending our temporary cover enhancements to expire 31/05/21.

Please see below the automatic enhancements we are applying to all policies during this period to provide additional peace of mind.
 
  • There will be no additional premiums for these enhancements;
  • These enhancements apply until any expiry date applicable to them;
  • We will review and extend these enhancements for a further period if we deem it appropriate;
  • These enhancements will be applied via this Letter of Intent and will apply as if endorsed onto each policy.

Working from home – applicable until 31/05/21

Where your policy does not already provide this cover and provided such contents are not otherwise insured (e.g. by some form of business insurance) your policy is extended to provide cover for office contents temporarily removed to your homes due to the COVID-19 outbreak up to a limit of
 
  • £2,500 any one item;
  • A maximum of £5,000 at any one employee’s home

Second homes and holiday homes

If a property is a second home or holiday home, this is a material fact that should be disclosed to us. Where you have told us the property is a second home or a holiday home then additional conditions to protect your property from damage will already apply when it has not been lived in for a certain period. Our standard policies also contain automatic restrictions in cover that apply when the property has not been lived in for a prolonged continuous period of time.

If you can still travel to your second home or holiday home during the national lockdown – applicable until 15/02/21 (now extended to 31/05/21)

Where you can still travel to your second home or holiday home for maintenance purposes or to inspect the property (or you can arrange for these to be completed on your behalf), then you should continue to do so in line with the policy conditions. 
 
With effect from the latest national lockdown until the expiry date applicable to this enhancement, any such visits will be deemed occupied visits to the property for the purposes of any unoccupancy definition stated in the policy – this means the time period for limitations like automatic cover restrictions to apply will reset after each visit.
 
This applies provided that you (or another person authorised by you) comply with the following risk management measures, in addition to any more specific policy conditions that already apply to your policy:
 
  • During each inspection:
     
    • rectify any defects in the fabric of the building or any protective or security devices;
    • remove accumulations of post from the letterbox during each inspection, and take any other action to ensure the home cannot be easily identified as unused or no longer regularly used;
  • Put in place contingency plans in case the primary person(s) carrying out weekly inspections or responding to alarm activations need to self-isolate or are ill so that weekly inspections and alarm activation responses can be maintained by another appointed person;
  • You must tell us as soon as you become aware of any illegal entry to the home, whether or not any damage has occurred.

If you cannot travel to your second home or holiday home solely due to the national lockdown – applicable until 15/02/21 (now extended to 31/05/21)

The following enhancement will automatically apply until the expiry date applicable to this enhancement in respect of any second home or holiday home properties where solely as a result of the national lockdown you are prevented from travelling to or from your property:
 
1) Where the policy already contains conditions that applied before the national lockdown started, these will continue to apply subject to:
 
a) where government travel advice does not allow the necessary travel to complete an inspection the need for an inspection is deferred until travel restrictions are lifted to a level that allows inspections to re-commence;
b) in addition, you must tell us as soon as you become aware of any illegal entry to the home whether or not any damage has occurred
and we will not:
i. reduce the level of cover under your policy;
ii. increase your excess or premium;
iii. count the periods during the national lockdown where you cannot travel to or from the property towards the time period that may trigger the unoccupancy definition in the policy.
 
2) Where the property was not already subject to conditions applicable before the national lockdown started and you
 
a) cannot travel to or from the property to comply with any inspection condition in the policy; and 
b) have made all reasonable attempts to arrange for another person to complete this on your behalf but have been unable to do so;
we will not:
i. reduce the level of cover under your policy; 
ii. increase your excess or premium;
iii. count the periods during the national lockdown where you cannot travel to or from the property towards the time period that may trigger the unoccupancy definition in the policy.
 
Important notes

  • Customers should refer to their policy wording for full details of any definitions, terms and conditions that apply.
If you have any questions or issues regarding policy cover, you should speak to your broker or insurance adviser (direct customers should use their usual contact points).
 
We hope that this provides the reassurance you need. If this action is insufficient to meet your insurance needs or if you are unsure about any other insurance issues, please us on 0345 777 3322.