BIBA releases Broker Coronavirus Briefing

20 March 2020

While insurance serves to cover losses which were written into a policy, business owners around the country have sought and fought to understand if they’re covered in times when the coronavirus is hitting them hard.

As the Chancellor announced a package of government-backed loans to the sum of £330m to alleviate the financial pressure currently felt by many businesses, there was also an indication that these struggles would be covered under their business insurance policy.

BIBA have been quick to provide context to this statement and offer clarity to their members and customers with comprehensive guidance on affected policies.

You can read the full briefing here, but we’ve provided a summary of what the guidance entails.

 

Overview on coronavirus in policy wording

In the guidance BIBA states the following:

“Coronavirus does not qualify on the list of original notifiable diseases unless someone has unspecified infectious disease cover there will be no cover. Disinclination to travel/ run an event is excluded.”

However, the organisation is looking at ways in which the industry can pull together to overcome the challenges faced by many who could not have predicted these circumstances, which goes for customers, brokers, and insurers, and therefore did not deem infectious disease extension necessary or relevant.

 

BIBA’s plans on alleviating pressure

In a bid to arrange extra support from Insurers and premium finance providers, BIBA have outline 14 areas of focus.

  1. Three-month automatic extension to renewal dates
  2. Event Insurance
  3. Homeworking and Household Insurance
  4. Insolvency
  5. Client support
  6. Payment Holidays from insurers
  7. Business Rates
  8. TOBA clauses on premium Finance
  9. Selling travel Insurance
  10. Motor Insurance database
  11. Pool Re
  12. Non-disclosure
  13. Renewal Pricing
  14. Unoccupied property


These appeals are intended to alleviate pressures for both the broker, and their end client.

Clients: For example, on the topic of client support, BIBA ask insurers to give clients “the benefit of the doubt” in complex situations. With regards to Event Insurance, the organisation has said that a policy wording trigger in most circumstances would have to come from the government.

Brokers: For brokers, there is the suggestion of an automatic three-month extension to renewal dates to give some breathing space amid the disruption which will allow them to negotiate new terms.

Both: On the matter of business rates, one which applies to both brokers and clients, it is proposed that the three-month break should apply to businesses of all sizes, not just SMEs as was recently announced by the government.

 

Further resources

BIBA acknowledge that the variety of wording within insurance policies meant that it would be impossible to give a “definitive position” on each.

The briefing provides general advice around policies, with a link to customer-facing information on their website and a breakdown of what is or isn’t covered with a Business Interruption or Event Insurance policy in relation to Coronavirus.

You can view the briefing in full here for further details. 

Coronavirus SME information pack

Further information on policy queries can be found on our dedicated Coronavirus SME information pack, which includes a Business Continuity Planning checklist, HR guidelines on wellbeing working from home, as well as useful free tools to help assist collaborative working remotely.

You can view and download the full pack below.

 

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