With many COVID-19 government restrictions now in place, we understand this is placing our clients under enormous pressure as businesses are being forced to close or operate in a limited capacity. Unfortunately, general insurance is unlikely to provide the protection that it does for traditional risks such as fire, burglary or storm. This bulletin is to support and provide clarity around:
During these turbulent times Carriers Insurance Brokers is here to support you.
We are focused on continuing to provide our clients with the care and attention we always have. We aim to minimise the impact and disruption to our clients and our business activities as much as possible. As a ‘people’ business, the best service and support we can offer is access to your brokers’ expertise. Whilst this bulletin is designed to assist you, our recommendation is to speak with your broker regarding any specific queries you may have.
We also wish to bring to your attention that we proudly service many diverse businesses throughout the country. In an attempt to help connect our clients in need, we would like you to consider Carriers as a business directory. If you require any service, or in turn you are in a position to help another, please contact us so we can assist in these connections.
You have our service commitment as we assist you through these difficult times.
Business Interruption / Loss of Rental Insurance
Will my business interruption insurance cover me for any loss of revenue / loss of rental suffered as a result of the COVID-19 virus?
This may include reduced sales and additional expense relating to conducting business, cleaning of premises and losses due to the cancellation of events under the Commonwealth legislation. As COVID-19 has been declared by the Federal Government as a listed human disease under the Biosecurity Act 2015, policy exclusions apply, as a result, business interruption losses directly attributable to COVID-19 are not covered by insurance. At this point insurers continue to confirm to us that no cover applies.
Unfortunately for many in Australia, there is no insurance protection for a downturn or a closure of your business.
If a third party suffers loss and alleges negligence regarding your management or handling of your COVID-19 response and decides to claim against you, would a Public Liability policy respond?
Subject to terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy, there is a strong position that the policy would respond.
Will my Business Insurance cover the company’s assets whilst temporarily removed to an employee’s home?
General Property insurance can be considered, and/or an employees Home Contents insurance may respond.
We understand that many insurers are currently considering this position, and may look to amend the cover to include temporary working from home provisions.
Will my business assets be covered during transit – for example – whilst located in their vehicle?
Some policies will automatically cover this risk and in other cases you will need a ‘General Property’ or ‘Transit’ coverage. Generally motor insurance only provides a small benefit for items lost/damaged in a vehicle.
The property of the employee will not usually be covered by your business insurance, and any home and contents insurance the employee has in place will be unlikely to cover your business equipment.
Landlords insurance has optional coverage for Loss of Rental and for Rent Default.
The Loss of Rental coverage applies after an insured event (damage), and in the event of a Tenant not paying rent relating to COVID-19 there is no insured event that has occurred, so the insurance protection does not respond.
Rent Default is an optional coverage and the risk of a tenant default is often mitigated by the engagement of a professional property manager / real estate firm. The real estate sector provide a valued service, and will be the first point of contact to help manage the process if a tenant stops paying rent.
The bond can often be claimed to meet some of the losses, and is deducted from any insurance considerations.
Insurance provisions generally require ‘all reasonable steps legally available’ to be taken under the relevant Tenancies Act in each state to recover the loss, with the insurance benefit following the outcome of the action to recover the loss.