Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated Guidance on Temporarily Unoccupied Premises

At the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, NIG issued some general guidance regarding premises that had been forced to temporarily close.

The end of this initial 90-day period falls on the 22nd June 2020, as the UK is emerging from lockdown. It is a phased return and a range of businesses are being allowed to reopen, albeit at different times. Car showrooms, garden centres and schools all opened at the start of June, with non-essential retail due to open from mid-June.

However, this will mean that some businesses will still have temporarily unoccupied premises for a variety of reasons. It may be that they are not permitted to open yet, have chosen not to (for example working from home) or they are permitted to but cannot make necessary changes (e.g. due to space restrictions).
As a result, we would like to confirm our stance regarding temporarily unoccupied premises as we reach the end of this initial 90-day period.

For businesses with existing NIG policies that cannot reopen at this stage for reasons associated to the pandemic we will agree to extend the initial 90-day period ending the 22nd June 2020 for a further 45 days (until 5th August 2020) subject to:

  • The premises being secured by putting all protective locking devices and any alarm protection into effective operation.
  • Gas, water and electricity supplies at the mains being switched off (except electricity needed to maintain any fire or intruder alarm systems, or water and heating systems for fire sprinkler systems).
  • The insured or their representative visiting the premises every seven days and carrying out any work necessary immediately to maintain the security of the premises.
  • Removal of all post, trade refuse and waste materials from the interior of the premises, allowing no accumulation of refuse or waste in the adjoining yards or spaces owned by the insured.
  • The policy not being due for renewal before 5th August 2020.

Assuming clients can adhere to these conditions there is no need to contact us.

Please note for any policy that is due for renewal and will remain unoccupied we require notification of:

  • The reasons for unoccupancy. Is this solely due to lockdown?
  • How long are the premises likely to be unoccupied for?
  • What is the client’s current strategy for managing the risk during unoccupancy. For example; inspections, security etc?
  • Have there been any incidents while unoccupied? For example; either damage to the property or unauthorised occupation?
  • All other conditions that require policyholders to take action or respond to intruder alarm activations, faults or other maintenance-related matters will continue to apply, unless otherwise agreed as impractical due to COVID-19 Government guidance.

We are doing all we can to support you and your clients during these unprecedented times and hope you find this update helpful. Please don’t hesitate to speak to your usual NIG contact.