The Prime Minister has confirmed that the Government will be introducing new restrictions within England, with effect from today Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December.
The lockdowns in both England and Wales (Scotland still operating under regional tiering) will affect many hospitality, retail and leisure businesses, resulting in them being closed for a month. Please refer to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for full details.
To provide clarity to you and your clients we want to give you an update on several key areas.
For policies with Unoccupied Premises provisions already embedded in the policy wording, standard terms and conditions will apply. However, for policy wordings that require immediate notification we can confirm cover will continue without the need to notify ourselves if the premises are required to close due to the new lockdown until 00.01 hours 2nd December, subject to the insured being able to comply with the following conditions:
- The premises are 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 immediately carrying out any work necessary 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.
We appreciate these are daunting times for many clients who are having to cease, restrict or change their trading. Most of our products are tailor-made with additions such as Goods in Transit, Money, as well as SORN options or mileage considerations for Motor cover. Should sections of cover no longer be required or the level of cover requires altering to reflect a change in trading behaviour we ask you to get in touch with us. This should then be reviewed regularly.
For Package products, brokers can process many Mid Term Amendments electronically and should continue to do so. We remain committed to helping you and your clients through these uncertain times where we can, be it reducing sums insured, reducing mileage or declaring vehicles as SORN.
If your client is struggling to pay their monthly premium instalments, please speak to your usual NIG contact. We will look to provide assistance where we can, which may include a payment deferral, if appropriate. This would mean that when the monthly payments resume, the amount that has been deferred will be spread over the remainder of the agreement term. In these instances, NIG will not charge any additional interest or fees on the deferred balance and the agreed payment deferral will not have a negative impact on your client’s credit score.
This is purely a payment deferral to support your client as a result of the direct impact of COVID-19, and the payment(s) due under the original credit agreement remains. Failure to make these payment(s) when due could negatively affect your client’s credit score and potentially impact their ability to secure credit in the future. You may like to refer your client to https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/dealing-financial-difficulties-coronavirus or https://www.businessdebtline.org/ for further advice on dealing with financial difficulties during Coronavirus.
Our Risk Surveyors are still on the road
Surveying continues as Public & Fire safety requirements remain under the Government guidelines and the insurance surveying service is a critical part of this. We have provided our surveyors with COVID-19 Risk Assessments and Safe Systems of Work for when they are visiting clients, and potential clients, in accordance with Government guidelines. Where appropriate we are also undertaking desktop surveys, avoiding the need to attend client premises at this time.
As you will appreciate it will not always be possible for all parties to attend client site surveys, due to availability or safety reasons. Any assistance you can provide in facilitating appointments for our surveyors would be greatly appreciated.
Open For Business
Finally, we would like to remind our brokers and partners that we are very much open for business and keen to work with you. We can be contacted by e-mail, telephone, or in some instances by live chat. Please continue to talk to us.
We are here to support you and your clients during these unprecedented times and hope you find this update helpful.
Stay safe and look after those around you.