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Whilst we continue to navigate our way through these unprecedented times, we would like to provide some further updates in order to help you through the tough times ahead.

21st May 2020


A Message from Managing Director - David McGowan

"Firstly, as per my previous email I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well during these unprecedented times. Following my email of last week where I shared the issues of the insurance industry with regards to cover, there is some additional advice which we would like to provide such as maintaining effective and correct cover whilst under lockdown conditions and also provide updates on other insurance matters as we are in a rapidly changing climate, especially in the insurance world."

David McGowan


Insurance Updates

Returning to the Workplace

Top of the agenda in today’s email is returning to work. I am not qualified to give expert advice on the ‘do’s and don’ts’ on how you should consider returning to work however I can try and point you in the right direction. As ever though, as employers, we have a duty of care to our employees to provide a safe working environment for our staff. This includes making sure that the buildings and machinery are safe of which – these environments may have changed since we last occupied the premises. 

Some items to consider could be:-
 
  • Legionella’s disease – for the last two months our water tanks and taps have remained unused and this stagnant water can harbour all sorts of diseases?, therefore so consideration of this needs to be taken.
  • Machinery that was switched off – is this still safe? Are there specific start up procedures that need to be considered
  • Electrical certificates – are these still in date?
  • Machinery Inspection, are the certificates still in date?
  • Is there adequate social distancing space available in the work place and in such places as – for example in restrooms or canteens.
  • Do you need or have adequate PPE?
 
I could go on all day however We have attached some expert advice from insurers and we have also copied the following government advice links below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

In respect of insurance cover, the majority of policies will include Employers Liability and Public/Products Liability, which provides protection for alleged negligence in respect of your duties as an Employer and to Third Parties. As ever please check your policies for cover and any exclusions or conditions – we can do this for you at your request as well.

To read or download our informative Return to Work Guide please CLICK HERE
 

 
Business Interruption Update

There are some updates in respect of discussions with Insurers and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in respect of Business Interruption cover for clients.

As previously explained, the majority of insurance policies offer no cover for Covid-19. There are a small handful of examples which by accident or error seem to be ambiguous as to whether they offer cover for Covid-19 or not. With action groups growing among'st some business sectors such as leisure and nightlife and the threat of an ugly a very costly (and public) legal battle, the FCA have stepped in to obtain clarity over the legal position with some insurers policy wordings. The FCA will be putting certain policy wordings before the Court for their opinion, however this process is not expected to begin until September. Further details about this are provided within the link below.

We would reiterate that we are prepared to check your policy wording to see if there is any cover available or identify any grey area’s for further investigation, whether you are a client of ours or not.

We also advise that clients have a duty to advise of claims or potential claims to their insurer within a reasonable timeframe, therefore if you would like us to claim for business interruption on your behalf then please let us know as soon as possible.

One last point is that businesses with a turnover of under £6.5m are able to complain about claims being declined to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), however you will have needed to have claimed under your policy first and filed a complaint with your insurer which is again declined, before you are eligible to send your file to the FOS.

If you are unsure about any of this information or what to do next please do not hesitate to contact your Account Executive, Account Handler or myself, as it is a very complex situation or click here to e-mail us and we will contact you.

https://www.fca.org.uk/news/statements/business-interruption-insurance-during-coronavirus
 

Premium Payment Difficulties

As many businesses are suffering financially, the government is trying to step in to assist where it can and the FCA has followed suit. The FCA have mandated that clients have options to speak with insurers and premium finance companies about and they expect them to provide options such as to defer premium repayments. I would suggest speaking to us/your broker in the first instance.

Please see the following link from the FCA on this subject:
 
https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-confirms-measures-insurance-customers-coronavirus

 


 

Further Information


As we mentioned earlier, as we are in a rapidly changing climate therefore we will continue to provide regular updates and advice over the coming weeks. 

If you wish Woodward Markwell to check your policy wording or to make a claim please do not hesitate to contact us or your Account Executive.