“IMPORTANT COVID-19 COVER INFORMATION
We have experienced a high number of queries in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we realise that these are worrying times for policyholders.
We have been asked about how policies may respond to the business interruption being experienced. This varies greatly on a policy by policy basis depending on the wording being used and the various extensions and the terms and conditions applying to them.
Please note that many insurers have introduced endorsements and/or amended wordings limiting/excluding cover to losses as a result of COVID-19 and where such endorsements are introduced they will be clearly shown on quotations/schedules. Obviously these endorsements only apply from the renewal/inception date and are not retrospective.
We have been communicating with all of our insurer partners and all have committed to handling claims on a case by case basis, where cover applies.
A summary of the covers/wording applying to the relevant schemes are as shown below
QBE Commercial Combined
Infectious diseases/murder or suicide
Loss resulting from interruption of or interference with the business in consequence of any of the following events:
- a) any occurrence of a notifiable disease at the premises or attributable to food or drink supplied from the premises;
- b) any discovery of any organism at the premises likely to result in the occurrence of a notifiable disease;
- c) any occurrence of a notifiable disease within a radius of 25 (twenty five) miles of the premises;
- d) the discovery of vermin or pests at the premises which cause restrictions on the use of the premises on the order or advice of the competent local authority;
- e) any accident causing defects in the drains or other sanitary arrangements at the premises which causes restrictions on the use of the premises on the order or advice of the competent local authority;
- f) any occurrence of murder or suicide at the premises;
provided that the
- g) insurer shall not be liable for any costs incurred in cleaning, repair, replacement, recall or checking of property;
- h) insurer shall only be liable for loss arising at those premises which are directly subject to the incident;
- i) insurer’s maximum liability under this cover extension clause in respect of any one claim shall not exceed EUR50,000 or fifteen per cent (15%) of the total sum insured (or limit of liability) for this insured section, whichever is the lesser, any one claim and EUR10,000 any one period of insurance.
Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.
Optis Note: QBE have introduced a new wording which specifically excludes losses from COVID-19 and has a new updated Infectious diseases/murder or suicide extension, the version number of wording used will be clearly shown on all documents.
AXAXL Property Owners
Disease, Infestation and Defective Sanitation
This Section shall extend to apply to Consequential Loss arising from the occurrence at the Premises of
- (a) murder, suicide, or food or drink poisoning;
- (b) a notifiable human, infectious or contagious disease (other than Acquired immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or an AIDS related condition) that is required by law to be reported to government authorities
- (c) vermin or pests;
- (d) an accident causing a defect in the drains or sanitary apparatus;
which results in closure or causes restrictions on the use of the Premises by order of any person or authority holding the appropriate statutory power. The maximum amount that will be paid by the Insurer under this Special Extension shall not exceed 10% of the total Sum Insured under this Section, or €60,000 whichever is the lesser, unless otherwise stated in the Schedule
Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.
AXAXL Bed & Breakfast/Guesthouse
Optis Note: Loss of income section for specified perils (no disease cover/extension)
QBE Real Estate
3.1.13 Notifiable disease, murder or suicide, food or drink or poisoning
The insurer will indemnify the insured for loss resulting from interruption of or interference with the business in consequence of any of the following events:
- (a) any occurrence of a notifiable disease at the premises or attributable to food or drink supplied from the premises;
- (b) any discovery of any organism at the premises likely to result in the occurrence of a notifiable disease;
- (c) any occurrence of a notifiable disease within a radius of two hundred and fifty metres (250m) of the premises;
- (d) the discovery of vermin or pests at the premises which causes restrictions on the use of the premises on the order or advice of the competent local authority;
- (e) any accident causing defects in the drains or other sanitary arrangements at the premises which causes restrictions on the use of the premises on the order or advice of the competent local authority;
- (f) any occurrence of murder or suicide at the premises; provided that:
- i) the insurer shall not be liable for any costs incurred in cleaning, repair, replacement, recall or checking of property;
- ii) the insurer shall only be liable for loss arising at those premises which are directly subject to the incident;
- iii) the insurer shall not be liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from an occurrence of legionellosis or legionnaires’ disease where the insured has failed to comply with
- I) their statutory obligations in respect of the control of legionellosis or legionnaires’ disease;
- II) the Health and Safety Commissions Approved Code of Practice, ‘The Prevention and Control of Legionellosis (including Legionnaires’ Disease)’ Ref ISBN-0-7176-1772-6 or any supplementary, replacement or amending Code of Practice;
- iv) the insurer’s maximum liability under this clause in respect of any one (1) incident shall not exceed the sub-limit shown in the schedule.
Optis Note: All Optis policies have a €250,000 aggregate limit and an indemnity period of 3 months.
Unoccupied buildings approach At QBE we recognise the disruption being caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, and in particular the challenge being felt by our clients when operating in the current restricted environment. With buildings and operations being forced to close as a response to the Coronavirus we believe we have the responsibility to clarify how our policies will respond to unoccupied premises, as well as help insured’s to manage the ongoing risks to their business during this period of enforced reduced economic activity.
Currently within our policies we have a condition that relates to unoccupied buildings, which we will seek to maintain for current vacant premises, prior to the Coronavirus outbreak. However, for any properties that are temporarily unoccupied as a result for the Coronavirus outbreak we would seek to provide the following assurance.
During the Coronavirus outbreak, and for the period of Government required closure of any premises, the following policy operations will apply:
- The unoccupied building conditions within the policy will not apply for any impacted property and we will not be taking any further measures to restrict coverage.
- Should any premises remain unoccupied once any applicable Government restrictions are lifted, we would consider any such property to be subject to the unoccupied building conditions of the policy after a period of 7 days. With this in mind please note the Other Considerations section of the Risk Management advice contained herein as well as advice from your broker.
- Any inspection provisions within the policy are waived during the period of Government restrictions, other than those deemed to be required for statutory purposes.
- If during the Coronavirus outbreak, you repurpose your premises to undertake different activities please contact QBE or your broker to discuss this further. In consideration of the above, we would also wish to advise policy holders of our best practice risk management advice for temporarily unoccupied premises during the Coronavirus outbreak. Risk Management Advice Equipment and Building Utilities
- Ensure all equipment is safely turned off and, in a condition, where it can be left for an extended period without damage or degradation.
- Remove from or drain processing equipment of flammable, combustible or hazardous liquids and materials. These should be appropriately disposed of or stored safely for re-use.
- Isolate electrical circuits where you can (without affecting security, CCTV or fire systems).
Turn off the mains water supply. Make sure this does not isolate any sprinkler or other fire systems you have.
Don’t worry too much about draining heating or other stored water systems but if possible isolate storage / header tanks from any distribution pipework. • If it is safe to do so, isolate the incoming gas supply. • Make a list of all services or other valves you have isolated (and where they are) to ensure you reinstate them all.
- Ensure that any fire and/or sprinkler systems are fully operational.
- Carry out a check to ensure that internal fire doors are closed.
- Check that the fire alarm panel is fault free and all fire detection systems are fully operational. Waste
- Remove all external waste, pallets and empty skips ahead of closing.
- Empty all waste bins and relocate to a secure area, ideally at least 10 metres from the building. If this is not possible and bins and skips are within 10metres, these should have lockable lids. Physical Security
- Carry out a check to ensure physical security measures are in place e.g. fences are in good repair, windows are locked and boarded if appropriate, shutters are in place where appropriate, gates and doors are locked, and letter boxes secured closed.
- Shop fronts with no internal or external roller shutters to have shop front displays cleared of stock.
- Make sure your intruder alarm is set and that the remote signalling is in place.
- Ensure sufficient numbers of keyholders are available to respond to an alarm activation within 20 minutes, and any other building management system alarm that may be triggered. Other Considerations
- It is also prudent to consider the following for any planned longer-term building closure; o Awareness of vacant property management companies. o Removal of high value or critical equipment to a secure location. o Additional building security features (boarding windows etc). o Further isolation of building services and draining down of wet systems. o Clearly posted emergency contact details.
Information for clients of AXAXL Policyholders Properties temporarily closed solely due to the Covid-19 outbreak Businesses are now facing unprecedented challenges posed by measures to counter Coronavirus (Covid-19) as premises are temporarily closed due to public health quarantines. It is our intention for situations where insured buildings are temporarily closed solely due to the Covid-19 outbreak, any Unoccupied Building Conditions in AXA XL policies will not apply and no additional premium or amended terms will apply until 31 May 2020. If Covid-19 related restrictions on normal activity are still in force as we approach the 31 May 2020 date, AXA XL will review the position and update our guidance accordingly. These guidelines would not, and do not, extend to any premises unoccupied before the Covid-19 outbreak (i.e. before the date of Public Health shutdowns) nor where premises become permanently vacant. In these circumstances please contact AXA XL in line with the existing policy terms and conditions. In addition, this guidance does not override any other policy conditions. – see below for further comments In the event that premises do become temporarily vacated, clients should still inform coverholders/AXA XL as soon as reasonably practicable. Best practice guidance is set out below but if you need help to tailor these actions to the client’s specific risk circumstances, please contact us:
- Site Security – check perimeter fences and gates are in good state of repair and operational
- External lighting – check lighting and any associated movement sensors are operational
- Building Physical Security – check window and door locks plus any security shutters are operational. The use of external key safes should not be used • Access Control – check to ensure operational and maintained
- CCTV – check to ensure operational and maintained including recording and any remote monitoring
Intruder Alarm – check to ensure fully operational and maintained including offsite remote monitoring. Reduction in Police response or keyholder availability to be advised to AXA XL • Where possible maintain a core staff on site that could respond to an emergency
- Automatic Sprinkler protection should remain fully operational and maintained. Weekly testing should continue with guidance sought as to whether this can still be supported whilst adhering to social distancing. Ensure building heat is maintained at a safe level to prevent damage to sprinkler and process piping
- Automatic Fire Alarm – check to ensure the system is fully operational and maintained including offsite remote monitoring
- Fire doors – ensure all internal fire doors and shutters are closed
- Where large car parks are vulnerable to incursion and potential fly-tipping, additional denial of access security measures should be considered
- Inspections – where possible arrangements should be made for a weekly internal and external site inspection with guidance sought as to whether this can be supported whilst adhering to social distancing
- Waste – internal and external waste to be removed from site and external storage located a minimum of 10m from the building
- Utilities (electrical, water, heating) – where practical, shutdown and isolate / drain any nonessential utility services that are not required for operational reasons, maintaining minimum temperatures to prevent freezing or power circuits for protection
- Follow the proper procedures to execute safe and proper shut down of equipment and machinery
Eliminate all controllable sources of ignition such as hot work or smoking
- Ensure the intranet is completely isolated from the public network or the firewall is impenetrable. There should be no cyber risk during the idle period. Ensure that the UPS is functional
- Develop plans and procedures for a safe start-up of the plant once the situation is back to normal.
- Follow the proper procedures for the safe start-up of machinery and equipment. Don’t take short-cuts to speed up the start-up process.”