Further Update from NBS/Accelerant re Covid-19 and Policy Cover

     STATEMENT ON COVID-19 AND POLICY COVER

      SME UK / SME ROI / Sports and Social Wording

Accelerant recognises the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and the widespread effect this is having. This guidance is intended to help everyone to understand their position and what is, and is not, covered under the policy. However, this guidance does not replace the wording of the policy itself. It is important to remember that the policy is written and priced to cover a certain set of risks, and not others.

What is covered
Covid-19 is a disease which is caused by a virus known as SARS-CoV-2. A virus is a type of microorganism.

The policy contains a general exclusion of liability for damage or consequential loss caused by any kind of microorganism. This means that the policy does not cover loss associated with Covid-19, as it is caused by a microorganism.

The only exception to this is the extension for business interruption caused by closure or restrictions placed on the insured premises on the advice of, or with the approval of, the appropriate public authority as a result of a notifiable human disease occurring at the premises.

Covid-19 has been a notifiable human disease in the Republic of Ireland since 20 February, in Scotland since 22 February, in Northern Ireland since 29 February and in England and Wales since 5 March. Where Covid-19 has occurred at the insured premises on or after the relevant date, the policy will provide cover for business interruption.

It is important to understand that the policy will only provide cover where Covid-19 has occurred at the premises. Business interruption caused by Government advice or direction about social distancing, staying at home and the need for certain shops and businesses to close will not be covered.

If there has been an occurrence of Covid-19 at the premises the policy will cover business interruption as a result of closure or restrictions as advised by the relevant authority. Current UK Government advice is that where there has been an occurrence of Covid-19, areas and surfaces which the infected person has come into contact with should be thoroughly cleaned. It is likely to be only the business interruption caused by this requirement which will be covered by the policy. The cost of cleaning itself will not be covered as this is excluded.

What evidence is needed
If you believe that your claim falls within the above criteria, you should submit evidence to show that is the case. Your evidence should:

– Provide details of the occurrence of Covid-19 at the         insured   premises: when and how it happened, how you became aware of it and how serious it was. It is likely that this will be because somebody who is known to have had Covid-19 was present at the premises for an extended period of time. You must have a reason to think that that person did have Covid-19. If they are simply self-isolating as a precaution that will not be enough. Equally, if somebody who was infected just passed through very briefly, that is unlikely to be enough to show there was any effect on the premises.

– Provide details of the effect this had on your business and what this has cost you. You should provide as much detail as possible.

– Separate the effects of the Government advice about social distancing, self-isolating and the closure of non-essential businesses from the effects of the occurrence of Covid-19 at the insured premises. Only the latter is relevant. So we will need to know what effect the general Government advice and movement restrictions had had on your business immediately prior to the occurrence of Covid-19 at the premises.

You should submit your evidence by letter or email, quoting your policy reference, to your insurance broker.

Other sources of help
There is useful Government guidance to be found on the internet at

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19