How can I help my business?
We are in unprecedented times – a phrase that has been applied to our situation since the start of the Coronavirus lockdown and now as we start to emerge we do so into a different ‘normal’. You cannot simply throw the doors of your business open and welcome in customers. You cannot just ask all your staff back to the office. New, important, measures need to be in place to help protect your staff, your customers, your business and you. An important step before you re-open is to discuss your insurance cover with your broker: you are likely to have reduced your business insurance cover while staff are furloughed, your business is temporarily closed, your fleet is laid up, your business has no visitors. Make sure the cover is reinstated as required.
If your business needs financial support, there are a number of options depending on your size and the sector you’re in: this Covid 19 Funding support flowchart might help.
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 as we start to open our businesses back up. 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.
Re-opening your business
The following guides and checklists will help you plan what you might need to do to effectively re-open. These are just templates and guides for you to use as you need, they are not exhaustive and you should remember to adapt and tailor to your particular requirements. As ever, please remember to discuss any changes to you business with your insurance broker.
- Return to Work Action Plan Discussion Guide
- Guide to Creating a Return to Work Action Plan
- Sample Return to Work Action Plan
- Post-coronavirus Workplace Preparedness Checklist
- Post-coronavirus Return to Work Cleaning Checklist
- Responding to a Positive COVID-19 Test Checklist
With lockdown easing significantly and more sectors opening up, we have produced some quick reference checklists to help – this is not in place of government advice and guidance, but to help:
- Re-opening your restaurant or pub
- Re-opening your accommodation business
- Re-opening activity and leisure businesses
- Re-opening hairdressers
- Re-opening Retail Checklist.
- Re-opening your office checklist
If many of your staff will remain at home, then this Employee Work From Home Guide will help. You can adapt for your company’s specific circumstances and circulate to all. We also recommend regularly updating your Business Continuity plan as situations change, or get a plan in place if you don’t already have one: Business Continuity Planning Toolkit
For those businesses taking the 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.
This short video outlines key points from the government’s Covid-19 secure guidelines
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. This 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). Similarly, if you are starting to get more of your fleet back on the road with the lockdown easing, then it is essential to update your insurance broker so the correct cover can be reinstated.