How can I help my business?
We are in unprecedented times – a phrase that is being used so much, by so many, but is so true. Usually, when a business finds itself threatened by something outside its control, such as fire, flood, extreme weather, there is the support of insurance. However, as your broker will have already explained, damage by Covid-19 is not covered under the terms of the majority of business insurance policies (see infographic below).
As insurance brokers, our job is to help you manage your risks, your business and help your future. So, we’ve pulled together some resources and links that you and your business should find helpful in these trying times. These are all free to use, you don’t have to be a current client, you don’t have to sign up to anything; you don’t even have to speak to us. We just want to help.
It is always better to be prepared, but some situations evolve faster than we can handle. The following checklists will help you focus immediately, and a toolkit for longer term planning and strategy:
- Business Continuity During COVID-19 Pandemic Checklist
- Business Continuity Planning Toolkit
- Disaster Recovery Checklist – Sutcliffe Co Insurance
As part of your business continuity, many companies will be having staff work from home for the first time. This is a challenging situation for all involved and this Employee Work From Home Guide will help. You can adapt for your company’s specific circumstances and circulate to all.
For those businesses taking this opportunity to diversify: speak to your broker immediately! For example, if you are self-employed as a taxi driver, or contractor, or tradesman, you and your vehicle will be covered for a specific set of circumstances; if you are now for example delivering food, be aware that wouldn’t be covered. It is a simple change, though, to include ‘hire and reward’ cover but you need to discuss with your broker or your insurer asap.
We don’t want to make light of this situation, by any means, but it is important not to panic.
There are a lot of unoccupied premises at the moment: retail, hospitality, offices. Check your property insurance small print as some insurers will provide cover for 30, 60 or even 90 days unoccupied (see Cover Overview Unoccupied Property Insurance). This usually comes with the conditions that the empty property is regularly checked internally and externally, utilities switched off, water drained from radiators etc. However, some insurers are advising a more relaxed approach to this considering current Government guidelines not to leave home unnecessarily. It is essential that you speak with your broker or your insurer for clarity – especially if you have stock to consider – to avoid being caught out.
With staff home alone and your devices spread, your company may be more vulnerable to a cyber attack. Now is the prime time to review your standard cyber incident response. If you don’t already have Cyber Essentials Certification, then it is worth taking a look; even if you don’t certify, there are steps you can take to help your IT systems be more resilient against a breach. The following will also be helpful for you and your employees:
- Directors & Officers: you may be held personally liable for actions your company makes: redundancies, job role changes, allegations of supply chain mishandling.
- Trade Credit Insurance: this monitors the credit of your supply chain, will warn you if there are potential issues and can help if a debtor then can’t pay. Essential if you rely on others.
- Fleet: if your fleet is off the road, you can amend cover to be ‘laid up’, which means the vehicles are still insured against damage, but the road risk element is removed (help save some money)