Coronavirus (CORVID -19) Support 


The spread of Coronavirus is an unprecedented global crisis and we understand that this still remains an incredibly difficult time for families and businesses as people seek to make the right decisions for their own health and that of their family.

We believe our clients now understand what their insurance covers them for. We will support our clients as much as we can and are in constant dialogue with insurers to support you and your business.

The situation has rapidly changed as time moves on and we know that people still have lots of questions that need answering as you plan to try to get your business back to normal; not only from a business continuity perspective but also to support your staff. Rest assured we are invested in ensuring that we can keep you as up to date as possible and hope that this document provides some of the clarity you are seeking




Businesses often insure against the risk of material damage to property, including risk of business interruptions arising from such property damage resulting in partial or total closure of the business, which in turn leads to loss of profits. Insurance against such losses is often called “business interruption” insurance (BI). 

Traditional BI coverage is limited to where the commercial property suffers typical exposures, such as a fire, a flood, or other natural disasters. Where a business suffers interruption due to a pandemic, and has to suspend operations, “physical damage” does not fall within the definition in the property policy. Business interruption policies may however extend cover to business interruption even when there is no physical damage, for example, denial of access or more specifically in this situation, infectious diseases extension. 


Pandemic cover is excluded from all standard policies with mainstream insurers and may only be available in very limited situations on some very specialist covers.




“The spread of Coronavirus is unprecedented in modern times and we understand this is an incredibly difficult time for families and businesses. 

“Standard commercial insurance policies – the type the vast majority of businesses purchase – provide cover against a wide range of day to day risks including damage caused by fire, flood, theft and accidents involving employees. 

“Insurers pay out £22m each day to firms through these policies, supporting millions of businesses across the UK each year. 

“Only a very small minority of businesses choose to buy any form of cover that includes local closure due to an infectious disease. 

“An even smaller number will have cover enabling them to potentially claim on their insurance for the presence or impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.


“We strongly recommend that every business should check with their insurer or broker if they wish to confirm the type of cover that they have purchased.” 



Inevitably, COVID-19 will have an effect on elements of your personal insurance cover. We answer some of the questions you may have with regards to working from home and travel.



Will my home insurance policy be affected if I have not told my insurer that I’m working from home?


•  Working from home, due to the need to self-isolate should be covered by standard home insurance policies, assuming that the work is clerical in nature. 

•  If individuals are working from home and receiving visitors to their home on business matters, they should check with their insurer. In some cases, there may be some restrictions in cover, such as loss of money and theft being excluded unless there is evidence of forcible and violent entry to the property. 

•  The business equipment used (e.g. Laptop) is likely not to be covered, however in most cases the employer would be liable for ensuring their equipment is insured away from the office. 

Will home insurance cover the cost of a deep clean to my property should it become contaminated by COVID-19?


•  Most standard home insurance policies do not provide cover for the costs of cleaning a property. 

My property has suffered damage (from a fire, flood or other named peril) and it’s uninhabitable. I am selfisolating, so will my broker help me find alternative accommodation?


•  Insurers’ priority is the safety of their customers and the wider community.

•  Insurers will continue to provide cover for customers as promised in the policy - including funding the cost of alternative accommodation - whilst acting in accordance with the UK Government’s advice at that time.

•  It is vitally important that you contact your insurer to discuss your claim further, as each one will be managed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that customer interests are best protected. 

I have been quarantined or am unable to travel from abroad and therefore my home may be left unoccupied for over the 30 or 60 day limit on my policy. Will I be covered?


•  Insurers will be taking a pragmatic approach to individuals who are quarantined or stuck abroad and are unable to return to their property within the timescales set out in their policy. However, individuals should contact their broker to obtain advice on this issue.



Travel insurers are committed to supporting their customers through this unprecedented global event and have made six pledges to customers. These are outlined by the Association of British Insurers below, but here are answers to common questions travel policy holders may have.
Why are insurers stopping selling some policies?


•  Insurers are carefully monitoring the fast-moving developments in the coronavirus outbreak, and some have stopped selling travel insurance to new customers while others have stopped covering cancellations or disruption related to the Coronavirus. Insurance is based on assessing the possibility of an event occurring. Insurers take account of when any risk becomes more of a probability than a possibility and then make commercial decisions. It should be noted that the World Health Organsiation has declared Coronavirus a global pandemic. 

•  But be reassured, trips already booked abroad under existing policies remain unaffected. Travel insurance for non-Covid19 related risks also remains available. 

What should I do about travelling?


•  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise against all but essential travel. This unprecedented step actually provides welcome clarity for customers and the industry. Generally, insurance cancellation or travel disruption will relate to FCO advice.

If I ignore any government advice against all but essential travel, will my travel insurance still cover me?


•  If you travel against government advice then you are likely to invalidate your travel insurance. If you are unsure check with your travel insurer.


A change from operational premises to home-working will look very different for each business.

As a business owner, you may already be working remotely or from home and will experience little changes in the way you operate. For many, Government advice will have encouraged business leaders to take the decision to close offices and have some or all of their employees working from home.  

If this is the case for your business, here are some tools which could help make working from home, work for you.  If you’re able to get up to speed with these collaboration tools as a business, it could save time overall by creating more efficiencies in your operation.  



Google Drive, Dropbox Basic and Microsoft OneDrive all provide generous amounts of space on their servers for free, with Google offering up to 15GB.

These tools are especially useful if team members are unable to access a central drive while working remotely, and can help avoid duplication and confusion around version control by ensuring everyone’s working from or on the same information.  



Any software or channel that allows you to create and organise different conversations will help prevent important messages from getting lost in a stream of emails. 

The collaboration tool Slack allows you to do just this, with 5GB of free storage, and integrates with file-sharing tools including Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox.  

WhatsApp could be a useful “quick fix” to keep all team members in the loop, and depending on the size and operation of your business, may be enough without having to explore other software with which your team may not be familiar. It even has a desktop version which can sync with mobile devices.

You can also use WhatsApp to send encrypted texts to up to 250 people, which is a quick way to send important updates to staff if you’re concerned they may not be picking up texts or email.



A number of video conferencing programs are now available. 

Microsoft Teams’ free plan also allows for video conferencing with your team, while Zoom’s easy to use conferencing tool is so popular that it can sometimes put strain on the software provider’s server. Zoom’s free tier allows meetings for 100 participants for up to 40 minutes. 


Businesses across the UK are at varying stages of their business continuity plan right now, and this process inevitably raises questions around responsibility to employees. Below we have collated some FAQs from ACAS.


It’s good practice for employers to:


•  Keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace


•  Make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date


•  Consider extra precautions for staff who might be more vulnerable, for example if someone is pregnant, aged 70 or over, or has a long-term health condition


•  Make sure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace shows symptoms of the virus


•  Make sure there are clean places to wash hands with hot water and soap, and encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly


•  Provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them •  Consider if any travel or meetings are necessary and if meetings can be held remotely instead


•  Keep up to date with the latest government coronavirus advice on GOV.UK:

Employers must not single anyone out unfairly. For example, they must not treat an employee differently because of their race or ethnicity.



Employees and workers must receive any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to them if they need to self-isolate because:


•  They have coronavirus


•  They have coronavirus symptoms, for example a high temperature or new continuous cough


•  Someone in their household has coronavirus symptoms


•  They’ve been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111 

If someone has symptoms, everyone in their household must self-isolate for 14 days. Those who live alone must self-isolate for 7 days.  Find advice about self-isolating on NHS.UK.



Government advice has been for everyone to try and stop unnecessary contact with other people – ‘social distancing’. This includes working from home where possible; avoiding busy commuting times on public transport; and avoiding gatherings of people, whether in public, at work or at home. 

Employers should support their workforce to take these steps. This might include:


•  Agreeing to more flexible ways of working, for example changing start and finish times to avoid busier commuting times


•  Allowing staff to work from home wherever possible


• Cancelling face-to-face events and meetings and rearranging to remote calling where possible, or example using video or conference calling technology 



Current government advice has been for everyone to try and stop unnecessary contact with other people – ‘social distancing’. This includes working from home where possible; avoiding busy commuting times on public transport; and avoiding gatherings of people, whether in public, at work or at home. 

Employers need to be especially careful and take extra steps for anyone in their workforce who is at increased risk from coronavirus. They include, but are not limited to, those who: 

•  Have a long-term health condition, for example asthma, diabetes or heart disease, or a weakened immune system as the result of medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy


•  Are pregnant


•  Are aged 70 or over


•  Care for someone with a health condition that might put them at a greater risk 


Some people might feel they do not want to go to work if they’re afraid of catching coronavirus. This could particularly be the case for those who are at higher risk. An employer should listen to any concerns staff may have and should take steps to protect everyone. 



In some situations, an employer might need to close down their business for a short time, or ask staff to reduce their contracted hours. If the employer thinks they’ll need to do this, it’s important to talk with staff as early as possible and throughout the closure. 

Unless it says in the contract or is agreed otherwise, they still need to pay their employees for this time. Employees who are laid off and are not entitled to their usual pay might be entitled to a ‘statutory guarantee payment’ of up to £29 a day from their employer. This is limited to a maximum of 5 days in any period of 3 months. On days when a guarantee payment is not payable, employees might be able to claim Jobseekers Allowance from Jobcentre Plus. 



Employers have the right to tell employees and workers when to take holiday if they need to. For example, they can decide to shut for a week and everyone has to use their holiday entitlement. If the employer does decide to do this, they must tell staff at least twice as many days before as the amount of days they need people to take. For example, if they want to close for 5 days, they should tell everyone at least 10 days before. 

This could affect holiday staff have already booked or planned. So employers should:


•  Explain clearly why they need to close

•  Try and resolve anyone’s worries about how it will affect their holiday entitlement or plans 


Making healthy mental wellbeing a priority will be important for many businesses across the UK. Below, we have collated some guidance on supporting your people:


•  Have a long-term health condition, for example asthma, diabetes or heart disease, or a weakened immune system as the result of medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy


•  It can be easy to forget to take a break without the usual office distractions. The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to start building breaks into your day to help employees to keep productive and focused.


•  Get active: For some simple stretches you can do at home click here. •  Set up regular recurring calls with your team to maintain motivation


•  Encourage everyone to set out a structure for their day. This can be done via effective use of your Outlook calendar to separate your daily tasks and also using the ‘To-Do Bar’ in Outlook to set up specific tasks and track their progress.



1. Coronavirus and your wellbeing –

2. NHS guide for Mental Health and Wellbeing

3. NHS guide to Mindfulness 


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