At the start of the first national lockdown commercial insurers took a very flexible position on business premises being temporarily closed due to Covid19 and for 120 days, the vast majority of insurers did not apply certain standard restrictions in their policies for unoccupied properties. This period has now expired and having entered a third national lockdown period on 6 January 2021, not all insurers have yet announced their position on businesses forced to close under the government regulations.

If your business premises are unoccupied as a result of Covid19 contact your broker to advise them, they can then check your insurer's the position on policy cover and any risk prevention measures required or recommended.

Local Area lockdowns/restrictions

As in previous lockdowns it is expected that upon expiry of the national lockdown period, areas may have different tier classifications and regulations based on the appropriate government assessment of risk. In cases of local or area restrictions where businesses must close in order to comply with government regulations to control Covid19, insurers may consider a flexible approach. However, you should inform your broker if your premises become unoccupied for this reason. They can then check and advise you of your insurers approach which is likely to be for a set time period, or until the date upon which the restriction ends.

Unoccupancy unrelated to Covid19

All insurers take the same stance where the reason for premises being unoccupied does not result from Covid19, with the unoccupancy conditions in the policy detailing cover restrictions and risk prevention requirements.

Next Steps

If any situation above applies to you, please contact your insurance broker, or insurer, with the following information:

  • If the premises will be opened periodically for goods collection/delivery or other work
  • Any problems with the usual physical security measures and alarm systems
  • Any problems with removal of trade waste from inside or outside of the premises

We are continuing to provide support to clients as usual, although currently we are not able to do this face to face and insurer timescales are longer.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, as always we are here to help.

On behalf of all at Wilsons take care and stay safe.

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