I am sure most of you will be aware already but just to confirm the position regarding business continuity insurance and the concern that access was being denied to this by the Government’s decision not to mandate closure. The latter issue is a red-herring, mandated or not it has no real impact on accesses to continuity insurance and, lest anyone draw any other spurious conclusions, mandated closure by Government order isn’t something covered by general or indeed specialist business insurance of any kind.
As to the main issue here, very few businesses in the UK take out the extended cover option for business curtailment due to infectious disease. The vast majority of those that have will have taken out cover for notifiable diseases, the list of which are quite deliberately and sensibly specified in the scheduled of insurance. Convid-19 is a new disease and with the exception of a very small number of highly specialised policies, it will not be covered. Where cover is in place immediate necessary action such as deep cleaning to allow for reopening would be paid for immediately but loss of earnings due to long-term closure mandated or otherwise would in all likelihood be something assessed and paid for some time after the end of the event. If in doubt businesses should speak to their insurance brokers to understand their policies and what is or is not covered by them.
The salvation for many businesses, if there is any, will lie in the package of business support measures announced by Government. There has been some doubt about which businesses are eligible for what support, at what level if any. Guidance to local government in England issued today on the administration of the rates relief and small business grants of £10k (increased from £3k and non-repayable) may help you better identify which categories of local businesses may be eligible and sadly, in some cases, also confirm which are not:
Arrangement in Wales are similar but different in some respects. Latest updated information colleagues in Wales can be accessed at:
It is early days yet, however, it is already clear from the reports from colleagues in various different destinations of all types, sizes, styles and locations that impacts of Monday’s announcements and subsequent events have been immediate, severe to potentially catastrophic, depending to a large degree on how long current or potential enhanced restriction remain in place (weeks or many weeks and months?).
Despite the welcome support measures yet to be rolled out, the prognosis for many individual visitor economy businesses, their owners and employees and for UK destinations and for UK tourism as a whole is extremely poor. Consorted efforts are required at every level to help sustain as many businesses and valued staff for as long as possible, in order to ensure that there is sufficient viable product left in place from which to mount a successful recovery, whenever the current threat to human health, well-being and indeed in many instances, life, is finally behind us.
Please keep sharing information and don’t hesitate to ask us or through us other members for support. The information you are providing is being feed up the chain as and wherever necessary.