IE Note: There is a huge wave of criticism against the UK insurance industry right now, after many people learned that they would not be covered by their business insurance policies, following the Corona Virus restrictions and advice. Fact is, if every policyholder was paid out, there would be no insurance companies trading.
As an industry howver it probably would be wise to do two things immediately: One, make every effort possible to repatriate travel policyholders stuck overseas and issue daily bulletins on progress, by major insurers and the ABI, to reassure customers. Two, establish a type of MIB fund for those smaller businesses, especially in the events industry, who face total ruin. It would go a long way to restoring the industry’s reputation as a force for good.
Updated 20.03.2020; Former MEP Lance Forman speaking on Talk Radio this morning, called for a review of the insurance industry’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak and also suggested that a levy or fund must be set up to deal with business interruption by contagious disease in the longer term.
A spokesperson from the Association of British Insurers said:
“The spread of Coronavirus is unprecedented in modern times and we understand this is an incredibly difficult time for families and businesses.
“Standard commercial insurance policies – the type the vast majority of businesses purchase – provide cover against a wide range of day to day risks including damage caused by fire, flood, theft and accidents involving employees.
“Insurers pay out £22m each day to firms through these policies, supporting millions of businesses across the UK each year. Only a very small minority of businesses choose to buy any form of cover that includes local closure due to an infectious disease.”
“An even smaller number will have cover enabling them to potentially claim on their insurance for the presence or impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Government’s clarification yesterday will help some of these policyholders claim if the other terms and conditions of the policy are met.
“We strongly recommend that every business should check with their insurer or broker if they wish to confirm the type of cover that they have purchased.”