Business Insurance Q&A from MIA Partner, Cover Notes

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Cover Notes have been working with the Music Industry and are the chosen Business Insurance partner of the MIA for over 20 years. In that time, they have helped to support Musical Instrument Retailers, Wholesalers, Manufacturers, Piano Tuners, Teaching Schools, Repair Workshops, Recording Studios or Allied Trades specific to the Music Industry – pretty much anything musical!

It is important to note that the COVID-19 situation is an unprecedented event, and as such, insurers are currently working with Governmental Agencies to determine the best response. Cover Notes recommend that you continue to check their website for updates on the action’s insurers are taking.

www.s-johnson.co.uk – click on the red COVID-19 box on the left.

If you wish to speak specifically to your insurer’s claims department, Cover Notes have also complied a useful list of contact details at the link above. You will also find links to insurers FAQ’s on their own sites covering this subject and various other useful ‘good to know’ info.

Here, Steve, Graham and the team answer some key questions to help you deal with your insurance during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Q: Am I covered for Business Interruption due to Coronavirus?

A: There is very little cover amongst insurers for this, since most insurers stick to commonly occurring events such as fire, theft etc.  If you believe that you have a possible claim under your policy, please have a look on our website, where we provide contact details for various insurers.

Q: Am I covered if I have to self-isolate?

A: Business Interruption polices do not cover self-isolation.

Q: What if my employees become sick and cannot work?

A: It is unlikely under Commercial Insurance policies that there will be any cover for this, unless you as the employer have acted negligently

Q: My premises are unoccupied, does this affect my insurance?

A: Normally, policies have a requirement whereby an insured must notify an insurer if their premises are unoccupied for more than 30 days. Most insurers have indicated that this has been changed at present to 90 days. Check with your provider.

Q: What if my suppliers are not supplying me?

A: Again, it is unlikely that there will be any cover under Commercial Insurances in this regard. We are aware of some clients who are looking closely at their contractual agreements vis a vis force majeure.

Q: Am I covered for cancelled exhibitions and events?

A: Not unless you have taken out specialist cover for this – which is often only available from exhibition and event arrangers themselves.  Any cover that is in place will normally only cover cancellation costs and not lost profits.

Q: Am I covered for the cost of travel arrangements to cancelled events?

A: You may be if you have business travel insurance in place – it is worth checking.

COVID 19 – Possible Claims

We are receiving a number of calls relating to cover following the current pandemic from clients who are looking carefully through the wording of their policies and there follow some common questions:

Q: I feel that I have a valid claim, what action to I need to take? 

A: We recommend that you send an email to the relevant insurers claims department or telephone them. Please state your name, trading name and policy number.  It may be better at this time to email. Under the current difficult circumstances, we firstly recommend that you allow a reasonable amount of time to elapse to receive a response from your insurer.

QMy insurer has told me I am not covered – what do I do?

A: If you disagree with your insurers response you should send a short email to include the word ‘complaint’ in the header again stating your name, trading name and policy number and briefly explain why you disagree with them.  Your insurer will typically have four weeks in which to respond to you.

Q: What do I do if I have had a response and my insurer has rejected my complaint?

A: You can now take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service – this is a free to use facility and more details can be found here www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/ or www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/businesses  where the process is detailed. You can register your claim online and you will receive a confirmatory email.

‘Ordinary’ Claims

We are dealing with normal claims on an ongoing basis. We have seen claims for theft, fire and flood in recent weeks. In the case of all types of claims, record keeping is key. Please ensure that your business records (purchases, sales, inventory etc) are up to date and duplicates kept away from the business premises.

www.covernotes.co.uk