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The latest insurance updates, including and travel

December 2020


Important Insurance Updates


I hope you are all staying well. Apologies in the length of time between my last update and this one, as with everyone, December is a particularly busy month. We end this year on a slightly more positive note with a vaccination for COVID-19 being approved to use in the UK. So hopefully 2021 will be a much better year for us all. Please see my latest insurance updates below.

David McGowan (Managing Director )


Covid-19

In respect of the Covid-19 Business Interruption claims update I can confirm that the Supreme Court heard the arguments of Insurers and the FCA in respect of the appeal. The judges are now deliberating their responses, they have not given a timeline on when they will advise their findings however I would imagine this will be after the Christmas period, if this changes or their results come out before then I will advise everyone as a matter of course. As mentioned many times before we are happy to review anyone’s policy schedule and wording and advise if we think there is any scope of cover and worth putting in a claim. I would also ask you to take the time to assess your current sums insured and estimates and also your business description.

With what has gone on over 2020 there have been a lot of changes to businesses and how we transact this business and we urge you to make sure that your policy adequately covers you and also that any material fact that insurers should be aware of are disclosed. If you are unsure if you need to make any changes please contact us immediately as we would be happy to run through things and allay any fears or concerns you may have.

Also Insurers, and ourselves, need to be aware if you are in any financial difficulties, especially during this pandemic, as this will affect the underwriters assessment of your overall risk and is a material fact which needs to be disclosed. An example of this can be seen in the following case study:-

Case study example

In a recent, but unreported, law case an insurer refused indemnity to a well-established company because the Insured had not disclosed to the underwriters that the company was in severe financial difficulties. After gearing up to expand, to cope with an increased level of sales, the company had suddenly lost some critical contracts.  Some two years and one renewal later a substantial claim was made against the Insured which revealed to underwriters, amongst other things, the company’s financial difficulties. Underwriters claimed that had they known of them they would not have accepted the risk. The broker, an experienced, fully professionally qualified person, knew of the Insured’s difficulties but did not automatically connect them with material information, or the fair presentation of the risk, there being no precedent for underwriters  in the class of business enquiring  into the financial state of policyholders. In fact, the broker asserted in the course of litigation enquiries, that very few of their clients did not have financial difficulties at some stage but they had not been expected to disclose it as a matter of course. That disclosure may soon become a new expectation of insurers; but it will bring with it unintended consequences.

You will see how, in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, there is a real and present foreseeability of severe financial difficulties arising in a wide range of comparatively ordinary businesses and when a business is in ‘survival mode’ its ordinary standards and practices will be liable to variation and change. Is that a material circumstance or is it something a prudent underwriter could reasonably be expected to recognise and accept as a ‘new normal’?

Links to the FCA website on this subject is below:-

https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/business-interruption-insurance#latest-updates


Brexit / Foreign Travel

I am sure you are all aware that we leave the EU on 1st January 2021 and are preparing yourselves for the changes it will require for your businesses.

Unfortunately Insurers are now dusting off their old Green Cards which you will need if you are taking a vehicle into Europe, you will also need a separate card for trailers or anything being towed by your vehicle. We would urge that if you are considering traveling to Europe with your vehicles then you let us know in plenty of time so we can arrange for the Green Card to be produced and sent to you in plenty of time before you go. With this being an old system it may take insurers a while to be able to produce these cards whilst we get used to travelling in Europe following Brexit and also the pandemic.

Which leads me nicely onto consideration of Business Travel Insurance. If you are considering traveling into Europe or the rest of the world we would highly recommend taking out an annual Business Travel Insurance policy as this is covers you as soon as you book your travel or hotel room, cancellations or curtailment can take place from the day after the booking right up until the day of travel. Assuming that you are going to a country which is green lit by the UK Government then some policies will cover you for Covid-19 whilst abroad. As ever if you would like a quote or want to discuss cover please do not hesitate to contact ourselves.

Also for those unfortunate to have underlying medical conditions we are aware of some assistance in this area in respect of finding cover, this is from the Money Advice Service, link below.

https://traveldirectory.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en


Driving Outside the UK

With there currently being no agreement between the UK and the EU following the Brexit transition period, a Green Card will be required for vehicles being driven from the UK (including Northern Ireland) to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, with effect from 1 January 2021 (unless the European Commission declares otherwise in the meantime).

The Haulage and Distribution team within Willis Towers Watson have produced this guidance on the requirements for driving outside the UK from 1st January 2021.

Click here to view the guidance.

Please do not hesitate to call us to discuss any of the above, we are here to help. 


Jen Baker

We are all still totally devastated at the loss of our wonderful Jen. We said our final goodbye at her funeral on 25th November 2020. We cannot believe that this beautiful person has left us forever. We send our continued love and condolences to Jen's family, her partner and his family, her friends and anyone who was blessed to have Jen in their lives. Jen's family have selected two charities that are close to their heart for anyone wanting to make a donation in memory of Jen. Great Ormond Street Hospital, who helped Jen at the start of her life and the East of England Air Ambulance, who tried their best to help Jen at the scene of the accident. 

Just Giving - East Anglian Air Ambulance

Just Giving - Great Ormond Street Hospital

We will never, ever forget you Jen, you will be forever missed by us all. 


Lastly, I hope you find these emails interesting and informative, please let me know if you have anything you want me to discuss or advise about for future updates. There are loads of items that I have to talk about next year but I don’t want to bombard you with too much information. 

You will find a link to all of our previous newsletter updates below. I would like reiterate again that you need to contact us if you are unsure about whether to claim or not, whether you can claim or the likelihood of success.

14th May - click here

21st May -  click here

3rd June - click here

11th June - click here

4th July - click here

11th July - click here

29th July - click here

26th August - click here

11th September - click here


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 have any concerns or queries you can call us on 01473 408408

or e-mail us directly by clicking here