You’re probably looking at your business’ insurance cover to see if it protects you from the financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first step is always to contact your broker, if you have one, and if not, your insurers, to see if any cover is in place.

Why wouldn’t you be covered?

Generally, business interruption cover – usually a section in a commercial combined policy – is sold to compensate for financial losses due to physical damage to property such as in a fire or flood, when your business is unable to operate.

The Association of British Insurers has confirmed that standard business interruption policies do not generally cover closure forced by the Government. This means that most businesses will be uninsured.

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Some policies do include ‘restricted access’ cover or ‘non-damage business interruption’ cover. These cover circumstances such as the police cordoning off an area due to an event such as terrorism, a fire, or the risk of a collapsing building. However, again, this is unlikely to cover forced closure due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

If you are one of the few businesses who have insurance covering you for closure caused by an infectious disease, you are likely to be covered because Covid-19 has now been classified as a ‘notifiable disease’.

Do check the wording of your policies thoroughly and when you renew them, consider adding the extra cover. Your broker will be able to advise more fully.

If you’re not insured, the Government will look to intervene by way of subsidies or similar. There are likely to be growing calls to intervene as the outbreak develops. In the meantime, focus on the protection of your workforce and your business.