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NOTICE TO POLICYHOLDERS WHOSE BUSINESS PREMISES ARE CLOSED OR BUSINESS OPERATIONS RESTRICTED BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENT / DEVOLVED AUHORITY MEASURES TO COMBAT SPREAD OF COVID 19

04-11-2020

 

 

Dear Policyholder, 

 

Further to our Notice to Policyholders dated issued during the UK wide Lockdown period earlier this year; we write to you to update the position regarding policy cover, for those businesses which are affected by continuing Government measures to control the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

 

This will typically occur when the strictest local control measures are imposed by either the UK Government or the local, devolved government authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.     

 

The measures set out in this Notice are intended to provide further assistance to those of our clients who are required to close their premises, or suspend normal business operations, during these ongoing difficult times.  

 

When this means there is no one working at your business premises in accordance with your normal trading hours, then there is a risk that, your business premises would be deemed to have have become “unoccupied”, in accordance with the terms of your policy. This has implications for policy cover, as after either 21 or 30 days of unoccupancy (depending on policy type) cover is usually excluded for damage caused by Malicious Persons, Theft and Escape of Water.  

 

Under normal circumstances, you are required to notify us once your premises become “unoccupied”  and we will then review the circumstances pertaining to your risk, and may, further amend or restrict cover.

 

During the previous UK wide Lockdown, we advised that, provided you complied with certain conditions (stated below for ease of reference), we would not deem any of your premises that are not being attended in accordance with your normal business operations, as being “Unoccupied”, until an extended time period had elapsed. Under these new locally imposed restrictions, we intend to continue to provide similar support where required.

 

Therefore, where you are required to close your premises due to either national, or local restrictions, we confirm that we will continue to treat your premies as “occupied” for a period of up to 35 days. This will apply from either the date your business was required to close, or 4th November 2020 – whichever happened first and continue until either 35 days has elapsed or the restrictions on your business are lifted.   

 

During this period of time, your premises will continue to be considered as “occupied” and cover provided accordingly; subject to you complying with the following:-

 

  • all doors and windows must be fully closed and all locks and other security devices and protections be put into effective operation, and if any cctv surveillance system is currently installed at your premises, please keep this operational.
  • all combustible waste materials and perishable food and drink are to be removed from the premises
  • as we move into the colder weather associated with autumn and winter months, it is important that measures are taken to prevent the freezing / bursting of water pipes and apparatus. Therefore, it is imperative that you  either maintain an adequate level of heating sufficient to prevent the freezing of water apparatus; or alternatively where preferred, isolate the water supply and drain the water apparatus;    
  • the premises must be inspected at least once every week, during such period of closure, by you or an employee, and a record of all such visits shall be maintained. Any breach in security, damage or other problems or defects discovered, must be rectified as soon as possible. Please note, in the event of any claim arising, we may require to see the record of inspections made and any remedical action undertaken;  

 

If you are unable to comply with any of the above, then please notify us accordingly and we will review your case individually.

 

We will continue to to monitor the situation as it develops and if after this time further measures are required, we will consider the position in the light of the prevailing circumstances. Unless we advise you to the contrary, after this period of 35 days has expired, normal policy terms and conditions will be in force.        

 

Furthermore, if as a consequence of the lockdown, your and /or your employees, are working from home and have moved some of your business equipment to your private residence; provided your policy provides cover for your business contents, then these will be deemed to be covered whilst at home up to a maximum amount of £2,500 per home, subject to a maximum amount of £1,250 in respect of any item of equipment.

 

Your Employers’ and Public Liability cover will also extend to cover these operations. However, please be aware that any work undertaken at home may impact on your Home insurance and you should check with your home insurance provider.

 

China Taiping Insurance (UK) Co Ltd