With all Britons and UK businesses feeling the impact of the recent measures to manage the COVID-19, the team at Hazelton Mountford have received an increasing amount of calls from clients about their policies.

Group Managing Director, Gordon Hazelton, says: “Insurance is designed to help mitigate against income loss caused by incidents such as Fire, Flood etc, but most policies will not cover income lost by a global pandemic or action of the government at the time they were taken out. This is regarded as similar to a war situation where the state responds to protect the population.”

PM Boris Johnson stated earlier this week that: “We must act like any wartime government,” and unveiled “unprecedented” plans for £330bn support for the country. The PM and his advisors are clearly working to minimise the spread and impact on the NHS, and there will be repercussions for all of us.

With updates now regularly being aired, there is sure to be more to come. Indeed, Jeremy Corbyn says renters are: “worried sick” about meeting their rent payments during the coronavirus outbreak and a decision regarding compulsory measures for Housing Association tenants was unveiled: they will not evict tenants who are affected by the virus and fall behind on rent payments.

However, that leaves private renters and landlords with an emerging problem, which the government is sure to soon address.

For now, Gordon and his team have fielded an extraordinary amount of calls about this. In general, policies won’t pay out although we’ve noted some FAQs to support your concerns:

  • Are we open for business? Yes – there is clearly much disruption to not just our industry, but businesses across the country. However, we are still open for business.  Starting this week (commencing 18th March) and in stages, we will be working from home. However, your ability to contact us will not change. We have been supplied with laptops and work mobiles to allow you to continue to contact us in the usual fashion.
  • Who do we contact? Your main point of contact will not change – both Account Executives and Account Handlers remain available with the same contact details. In the unfortunate event someone becomes ill, other members of the team will provide adequate cover.
  • What if I need to make changes to my policy? If for any reason you need to make any policy amendments, such as changing vehicles, we are still here to service your day to day requirements, so don’t hesitate to contact us.
  • Renewal/New Business Meetings? Due to the clear advise provided by the Government, we have been advised to stop non-essential face to face meetings with immediate effect, and on that basis, we have taken the decision that all insurance discussions will have to be done via telephone or email. We hope this will be short term, but for the time being, we appreciate your patience whilst we manage things remotely.
  • Will my renewal be affected? No – your renewal will not be affected by COVID-19 – the insurance industry will continue to offer renewal terms in the usual fashion. The only exception is travel insurance, where we have started to see some travel insurers cease offering policies, but there are alternatives available to us.

Other information that you might find useful:

  • Business interruption: cover is based on a specified list of diseases and has been since the SARS outbreak in 2003. These policies exclude business interruption due to new and emerging diseases, like COVID-19.
  • Public Liability: cover provides protection for the policyholder against their legal liabilities to their employees or the public. More information here: hazeltonmountford.co.uk/services/hm-business/
  • Travel insurance is only available as an optional add-on, although some insurers have temporarily stopped offering travel insurance policies.
  • Do remember to check that your insurance policy has been extended to include contents such as laptops whilst away from the premises at employees’ homes.
  • Property owners with conditions on their policies to carry out regular inspections such as vacant buildings. Remember to discuss this with your insurers if you are no longer able to do so.
  • Tenants Contents: this policy gives you peace of mind when renting a property. It not only protects your own contents such as your TV, clothes and sofa but also your liability to your landlord’s buildings and contents. Further information can be found here: hazeltonmountford.co.uk/services/livetesttenantsins/

If you have any issues or queries, please make contact with us in the usual manner or using the information shown here on our website:

Claims Telephone Numbers: www.hazeltonmountford.co.uk/services/claims-numbers/
Staff Contact Details: www.hazeltonmountford.co.uk/staffcontactdetails/

Gordon and the team are offering to support the local community with their insurance concerns, please call: 01905 611951 if you’d like some advice.

As seen online at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.