In response to the volume of recent queries we’ve received about how the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown is affecting insurance cover, we’ve compiled this set of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
We have focussed on the key issues that many of our clients are asking us about but if you can’t find what you need below, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re here to help.
Am I covered for loss of income as a result of coronavirus and/or related diseases such as COVID-19?
Unfortunately, this is a new virus and COVID-19 is a new disease that emerged only recently, so your policy will likely not cover it.
There may be exceptions, however, and we will do our utmost to represent you when you need to make a claim on your insurance. To achieve this, we have set up a dedicated team to handle all coronavirus and COVID-19 related insurance claims.
If you do need to make a claim, then please contact your usual CLEAR adviser and they will liaise with our specialists.
A note of caution: even given best efforts, your claim may not be successful. Consequently, you may feel dissatisfied with how we, or your insurer, handled the claim. Should this be the case, please let us know.
Can you help me look at alternative premium payment options?
Yes, we can. If you are currently paying for your insurance policies by monthly instalments through a finance provider, such as Close Premium Finance or Premium Credit, and cash flow is a concern, then please talk to us. In certain circumstances, we have been able to negotiate payment holidays or reduced monthly payments through a variation of the loan agreement.
If you are paying your insurer directly by monthly instalments and think you might struggle, we can discuss potential options with them.
What happens if some of my policies are coming up for renewal?
If any of your policies are coming up for renewal, we are here to discuss potential variations to your policy coverage, such as cover choices, business activity amendments, changes in financial estimates and other underwriting information. For motor fleet clients, we can explore opportunities for providing reduced cover for vehicles too.
We can also discuss availability of a range of finance options to enable you to spread the cost of your renewal premiums.
What can I do if my policy is still current, but I’m concerned about existing estimates and cover?
Even if you are midway through your policy period, we can ask your insurer to revisit your policy’s financial estimates and existing cover in light of the ongoing crisis. Some Insurers are prepared to allow certain alterations to be made mid-term.
Please talk to your usual CLEAR representative about what we can do to support you.
What should I do if my business premises are currently unoccupied?
If you’ve had to close your business temporarily following the lockdown and your premises are unoccupied, you should check your policy’s unoccupancy terms, conditions and exclusions. If you are a property owner and your tenant has temporarily vacated your property, you should do likewise. Insurers don’t necessarily use the same wordings in their policies, so we can’t list the conditions word for word for you to check.
Generally, however, you’ll need to be aware of the following:
The period that your property can remain unoccupied before you need to inform your insurer is typically 30, 45 or 60 days. However, this will vary policy to policy.
The warranties and conditions that apply to your property’s insurance while it remains unoccupied may include a requirement, for instance, to turn off and drain the water supply. You may also need to get someone to inspect the property at regular intervals, such as every 7 or 14 days and ensure that the letterbox is sealed up. It is useful to record details of those visits.
Typical restrictions to the extent of cover that may apply to your property’s insurance while it is unoccupied include escape of water, malicious damage or theft.
Many insurers are providing wider temporary cover for premises empty due to COVID-19 – please speak to your usual CLEAR adviser.
I need more information, who should I contact?
If you need more clarity about the cover you have, or if you’re unable to comply with any of policy terms and conditions, please speak to your usual CLEAR representative. Given the exceptional circumstances, certain insurers are being more flexible concerning adjustments to cover and premium payment methods.
So, if you do need help, remember, we are here for you.