Dear Policyholder, 


We are writing to you to update the position regarding cover under your policy, if your business or premises are affected by the continuing government measures to control the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. This may be nationwide measures (“Lockdown”) or locally imposed measures (“Restrictions“).   


This will typically occur when the strictest local Restrictions are imposed by either the UK Government or the local devolved Governemnt Authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales;  and may be subsequent to, or precede, a Lockdown.  


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, because of such restictions.   


When this means there is no one working at your business premises for an extended period of time, then there is a risk that your business premises would be deemed to be  “unoccupied” in accordance with the terms of your policy. This has implications for policy cover; for example by the exclusion of cover for damage caused by Malicious Persons, Theft and Escape of Water; after a relatively limited number of days depending on the policy type.  


Under normal circumstances, you are required to notify us as your insurer of the premises becoming “unoccupied” and we then have the option to further amend or restrict cover depending on the circumstances.


During the original national “Lockdown”, we advised that, provided you complied with certain conditions (stated below for ease of reference) that we would not deem any of your premises that are not attended for your business operations as being “Unoccupied”, until an extended time period had elapsed. Under new local Resrictions or a further Lockdown, we intend to continue to provide similar support where required.


Therefore, where you are now required to close your premises, we confirm that we will continue not to deem your premises to be “unoccupied”, for a period of up to 60 days from the first date of Lockdown or Restriction that directly prevents your business premises from opening. Should either local Restrictions or further Lockdown measures continue to be in place after this time, your normal policy terms, regarding “unoccupied premises” conditions will come into effect.     


Pending expiry of this revised duration, 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, we would emphasise the need to either maintain an adequate level of heating sufficient to prevent the freezing of water apparatus; or alternatively where preferred the isolation of the water supply and draining of the water system;     
  • 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.


Furthermore, if as a consequence of the lockdown / local restrictions 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