Updates to your Temporary Cover Enhancements January (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.

Due to the current uncertainty caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 we understand that there will inevitably be an impact on your insurance needs. 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.

Employees working from home – applicable until 31/05/21

As standard most of our policies extend contents cover to include cover whilst away from the premises and/or specifically at the homes of employees.
Where your policy does not already include this cover, the following cover is added:
Contents at employees’ homes
Where your policy does not already provide such cover, your policy is extended to provide cover for contents temporarily removed to the homes of employees due to the COVID-19 outbreak up to a limit of:
  • £2,500 any one item;
  • A maximum of £5,000 any one employee’s home. 
For Education insurance policies this extension will additionally extend cover to pupils’ and students’ homes.

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.

Premises that are temporarily closed / unoccupied – applicable until 15/02/21 (now extended until 31/05/21)

At the time of writing, the latest Government guidance (which can be found here) clarifies that whilst a business may be closed to customers, closed premises can still be occupied for certain purposes including:
  • Maintenance, where this is reasonably necessary; and
  • Other work to ensure business readiness to open.
In addition, where it is unreasonable for a person to work from home they are permitted to travel to work, provided this can be undertaken safely and in line with the latest Government guidelines.
Our standard policies define “unoccupied” premises, and apply standard restrictions in cover and conditions precedent to cover that need to be complied with where premises qualify as unoccupied. Our normal policy definition of “unoccupied” is:
vacant untenanted unfurnished empty or no longer in active use for a period exceeding 30 consecutive days
Whilst the business may be closed to customers, if it is still used or visited by employees etc. (in accordance with Government guidelines), it may not qualify as unoccupied according to the policy definition. I.e. if the premises are periodically visited / occupied such that the period between visits / occupancy does not exceed the period in any unoccupied definition. 
Where a premises does not qualify as unoccupied we confirm there will be no impact on your policy terms, conditions or premium. 
However, we do still strongly recommend you implement risk management measures to reduce the risk of damage – please refer to our risk management guidance here for further information. With weather forecasts predicting prolonged periods of cold / freezing weather across the UK, this risk management is especially important to avoid or minimise losses and disruption to customers’ business activities.
Any visits to or work undertaken at the premises should be in line with the latest Government guidelines.
If premises do qualify as unoccupied solely due to the national lockdown
If solely as a result of the latest national lockdown the premises qualify as unoccupied (per the applicable policy definition):
  • Any automatic cover restrictions and conditions contained in the policy will apply;
  • You do not need to notify us of this during the period of the national lockdown, but will need to do so once the national lockdown ceases if the premises are not re-occupied and reopened when allowed to; and
  • We will not charge an additional premium for the increased unoccupancy risk for the period commencing during the national lockdown up to the expiry date applicable to this policy enhancement.
However, any dispensations shall not apply to any unoccupied premises that:
  • Qualified as unoccupied prior to the latest national lockdown;
  • Have permanently closed, i.e. will not reopen / be reoccupied when the national lockdown ends;
  • Would have closed for reasons other than solely as a result of the national lockdown.
Important notes
  • Customers should refer to their policy wording for full details of any definitions, terms and conditions that apply;
  • This enhancement is generic – it is superseded by any more specific amendments made to your policy by us.
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).