13th March 2020
Policies exclude business interruption due to new and emerging diseases. Policy documents clearly specify the diseases cover is offered for and highlights that new and emerging diseases like COVID-19 are not covered.
Employers and Public Liability:
The liability cover provides protection for the policyholder against legal liabilities to their employees or the public, including property damage and bodily injury. Bodily injury includes illness (including resulting death). “Illness” is not defined so could include legal liabilities from COVID- 19 in a situation where the insured has breached their duty of care.
- By sending an employee to an area affected where the FCO have advised against all but essential travel
- Not providing essential equipment or guidelines for adequate sanitation
- By making an employee come to work after they have travelled in an affected area resulting in other becoming exposed to the virus (either employees or the public)
To avoid scenarios like these, you could consider establishing whether the insured has an up to date risk assessment and updated health and safety guidelines that include COVID- 19, as well as an up to date continuity plan. It should be reviewed regularly as both the situation and government advice continues to evolve rapidly.
Private Client Travel:
New customers– the sale of travel insurance add on to Aviva Private Clients home insurance is paused.
Existing Customers– If they have this add on and are due to travel to where there is a Foreign and commonwealth Office (FCO) advisory notice in place (no travel/none but essential travel) and wish to cancel their trip, they will be covered
They would also be covered under policies if they were to contract COVID-19 whilst on holiday or the UK prior to travel (which was booked before they were aware of the infection).
In addition they would be covered if quarantined by authorities whilst on holiday (whether they have contracted COVID-19 or not)
If they bought their policy after the FCO advised against travel to their destination, they would not be covered for cancellation/abandonment under these circumstances
Group Personal Accident, Sickness & Business Travel:
Clients will be covered under their sickness policy but the illness will need to last for longer than the deferment period in the policy which is normally 14 days (illnesses lasting less than the deferment period are excluded). It doesn’t provide cover for death following a pandemic disease or illness (like COVID-19)
Business travel– Standard Policies will cover any medical expenses, cancellation, curtailment or change of itinerary due to contracting COVID-19. However if clients have travelled against the advice of a qualified medical practitioner or against any regulations issued by any government or public authority will not be covered.
Management liability cover is provided in the event a business director commits a “wrongful act”. For this to be considered, they would have to show negligence in their actions that leads to a detriment suffered by either a third party or an employee.
The core cover is for Directors & Officers (general and employment matters), which optional entity covers Corporate Legal Liability (general matters should the claim be brought against them and not the directors) and optional Employment Practices Liability (employment matters)
For general duties, “wrongful act” insurance coverage for “failure to adopt adequate workplace or employment policies and procedures” could lead to COVID-19 related issues being included under this cover.
This would automatically be covered under the core D & O cover and the insured would also be covered by the optional Employment Practices Liability section if selected