Irish Pubs closed for St. Patrick’s Day!
This headline has gone viral worldwide this week…
Many businesses, small, medium and large have found themselves in unfamiliar water with the outbreak and pandemic of Covid-19. Every pub in the country has been ordered by the Irish Government to shut down. Many business owners are very worried as to how their business can survive this unforeseen circumstance. Remember that you are not alone! All over the country, and the world, business owners, like you, are worrying about the same thing.
Outbreaks, such as COVID-19, cause disruption to both the personal lives of those affected and also disruption to businesses. Employers need to ensure they take all reasonable steps to ensure the Health and Safety of their employees and also to try to mitigate the risks to the business due to the effects of the outbreak.
Many businesses will find that they do not have insurance in place to cover for any interruption to their business caused by COVID-19. To check this out, you need to contact your insurer or insurance broker immediately. Already this week, we have had many calls from Brokers to ask our views on whether there is cover for this business interruption. Because of our years of experience in insurance claims, we have advised that in some cases there certainly is cover for this kind of loss. It really depends on the insurer and the policy you have in place.
We advise that you contact your Broker and check the policy wording (aka the small print!). You may well have cover for this disaster, so let the experts check this for you and hopefully you may have cover. Feel free to contact us and we will assist you in any way we can.
Some of our clients have been in contact seeking advice on the COVID-19 outbreak. We have received many enquiries as to the availability of insurance against the financial impact on businesses and I decided I should address this directly.
If your insurance includes Business Interruption Cover, e.g. in a commercial combined policy or package policy such as office/shop/salon, there may be some Business Interruption Cover in specified circumstances. Many policies only respond to Business Interruption arising from diseases that are specified in the policy, and COVID-19 will not be a specified disease so there is no cover. In the current outbreak, insurers will not consider applications for the inclusion of cover or in respect of any event cancellations etc.
The best advice is to speak with your Broker to confirm what cover you have. If your premises is put into lockdown due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in your business or office, then there may be some cover, but it really depends on the policy wording and extent of cover you have.
If you only have Liability Insurance in place there is no cover for loss of business arising from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Whilst you may not be able to insure against financial losses that arise from the COVID-19 outbreak, you can take steps to help reduce any losses by undertaking a Risk Assessment and developing a Business Continuity Plan.
Stay Safe and Stay Well!