As we approach the next 3 weeks of isolation and shut down we felt it important to provide an update.
Munro-Greenhalgh Limited: Our business operations.
More than ever our clients need our continued help and assistance to manage their risks through these unprecedented times. All our staff continue to be employed, working from home.
We will continue to offer the highest levels of customer service to our clients. However, we appreciate that this may cause a slight change in the way that you work with us. If you can’t speak with the person you need send us a quick email and we will call you back. To assist you some pointers are as follows: –
1. Email addresses for all staff can be found here.
2. Direct dial numbers & Mobiles for all staff can be found here
3. Our preference for payments at present is BACS. All our invoices state our bank details. Please use the invoice number or payment reference stated on the invoice. Debit cards/credit card payments can also be accepted over the phone. Unfortunately as the office is closed we cannot accept cash payments.
We understand it is a difficult time for finances for our clients. We are here to help. If you need any advice or guidance on premium payments and essential covers please contact us.
Unfortunately we cannot see our clients face to face either at your premises or our offices. However, we are starting to get used to video conferencing. We are happy to ‘meet with you’ using services such as WhatsApp, Google Duo/Hangouts, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype etc. We are novices at this so please be patient!
Coronavirus: Am I insured? (Don’t shoot the messenger!)
We have received many customer enquiries relating to insurance cover and the pandemic – in particular whether cover applies for Business Interruption.
In general terms insurance is for the unforeseen. Insurance is NOT designed or capitalised to cover major global systemic risks, particularly pandemics. To be that broad it would be much more expensive to buy.
Business Interruption policies provide cover for increased costs or lost income following DAMAGE to the property at the Insured premises following perils such as fire, storm, flood etc. Some policies may have a Specified Diseases Extension, however, COVID-19 is not one of these diseases nor is it related to any of those noted and as such, no cover will be provided by most insurers. In a few cases we have identified cover may exist but ONLY in respect of an actual outbreak or DAMAGE at the premises insured.
Unfortunately, our hands are firmly tied and we can only act in line with UK market practice, which means the majority of customers will not be covered for Coronavirus. Our separate notice (see here) provides further in-depth information.
That said – we are HERE FOR YOU and would like to share the following advice and information with you.
Continuity of Insurances.
It is important to maintain the continuity of your insurance cover to protect your assets and liabilities.
If your insurance policy lapses and you look to re-arrange new policies after this crisis passes it will be more difficult to obtain the same cover at the same premium. Some Insurers may treat your business as a new venture. Whilst you would still have to disclose past claims there are fewer insurers who may be willing to quote for new or re-start business.
If your business is facing challenges, please speak to us so we can try to work with your insurers to maintain or reduce your existing levels of cover.
It is essential that you continue to protect the physical assets along with your ongoing legal liability to staff and the public which must be maintained. Obviously motor vehicles must continue to be insured unless they have been taken off road and SORN.
We are working with insurers to ensure they show flexibility and help us all through this period of uncertainty but there are certain areas we would like to highlight, should they be relevant to any part of your business: –
Unoccupied or Unused Premises/Buildings:
Most insurers apply automatic conditions if your property becomes unoccupied or unused for more than a specified number of days. Most Insurers have now provided some flexibility to all their customers if this has been as a result of Covid-19, for example the unoccupancy periods have been extended.
However, Insurers general expect require Risk Management procedures to be in place (with the exception of compulsory inspection at times when customers are unable to do so safely). Customers will be required to inspect such Premises when they are next able to do so safely around this period, and should maintain logs of this activity.
Top tips and guidance is as follows: –
- Waste – Remove all external waste, pallets and empty skips before closure of the premises.
- Waste bins – Empty all waste bins and move to a secure area, ideally at least 10 metres from the building. If it is not possible to keep at least 10 metres then these bins should have lockable lids.
- Fire Systems – Ensure all fire and/or sprinkler systems remain fully operational.
- Fire Doors – Check to ensure that internal fire doors are closed.
- Building Utilities – Ensure all non-essential electrical devices and building utilities are turned off.
- Inspections – Arrange for a weekly inspection of the building (internally and externally), risk assess for any lone working issues. Comply with existing government guidance regarding vulnerable people and lone worker risk assessments. Consider the provisioning for alternative skilled personnel.
- Physical Security – Check that physical security measures are in place and effective. For example, fences are fit for purpose and in good repair, windows are locked, shutters are in place, gates are locked,
- Intruder Alarm – Set Intruder alarms and ensure that the remote signalling is in place. Make sure there are a sufficient number of key holders available to respond to an activation within 20 minutes.
- Maintenance – As long as it is practical, continue essential maintenance and complete any remedial measures. Continue to respond to all Building Management Systems (BMS) alerts.
If you have temporarily closed, please advise us so we can work with you as the situation develops to ensure that insurers to maintain your cover.
Alterations to your business operations:
If you are planning to or have made changes to your business, i.e. to manufacture or supply different products or services it is important that you let us know. We can then ensure you have the appropriate cover in place.
With many more employees now working from home, the HSE reminded employers they have the same responsibilities towards home workers as any other employee – this includes Lone Working situations and Mental Health issues.
When someone is working from home, permanently or temporarily, as an employer you should consider:
- How will you keep in touch with them?
- What work activity will they be doing (and for how long)?
- Can it be done safely?
- Do you need to put control measures in place to protect them?
Specific Practical Advice from Insurers:
If you are have any queries or require help please speak to us.