It has been 3 weeks since the Government’s “lockdown” rulings came into being due to COVID-19 restrictions and despite having temporarily vacated our Birmingham city centre office, it is business as usual, a testament to our robust IT systems and dedication of our staff! The majority of firms have all but closed their doors, although this also brings new insurance related risks to consider. We have therefore put together some key points that we have been working on with clients and insurers alike over the recent weeks;
Closure of Premises – Extension of 30 Days Unoccupied Cover
Most commercial insurance policies insist that the Insurer is informed when the property is likely to be unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days, following which additional terms are applied. Insurers have acknowledged policyholders have been forced to temporarily leave their premises unoccupied for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19 and most have extended this timescale to at least 60 days during which full cover will remain in place. However, we advise all firms to notify us of the date of closure to ensure insurers are updated before the period expires.
Closure of Premises - Property and Contents
Despite the enforced closure of premises, a policyholder must take all reasonable precautions to comply with existing policy terms and conditions to ensure cover continues. These may include:
- Intruder Alarm Warranty - ensure the alarm is set and fully operational when the premises are vacated, including offsite central station monitoring or police response where applicable
- Access control systems must be set and be fully operational
- Building and perimeter (particularly sites with large yards or car parks) physical security should be checked to ensure all doors, windows, security shutters, gates etc are fully secured and operational
- Check to ensure CCTV is operational and recording or accessible by mobile devices as required
- Compliance with Waste Warranty requirements such as removal of combustible waste from the building and storage of waste bins/skips etc the prescribed distance from the building
- Inspections – where possible arrangements should be made for a weekly internal and external site inspection
- Vehicles - if any company insured vehicles have been classed as SORN with DVLA, let us know as a premium reduction may be available reducing cover to laid up whilst not in use – Accidental Damage, Fire and Theft
- If Employees have taken equipment home you should notify us so we can ensure cover applies for the kit away from your premises.
Please get in touch with your usual Dunsby point of contact if you have any questions.
Closure of Contract Sites
The majority of contract sites will have had an enforced shutdown from 24 March, and again you do have a duty to ensure all reasonable precautions are undertaken, including wherever possible:
- Securing sites
- Keeping plant, tools and equipment within locked/secured buildings
Management Liability Cover – Free Legal Advice via rradar
A number of Policies will have an Legal Helpline service which you can access, if in doubt please speak with us. We have arranged the majority of our clients Directors & Officers protection via a Management Liability Policy underwritten by AXA insurance, predominantly for the Directors and Officers Liability. We would remind all policyholders cover includes free of charge access to expert legal advice by rradar, which is particularly valuable for guidance and support through a wide range of Coronavirus related issues and processes that must be followed, including:
- employee safety
- clarification of sick pay benefits
- effect of employees self-isolating
- VAT deferment
- operational contingency planning
- temporary closure
If you would like a reminder of cover or how to access the rradar services please get in touch with your usual Dunsby point of contact.
Increased Cyber Risk from Working at Home
IT system security may be less robust when staff are working from home, particularly when accessing company data from their own lap top or PC. Cyber criminals have already developed new scams linked to coronavirus and are targeting individuals as well as firms in all areas of commerce & industry. Below are just a few examples of such campaigns;
- Click Here for a Cure – up to 200,000 emails with this heading are being sent at a time. The attached document contains a link to a bogus web site designed to collect log in details
- Little Measure that Saves – emails are sent from a false World Health Organisation account claiming the attached document explains how to prevent the spread of disease, but clicking on the attachment infects computers with malicious software
- Covid-19 Tax Refund – plays on the hot topic of furlough & claims to be from HMRC but clicking on the “access your funds now” link asks for financial & tax information to release funds, which of course is false
Please get in touch with your usual Dunsby point of contact to discuss risks associated with Cyber Liability.
We will continue to provide clear and topical communications, but as always staff at Dunsby Associates are available to answer any questions on the above topics or insurance related matters.