The Government has ordered an extensive list of different kinds of businesses and venues in the UK to close due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Pubs, restaurants, hotels, salons, museums, cinemas, gyms, places of worship and all but essential retailers have all been forced to close their doors. Other businesses too have heeded the Government’s plea to work from home where possible and have moved their staff to home working. As a result, a large number of commercial premises have been rapidly mothballed because of the Covid-19 threat.
Businesses usually have time to prepare to vacate their premises but following the announcement from the Government, many businesses had to close up shop immediately, leaving their premises full of stock, equipment, and contents that might otherwise had been removed in a planned vacation of the premises.
Insurance policies contain conditions to ensure the safeguarding of property (Buildings and Contents) and particularly in periods of unoccupancy may require the premises to be regularly visited and checked, may require the removal of valuables and high valued items, may require certain systems and services to be disconnected. In addition the insurer would normally expect to be advised, in advance, of any period of unoccupancy.
Clearly in the current circumstances, Insurers have had to relax these standard requirements with the majority suspending the unoccupancy conditions of checking the premises for the duration of the ‘lockdown’, but we would counsel you still to advise your insurer if you have temporarily vacated your premises, and would suggest that you take all reasonable precautions, as allowed under the current Government guidelines, to safeguard the property whilst it is vacant.
RiskStop Group Ltd who provide Insurance Risk Management services have prepared this guide for your information. Read or download it by clicking here.