Our Commercial Lines approach to the Third Lockdown

Although we enter the New Year with fresh grounds for optimism, we find ourselves in a familiar situation with another national lockdown across the UK. There are however some green shoots on the horizon with the vaccination programme being rolled out across the country, and a renewed hope we can finally put an end to what has been a very difficult time for us all. We’ve also officially left the European Union with a deal in place, and whilst it will take a little time for the intricacies of this to be fully understood, at least this too feels like a positive step forward.

In the short term however, we appreciate this will continue to bring more uncertainty. For your business clients in particular, with many of them having to close to the public again due to the ongoing government restrictions. 

Supporting your clients

We just wanted to reassure you that we’re here to support your clients in protecting their business assets and employees for the long term, so that when it’s safe to do so, they’ll be ready to re-open. 

So, by following the five simple steps below whilst closed to the public due to Government guidance, their cover will remain unaffected:

  1. Carrying out internal and external inspections of their building/s at least once a week. 
  2. Maintaining a weekly log of inspections. 
  3. Immediately repairing, or arranging to repair, any issues detected (including removal of graffiti and in the security or alarm or fire protection installations). 
  4. Removing any waste from the premises either inside or outside the building/s. 
  5. Checking to make sure all the external doors are locked and closing and securing all windows. 

Government guidance allows those responsible for premises to attend them for inspections and maintenance even where they are otherwise closed. These steps will therefore remain in place until such time the Government’s guidance changes. When this happens, we’ll be in touch to let you know how this affects our current position.

We do however recognise that there may be circumstances where it’s not possible for weekly inspections to be undertaken, and where this is the case, please contact your local underwriter to discuss and agree an appropriate approach. There may also be some businesses who unfortunately have to cease trading entirely during the lockdown period, and where this is the case, we’d also ask you to notify your local underwriter immediately so that we can provide you and your clients with the appropriate support. 

In addition to this, we’ll continue to maintain our support for businesses who have had to change their business model to meet new lockdown restrictions or diversify their operations to respond to changing market dynamics, by taking a flexible approach and assisting them to keep trading. 

We’ll also continue to support your business clients who are working from home by providing the same level of protection to businesses now having to carry out their business activities from their or their employees’ homes. 

Risk Management Solutions

Through our back to business campaign we’ll also continue to provide up-to-date guidance to support you, your people and your business. Below you’ll find some of the most relevant and timely Risk Management Loss Prevention Standards - available to you and your clients: 

Whilst the lockdown continues to be everyone’s main focus, we’ve also produced a Winter Risk Management Bulletin, concentrating on those risks unrelated to Covid but that are still prevalent for this time of year.

Hopefully you’ll find this update useful. And as always, stay safe and please get in touch if there's anything more you feel me, or my teams can do to help. 

Best Regards,

Phil Bayles

Chief Distribution Officer