The information below relates to business insurance policies issued by Hiscox and is correct as at the 10th September 2020. 

If you are a Hiscox business insurance customer, you will no doubt have questions regarding your cover in relation to the impact of Coronavirus on your business. At Hiscox we pride ourselves on our claims service and we will do everything we can to respond when a policy is triggered.

Each claim is different and so the question of whether or not the policy affords cover will be determined by the circumstances of the claim and the terms and conditions set out in the policy documentation (including policy limits, excesses and any endorsements). In light of this, we have prepared a series of answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions we have received, set out below. Should this not answer your question, please call us to discuss your policy and specific circumstances.

I still think I may have a claim, how do I get in touch?
If you’d like to discuss a business insurance claim with us, the best way of doing so is to speak to a member of the team via our dedicated phone line: 01206 773 941. Please note that our phone lines may be extremely busy at this time so please bear with us; we will answer your call as quickly as possible.

 

Additional Support

Through your Hiscox business insurance policy, you may have access to legal and HR consultancy and support. Please refer to your policy documentation for more information. Customers can also visit our dedicated Business Support Hub for access to a range of other free and significantly discounted business services.

In addition, your business may be eligible to benefit from the UK Government’s new financial measures to support businesses through this challenging period. Find out whether your business is eligible, and how you may be able to benefit here (external link).

In the meantime, we recommend that all our customers follow the latest Government guidance (external link) on Coronavirus. The Association of British Insurers has also published some information to help insurance customers – you can find answers to commonly asked questions here (external link).

I’m struggling with my insurance payments – how can you help me?
We understand that many businesses are facing a reduction in turnover at the moment. If you are experiencing payment difficulties, please contact us in the first instance to discuss your payment options. You can call us on 0808 2520 738.

My business activities have changed as a result of Covid-19 – does this impact my insurance needs?
We understand that many businesses have changed the way that they are working. Please contact us to discuss whether this impacts your insurance needs . You can call us on 0808 2520 738.

 

Business Insurance FAQs for Policyholders

Am I covered for my contents that my employees take home in order to work there?
Generally, we give cover of up to £25,000 for contents other than laptops, tablets or mobile phones that are at employees’ homes. Laptops, tablets or mobile phones can be covered under our Property Away and in Transit cover if you have chosen to take that additional cover.

What happens if my premises are left unoccupied?
Where we insure your buildings and/or contents, it is a requirement that you notify us if your premises will be left unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days. This requirement was relaxed in light of the Coronavirus pandemic but we are now in a position where many businesses can reopen.

Given the ever changing situation, you can find some further clarification on how we define ‘unoccupied’ below:

Business Situation Notify us of unoccupancy? Additional Requirements
Not yet re-opened but site visits are practicable, safe and permitted within Government guidelines No Visits to be conducted at least every seven days to ensure that everything is in order. The visits must include an internal and external inspection and you must document the outcome of each of the visits.
It is not possible to reopen or visit the site as it is prohibited or goes against Government guidelines. No Keep abreast of what is permitted and, at least weekly, document why it is not permitted to reopen or visit your premises.
It is possible to reopen or visit safely etc. but you are electing not to or you have unfortunately gone out of business but still own the assets at this time Yes N/A
Situations not covered by the above Yes N/A

Please don’t forget to check any other requirements in your policy and, in all scenarios whether it’s a requirement of your policy or not, we would recommend the following where feasible:

  • Shut off the water supply to the premises (unless it is linked to fire protection, such as a sprinkler system).
  • Ensure that measures are taken to prevent breaking and entering and / or theft, like checking the premises is physically secure and that intruder alarms are operational and set.
  • Ensure that fire alarms are operational, especially those linked to the likes of central station monitoring.

What should I consider when conducting inspections of my unoccupied property?
Our partner Risk Control Services Ltd have supplied the following template which will be a good start point for conducting inspections but you must be sure that it is relevant for your business. This document is for guidance only and does not form part of your contract of insurance with Hiscox. Your contract of insurance is contained within your specific insurance policy documentation.

My employees are working from home due to recent Government guidance, will they be covered by my insurance policy?
If you currently purchase employer’s liability cover for your business, then you don’t need to worry – this will extend to cover them while they are working from home during this period.

An employee has alleged that I have acted negligently and, as a result, they have contracted Coronavirus at work. Does my employers’ liability insurance cover this?
We will assist you and accept your claim if such a claim is made, subject to the terms of your policy. The safety of your employees should be paramount with all Government guidance and restrictions followed.

Do I still require employers’ liability (EL) insurance for my furloughed employees?
We are not able to give formal guidance on this topic, but our understanding is that any business which remains operational will still have a legal requirement for EL. This is due to a number of reasons, but principally because the requirement to have and maintain EL is driven by the status of the employer, not the employee. You may wish to contact your broker for more formal guidance on this. 

A customer has alleged that I have acted negligently and that they have contracted Coronavirus as a result of my business activities. Does my public liability insurance cover this?
In most cases, we will be able to assist you with such a claim, subject to the terms of your policy. The safety of your customers and visitors should be paramount with all Government guidance and restrictions followed.

My policy references personal accident cover, including illness. Does that mean we are covered if my employees become ill due to Coronavirus?
To allow us to accept your claim, the illness would have to last longer than the ‘minimum absence period’ (typically 14 days, but please check your documents) and prevent the employee from being able to carry out their usual occupation.

As you would expect, we will do everything we can to respond when a policy is triggered. Our terms and conditions can be found in your policy documentation, but of course each claim is different and how the policy responds will depend on your specific circumstances.

If you have been impacted by travel disruption, then your first ports of call should be your travel provider and the card issuer that you used to make your purchase. If, after speaking to them, you still believe you need to make a claim, please get in touch and a member of our team will be able to assist you.

In the meantime, we recommend all customers who are due to travel to follow the advice issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus(external link).

These FAQs relate to our Commercial Travel Insurance policies provided as part of Hiscox Business Insurance. For other types of travel insurance please visit our Travel Insurance FAQ page

Am I covered if I need medical assistance whilst overseas?

If you become ill or die while travelling outside of the UK on an insured trip, we will pay the reasonable and necessary cost of:

  • medical, surgical or other remedial attention or treatment given or prescribed by a medical practitioner;
  • hospital, nursing home and ambulance charges;
  • bringing you back to the UK if medically necessary.

We will also pay a hospital in-patient benefit for each complete 24-hour period spent in hospital, up to the maximum amount shown in the schedule.

We will not provide this cover:

  • if you had been advised not to travel for medical issues;
  • if you were recovering from an illness; or
  • for any condition which you knew about, unless it had been stable for a period of 12 months,

before the trip began.

Am I covered if I'm ill and need to cancel my trip?

We will cover cancellation costs if you, your travelling companion or someone you are planning to stay with or conduct business with during the trip, is unable to take the trip because such person has contracted coronavirus.

 We will not provide this cover:

  • if you had been advised not to travel due to medical issues;
  • if you were recovering from an illness; or
  • for any condition which you knew about, unless it had been stable for a period of 12 months,

before the trip began.

Am I covered if I need to cancel my trip on the basis of official advice?

We will not cover costs arising from any cancellation due to official advice against travelling to a particular country or part of a country.

Am I covered if I self-isolate and need to cancel my trip?

We will cover cancellation costs if you are put into quarantine. We will also cover cancellation costs where you self-isolate on the basis of medical advice given specifically to you by a medical practitioner.

I am nervous about travelling at the moment. Am I covered if I cancel my trip?

We will not cover any costs or losses arising from a disinclination to travel, whether through fear of coronavirus or for any other reason.

I need to consider redundancies due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. How does my management liability – employment practices liability policy help protect me?
Given the actions taken by the Government, it is hoped that the need to consider redundancies will be a rarity but, where you do have to consider them, be sure to seek professional guidance so that the matter is approached sensibly and in-line with employment law.

If, at a later stage, you were to receive complaints etc. relating to how the dismissal was handled (e.g. an allegation of unfair dismissal) then subject to its terms, your policy may respond; do not admit any liability or make offers and be sure to notify us promptly so that we can explore whether the specific scenario is covered. Please be sure to familiarise yourself with your obligations around notification (as detailed in your policy documents).

Does my professional indemnity policy give me any protection from the Coronavirus pandemic?
Professional indemnity principally provides cover for claims where a client of yours is seeking damages against you (e.g. allegations of negligence or breach of contract) for a breach of duty in the provision of your business activities. The activities will vary depending on your business, but could include the likes of delivering goods by a certain date or designing a new software platform for a customer. However, the facts of each case will have to be considered separately.

Please refer to the Cyber section.

I have crisis containment cover on my policy. How does this benefit me in light of the Coronavirus pandemic?
If you have already made a claim then our crisis containment service may be relevant to you. This will depend on the circumstances of your claim and the claims underwriter will flag if it is relevant (but do not hesitate to ask specifically about it when logging a claim, if you wish).