How Are Insurers Responding to COVID-19?

09 April 2020
Last update - 27th April 2020

Bruce Stevenson is in constant dialogue with insurers as they respond to the challenges we have all faced over the last few weeks.

Insurance companies across the UK have been able to provide the necessary equipment for thousands of their staff to work from home and IT infrastructures have been stretched to their limits as they look to maintain a ‘business as usual’ approach.

 

Seeking Clarity

At the same time, we have sought to obtain clarity from insurers on how their policies will respond to the business interruption, the unoccupied premises, an increased amount of office equipment now at employee’s home and the numerous other ways that this global pandemic is going to impact our clients.

The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a letter to insurers outlining its expectations of their conduct in relation to business interruption insurance and SMEs. Where we can, on behalf of our clients, we are holding insurers to account and scrutinising their policy wording.

 

Lobbying for Flexibility

As members of British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and founding members of the UNA Alliance of independent brokers, we have lobbied insurers to allow greater flexibility with renewal dates and extensions of cover where there are delays in obtaining quotations or renewal instructions from our clients and will continue to do so.

We have also spoken to insurers about the possibility of payment holidays, the insurance implications for delaying statutory inspections of lifting equipment and pressure vessels, furloughed employees, and SORN vehicles to name but a few topics.

Some Insurers have advised that they may be able to consider payment holidays in certain circumstances. Please contact your usual Bruce Stevenson representative if you are concerned about not being able to meet your monthly insurance payments.

 

Supporting Our Clients

As brokers, we need to be aware of any issues which might impact on our clients and look to support them where we can.

The Government has called on insurers to “play their part” and the  Association of British Insurers (ABI) has advised that, although most policies will not cover the business interruption losses caused by the pandemic, the cost of COVID-19 to the UK insurance industry is likely to exceed £1bn.

There have been further calls from MP Jonathan Edwards and the SNP’s shadow chancellor Alison Thewliss for the insurance industry to support businesses affected by the pandemic.

As the economy still reels from the current crisis the UK insurance industry has formed a Steering Group to look at possible ways to protect against the impact of future pandemics.

 

Maintaining a Dialogue

We will continue to maintain a dialogue with the Insurers and keep our clients informed of issues impacting on them and their insurance in these ever-changing times. If you have any questions, please contact your usual representative at Bruce Stevenson, or send us a message here.

 

Please visit our Coronavirus Information page for more guidance and updates.

 

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