- Unoccupied premises;
As mentioned, if insurers are covering any premises, there will always be a condition that the property will be deemed “unoccupied” when a certain period of time has lapsed with the property not being in active use. This is usually 30 days (though sometimes more). When deemed unoccupied the cover is usually reduced or removed altogether.
Insurers Hiscox & Aviva have confirmed that they are extending this to 90 days so as long as all reasonable care is taken to secure properties & all security measures are in use insurers will not reduce cover in the event that your premises are shut down.
Most other insurers will follow a similar change in their stance, but always check with your insurers or broker as I cannot confirm all of the insurers have confirmed this at present.
- Instalment payments;
Some finance companies who provide instalment plans for insurance policies will consider what flexibility they can offer. We use Close Premium Finance, for example, and they confirm that they will be willing to discuss any payment plans they hold. There may be the possibility of reducing payments on a temporary basis. However, they were very specific that this will not be possible in all cases and each will be considered individually.
It is worth checking on instalment plans as all providers will have a different attitude.
In respect to instalment payments directly to insurers we have not had any insurers agree to any payment holidays as they are struggling to remain liquid and the premiums they are collecting are being used to cover their operating costs and to pay ongoing claims.
- Reduction or removal of covers;
Some insurers are reviewing if they can or will reduce covers on policies that will then be reflected in premiums. They are not recommending this as a course of action as if there are any business activities ongoing then the cover will still be required & the risk is open ended. Where there is a complete halt to business activities there will likely to be a need to cover buildings or other property against loss or damage.
In respect to policies due for renewal in coming months, it is worth considering whether cover is essential or not. Is it best to lapse the cover with a view to requesting it when we all get back to (as close as we can hope) “business as usual”? We will be looking for insurers to maintain their covers & premiums as offered if this is the case. However, I would recommend really scrutinising the risk of reducing or removing cover against protecting cashflow.