Note: we will monitor the situation and update this list of FAQs as the circumstances evolve.
Queries relating to policies covered
1. Are pandemic diseases included in your client’s business insurance cover?
Business Interruption cover provided by our business insurance policies is triggered by damage to physical property at the insured premises preventing the business from being able to trade. Our policies do not cover pandemic diseases due to the difficulties involved in predicting the potential risk.
2. Are your client’s premises insured if they leave them unoccupied?
Updated as at 08.01.2021
For businesses that have temporarily closed following recent government Covid-19 instructions (whether because of regional government lockdowns, choosing to work from home or staff shielding), we will not consider your premises to be unoccupied. This does not apply to premises that were already unoccupied at the time of any government Covid-19 instructions or those that have become permanently unoccupied during this period.
Where premises are possible to access, we will expect you to;
- Conduct weekly visits and take note and retain the condition of the premises.
- Ensure all services are turned off at the mains, except electricity where needed to maintain any fire or intruder alarm system in operation and the water and heating system drained (and wherever possible chain and padlock the isolation valves).
- Where practicable, repair or arrange to be repaired any defects found.
- Ensure that the premises are adequately secured against unauthorised entry including the sealing of any letterboxes and openings.
- Remove any accumulations of combustible materials, such as junk mail and newspapers during each inspection of the premises.
- Advise us immediately if the buildings are to be occupied by contractors for renovation alteration or conversion purposes or if the buildings are to become permanently unoccupied.
All of the above will be subject to a further review by the 31st January, 2021, with any amendments advised accordingly.
If you are unsure about the necessary steps to take, we would recommend you speak to your local Arch branch. Contact details here.
3. Will your client’s insurance policy cover their employees who are working remotely from home, in line with Government guidelines?
A key part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak is to encourage more employees to work from home. If your client has an active employer’s liability policy, rest assured that the coverage will extend to their employees while they are working from home during this period.
We would recommend that you encourage your client’s employees to undertake workplace assessments to ensure their employees working from home are operating in a safe working environment. Some useful advice/templates on working from home can be found here.
4. Can your clients get a return premium for reduced wage rolls and profit/revenue figures?
This is usually calculated on the basis of year-end declarations, but please do refer to individual policy wordings. Where a minimum and deposit premium is not in place, these calculations will be made in line with normal underwriting rules.
5. Can your clients ‘freeze’ their insurances during this turbulent time if they have temporarily closed their business?
It is imperative that your clients consider in this context whether their risk exposure will be reduced during this period. Having comprehensive insurance cover in place is important at any time to protect your client’s insurable interests.
6. Are your clients covered if their employees contract COVID-19 under Employers’ Liability?
Employers’ Liability claims are triggered as a result of negligence on the part of the policyholder. For a claim to be made on this basis, it would need to be proven that an employee contracted COVID-19 as a direct result of the negligence of the policyholder.
7. Are your clients covered if a member of the public contracts COVID-19 under Public Liability?
Public Liability claims are triggered as a result of negligence on the part of the policyholder. For a claim to be made on this basis, it would need to be proven that a member of the public contracted COVID-19 as a direct result of the negligence of the policyholder.
8. Where requested, will you agree to provide an automatic policy extension to cover arrangements at expiring rates to take renewal away from current crisis period?
We appreciate that your clients are facing testing times in light of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the measures that the Government has introduced to combat it. We will endeavour to ensure that the renewal process is as seamless as possible.
We will shortly be offering our broker partners a fast-track auto-renewal process for all regional business handled via our UK branches below a £5,000 premium threshold. This will help our broker partners focus on those client discussions relating to larger more complex cases in the current climate.
Whilst we will not be adding an Auto Extension Clause to every renewal, we are happy to grant renewal extensions on a case-by-case basis wherever possible.
9. Will the Fleet, Motor Trade or Commercial Vehicle policies cover driving whilst volunteering for the NHS?
In this time of national emergency, we wish to support those volunteering as NHS volunteer responders or in the local authority community help hubs. We can confirm that this use will be automatically covered for vehicles we are insuring and there is no need to advise us.
Please note: if the policyholder wishes to provide a vehicle to a volunteer group, and it will be driven by drivers other than those normally covered on the policy, you should call your local Arch branch manager for clarification.
10. Will the food and drink trade be covered delivering food on the Fleet policy?
A number of our policyholders are now providing takeaways and food delivery services to support their communities. We can confirm that this use will be automatically covered for the vehicles already insured on the Arch Fleet policy and there is no need to advise us.
Please note: if the policyholder decides to employ additional drivers using their own vehicles, then those drivers must have their own appropriate insurance cover.
11. The MOT on a vehicle is expiring; will it still be covered on the Motor policy?
The UK government has said your car, van and motorcycle’s MOT expiry date will be extended by six months if it is due on or after 30th March – however the vehicle must still be roadworthy. If your vehicle is roadworthy, it will be covered by the policy under the extended MOT provisions.
Lorries have a different exemption – we suggest you clarify the guidance for your vehicle by visiting the UK government website at https://www.gov.uk/transport/mots.
12. Can vehicles be laid up on a Fleet?
Yes, your client’s vehicles can be laid up, with cover reduced to AD, Fire and Theft or Fire and Theft. The vehicles must be advised to the DVLA as SORN and please remind your client that vehicles must be kept off the road to comply with SORN requirements. To discuss an individual policy, contact your local Arch branch, who will ask you for your client’s vehicle values, which is a rating factor and advise you of the revised premium on a laid up basis.
13. For Motor Trade sales risks that need to have unaccompanied demonstration cover added to their policy to practice social distancing and they haven’t had the cover before, can it be added?
We wish to support Motor Trade sales risks in this national emergency and can add unaccompanied demonstration cover for sales risks where they ask us. To discuss an individual policy, contact your local Arch branch.
Queries relating to risk management
1. Are you anticipating any change to your operational response (e.g. insurer surveys, claims response) in the light of Government restrictions?
We continue to take a pragmatic approach to the range of operational challenges our brokers’ clients are facing. Should you have any specific concern on a policy (for example in respect of policy warranties or risk improvements following an insurer survey), we would encourage you to contact your local Arch branch for advice.
2. How will you be supporting insurer surveys in the next few months?
During this period of disruption and to safeguard our Surveyors, we will be suspending our onsite surveys. We will continue to keep in touch with brokers’ clients to support them in keeping their businesses safe. Where visits were due, we will be in contact to make alternative arrangements.
To make or register a claim
To register or make a claim enquiry, please email [email protected] in the first instance.
Or call our claims hotline on 0344 892 1787.
Arch Online Claims
If your client is a policyholder through our Arch Online platform, contact details can be found below:
For any claims or product enquiries, please email [email protected]
Or call our Trading team on 0344 892 0965.
Our Claims team are available on 0344 892 0967.
Please note that some of your clients may be covered for legal and HR support, so it may be worth checking the policy documentation. As you will be aware, your clients may also be eligible for a range of Government support. Please direct them to the official guidance here.