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Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

The information provided below relates solely to policies underwritten by DOA on behalf of various insurance companies. The policies can be identified by the policy number commencing with the letters 'DOA/...'.

Cessation of trade - Update

Updated 17th June 2020

Further to the update provided on 20th May confirming that your premises will not be treated as unoccupied where temporarily closed due to gov.uk advice, we can now confirm that a further extension period of 30 days has been granted.

This will continue to be reviewed every 30 days by us and your insurance company where such advice by gov.uk continues beyond this extension period.

If you are unsure if this applies to your policy, please contact your insurance broker for further details.




Claims - Update

Updated 8th June 2020

The industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, are seeking legal clarity for the insurance market on the cover provided for business interruption claims caused by Covid-19. The FCA has compiled a sample of policy wordings, proposed assumed facts and a list of proposed questions for determination by the court in a test case. The DOA Package Policy is not one of the sample policy wordings included by the regulator, however the final resolution of this test case will be reviewed by the insurers of the DOA Package Policy and any affect this has on decisions already taken will be notified to you once it has been reviewed.

You can find out further details on the test case by visiting the regulators website at https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/business-interruption-insurance




Cessation of trade - Update

Updated 20th May 2020

Where you have been advised by DOA or your insurance broker that your business premises shall not be treated as unoccupied for a period of 60 days from when you ceased to trade due to gov.uk advice, we can now agree to further extend this period by another 30 days. This will continue to be reviewed every 30 days by us and your insurance company.

If you are unsure if this applies to your policy, please contact your insurance broker for further details.




Additional support for Policyholders

Updated 18th May 2020

If your business is currently closed, or you are experiencing financial difficulties due to the impact of Covid-19, please contact your insurance broker to discuss the options available on your policy to reduce your premium during this time.

At DOA, we are committed to helping our policyholders throughout this period in any way we can. This means we shall commit to the following:-

  1. Consider any request to reduce your premium
  2. Consider how we can reduce your premium when offering renewal
  3. Waive any midterm adjustment fees associated with reducing or removing cover
  4. Waive any cancellation fees should you need to cancel your policy midterm due to Covid-19
  5. Seek a fair and reasonable stance from your Insurance Company on the application of policy conditions where these have been triggered solely due to changes in your business as a result of Covid-19.

It is important to ensure that you continue to have insurance that meets your demands and needs. Your Insurance Broker will be able to help you in assessing if our policy remains suitable for you.




Claims - Update

Updated 1st May 2020

If you have submitted a claim, you will receive a response from your insurance company very shortly (if not already). Any response you receive will be via the insurance broker who sold you the policy.

In most cases, there is no cover for business interruptions claims due to Covid-19. Full details will be provided in response to any formal claims submitted, however if you are seeking to make a claim, please speak to your insurance broker who can advise you on the process to make a claim.

There is information for businesses on the gov.uk website, detailing the financial measures available to business who are suffering, further details can be found by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support




Cessation of trade

Updated 14th April 2020

If your business is not able to trade, you have decided to stop trading, or you are trading but your business activities have changed due to Covid-19, please refer to your insurance broker for advice on how your insurance might be affected.

If your policy is due for renewal, your insurance broker will be in contact shortly to discuss any changes to your policy. If you have not heard from your insurance broker or have been unable to contact them, you may contact us on 01371 878562 or e-mail commercial@doainsurance.co.uk.




Claims

Updated 19th March 2020

If you are an existing DOA policyholder and are unsure if your policy with us will respond to claims relating to Covid-19, please contact your insurance broker who will be able to provide you with further guidance based on your individual circumstances.

Cessation of trade - Update

Updated 17th June 2020

Further to the update provided on 20th May regarding businesses currently not trading, it has been agreed that the extended period of 90 days has been further extended to 120 days. This shall continue to be reviewed and details of such reviews from each insurer will be provided as an update here if such advice by gov.uk continues beyond this extension period.




Claims - Update

Updated 8th June 2020

The industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, are seeking legal clarity for the insurance market on the cover provided for business interruption claims caused by Covid-19. The FCA has compiled a sample of policy wordings, proposed assumed facts and a list of proposed questions for determination by the court in a test case. The DOA Package Policy is not one of the sample policy wordings included by the regulator, however the final resolution of this test case will be reviewed by the insurers of the DOA Package Policy and any affect this has on decisions already taken will be notified to you once it has been reviewed.

You can find out further details on the test case by visiting the regulators website at https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/business-interruption-insurance




Cessation of trade - Update

Updated 20th May 2020

Further to the update provided on 14th April regarding businesses currently not trading, it has been agreed that the initial extension period from 30 to 60 days has been further extended to 90 days. This shall continue to be reviewed and details of the reviews from each insurer will be provided as an update here.




Additional support for Policyholders

Updated 18th May 2020

If a policyholder is currently not trading, or is seeking a reduction in premium, we can discuss the options available to the policyholder with you.

DOA shall help Policyholders in temporary financial difficulties. This means we shall commit to the following:-

  1. Consider any request to reduce the policy premium
  2. Consider how we can reduce the policy premium when offering renewal
  3. Waive any midterm adjustment fees associated with reducing or removing cover
  4. Waive any cancellation fees for policyholders wishing to cancel their policy midterm due to Covid-19
  5. Seek a fair and reasonable stance from the Insurance Company on the application of policy conditions where these have been triggered solely due to changes in the business as a result of Covid-19.

Whilst we do not recommend that a business seeks to reduce cover during this time, there are options available for them to consider. We have listed some examples per policy below where a reduction in premium might be achieved:-

DOA Package Policy

  1. Reducing sums insured or limits of liability that have been increased above the standard package limits (such as increased limits for business interruption, goods in transit or money)*.
  2. Restricting perils under the Property Damage section to Fire, Lightening, Aircraft and Explosion, this would result in approximately a 25% reduction in the overall policy premium.

DOA Commercial Combined / DOA Property Owners

  1. Reducing sums insured or limits of liability*
  2. Removing sections of cover currently included but no longer required, such as money, goods in transit, business equipment all risks etc.
  3. Providing revised estimates for annual wages and turnover, allowing us to recalculate the premium for Employers, Public and Products Liability (where applicable)
  4. Restricting perils under the Property Damage section.
  5. DOA General Liability / Contractors Liability

    • Reducing the limit of liability under the Public and Products Liability sections of the policy
    • Providing revised estimates for annual wages and turnover, allowing us to recalculate the premium for Employers, Public and Products Liability (where applicable)
    • Providing revised estimates for contracting turnover and hired in plant charges where Contract Works and Contractors Plant & Equipment sections are included.

Please contact one of team at DOA should you wish to discuss a specific policyholder and the options available to them, click here for our contact details, or e-mail us at policyadmin@doainsurance.co.uk.

*Please remind all policyholders considering reducing cover that underinsurance provisions are contained in our policies.
NB - If a policyholder is on a dedicated scheme with DOA, please refer to your usual underwriting contact to discuss if any of these measures apply.




Claims - Update

Updated 1st May 2020

If we have received a formal claim (by way of a completed claim form), the insurance company concerned shall be responding individually via a letter to policyholders that we will be sending out on their behalf. These letters will be addressed to policyholders but e-mailed to you in most cases.

A template letter is available from some insurers, detailing why the policy will not respond to specific circumstances that have triggered a loss of income for policyholders. Please contact us if you have not received this and would like to update a policyholder who is awaiting a response.




Cessation of trade

Updated 14th April 2020

Cessation of trade (as instructed by gov.uk)

If a policyholder has temporarily suspended trade due to instructions issued by gov.uk, we have obtained an agreement from the insurance companies of the following policies to agree that any such period will not be treated as 'unoccupied' up to 60 days from when they cease to trade (90 days where the insurer is Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd or Canopius Managing Agents Ltd):-

Commercial Combined (DOA/CC...)
Dry Cleaners (DOA/DC...)
Property Owners (DOA/PO...)
Package (DOA/R...)

The usual restrictions on cover and additional conditions imposed where a business has ceased to trade shall not apply, however reasonable precautions should continue to be adopted by every policyholder, specifically:-

  1. isolating all mains utility services at the point of entry feed to the Building(s) (except for electricity supply to security or fire alarms and water supply to any sprinkler installation) and all water pipes and tanks not relating to any sprinkler installation are drained down before closure of the Premises and for the duration of the closure of the Premises;
  2. fully securing all external openings at the Premises, including all doors, windows and skylights etc. against unauthorised entry before closure of the Premises and for the duration of the closure of the Premises;
  3. ensuring before closure of the Premises and for the duration of the closure of the Premises that if the Insurers have required that the Premises are protected by an Intruder Alarm System the conditions relating to its activation and functionality while the Premises are unattended are complied with;
  4. ensuring the Premises are kept clear of all moveable combustible waste material and perishable Stock in Trade while the Premises are closed;
  5. inspecting the Premises at least once each week and
    1. rectifying all defects in maintenance or security as soon as is reasonably practicable;
    2. replacing any broken Glass in windows immediately or boarding up the windows immediately if replacing the Glass is impracticable;
    3. collecting all mail delivered to the Premises at least once each week and removing all such mail from the Premises at the same time.

In the case of contractor's policies (DOA/CAR...) we have obtained an agreement to extend the 'Stoppage of work' condition in relation to contract works, from one month to two months where such stoppage is a direct result of being unable to trade.

Cessation of trade (all other)

If a policyholder is eligible to remain open but has decided to temporarily cease trading, we would ask you to notify us by sending an e-mail to policyadmin@doainsurance.co.uk within 30 days of trading having stopped. We can review the policyholder's individual circumstances and confirm if any alterations to the policy are required.

If the premises of a policyholder were unoccupied prior to instructions issued by gov.uk due to Covid-19, the policy shall be unaffected and will continue unaltered unless otherwise advised by us.

If a policyholder has permanently closed, you should contact us to discuss cancellation of the policy or alteration to the policy where there is a requirement to continue providing cover, such as buildings or liability.

Change in business activities

If a policyholder continues to trade but the business description has altered, please contact us by sending an e-mail to policyadmin@doainsurance.co.uk

If Employers Liability or Public Liability sections of a policy are included (where shown on the Schedule), these shall automatically extend to cover employees working from home (in a non-manual capacity) in line with government guidelines.

Policyholders due to for renewal

DOA shall invite renewal terms based on no material changes to a risk unless advised otherwise by you.

Any renewal terms issued for the following policies shall now include an exclusion of 'Epidemic and pandemic infectious disease':-

Commercial Combined (DOA/CC...)
Dry Cleaners (DOA/DC...)
Property Owners (DOA/PO...)
Package (DOA/R...)

We have also been instructed to apply an 'Absolute coronavirus exclusion' on all policies where the insurer is ChinaRe or Chaucer.

These exclusions shall apply by endorsement.

If a policyholder has temporarily ceased trading, and is considering not to renew their policy, it is important they consider if cover is still required. Employers Liability might still be needed where a business maintains employees, Public or Products liability should be considered for any incidents that could still arise whilst the business has ceased trading.

We are happy to work with you and policyholders to offer terms that are tailored to each individual circumstance, in some cases enabling us to offer substantial premium savings following reductions in wages or turnover and for restrictions in perils covered under property damage.




Claims

Updated 19th March 2020

We are not set up to handle claims directly with policyholders. Our policies request that any potential claims are first reported to the insurance broker who sold the policy. If a policyholder is unable to contact their insurance broker, we shall log any notifications made directly to us and inform the relevant insurance broker to contact their client.

If a policyholder wishes to submit a claim, please ensure full details of the circumstances affecting the business are included along with substantiation of any interruption or interference with the business. At this stage we appreciate most enquiries relate to the ongoing interruption or interference with the business on the advice of the government, as such, it is important that any policyholders capture detailed information to support any claim during this time.

We do not currently have any official response from our insurance providers as to how they shall respond to claims relating to Covid-19, however we can provide some general advice as follows:-

1. Notifiable Diseases

Where included, most business interruption covers include an extension for interruption or interference in consequence with an occurrence at the premises of an infectious disease. In most cases, the policies refer to a specified list of notifiable diseases, and therefore no cover would be provided for Covid-19.

The following DOA policies have an extension in respect of notifiable diseases, however they specify the notifiable diseases included and would not respond to a claim relating to Covid-19:-

  1. Commercial Combined
  2. Retail Package
  3. Residential & Commercial Property Owners

The following DOA policies do not specify a list of notifiable diseases:-

  1. Dry Cleaners

2. Denial of Access

Where included, most business interruption covers include an extension for interruption or interference in consequence with damage to property in the vicinity of the premises which hinders or prevents the use of or restrict access to the premises. As damage must have occurred (such as fire), such extensions will not respond to a claim relating to Covid-19.

In some circumstances, denial of access extensions are extended to include non-damage denial of access, usually on the request of the policyholder and subject to payment of an additional premium. Where a policyholder suffers interruption or interference with the business in consequence of Covid-19, it is possible the policy would respond to a claim depending on the specific wording.

The following DOA policies include an extension for non-damage denial of access:-

  1. Retail Package

Summary

It is important to check each individual policy schedule and wording in order to provide the correct advice to your policyholder.

Our policies are underwritten by DOA on behalf of three different insurance companies. In the event of a claim, the details will be reviewed on an individual basis by the insurance company or their appointed representatives.

We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time and will endeavour to maintain our usual high standards of service when responding to all enquiries or claims relating to Covid-19.

Download a claim form