Like many business in the UK, we have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and we have been receiving many phone calls asking if they have any cover on their guest house insurance policies for cancellation, loss of business etc.
On Wednesday 4 March, the government said it would declare Coronavirus a “notifiable disease”, something which is required by most insurance policies in order to payout. However, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) confirmed that while this may help businesses if the virus is found on-site, most hospitality insurance policies are still unlikely to cover general loss of business.
From event and accommodation cancellations to travel disruption and employees in isolation, there’s plenty of factors which stem from the Coronavirus which could cause significant disruption to your business. But what can your company really expect if you need to make a claim as a result of the outbreak?
Direct and indirect repercussions
If your business is affected directly by the Coronavirus then it will be much easier for you to claim than as a result of indirect repercussions. For example, if your guest house or B&B is shut down in order to contain the virus due to a confirmed case at or near the business. For the majority of businesses though, you will likely find that you are only being affected indirectly through loss of custom, guests cancelling as they don’t wish to travel, staff absence, and so on. In this instance there will generally be no cover under an insurance policy that will assist.
Many guest houses have ‘Business Interruption’ cover as part of their insurance packaged policy, but depending on the wording, this may not necessarily cover you for what you need. The ABI recommends that every business checks the small print of their policy to determine if the wording is sufficient in regard to outbreaks of disease.
An ABI spokesman said, “Standard business insurance policies are designed and priced to cover standard risks, not those that are very unlikely, such as the effects of Covid-19. More generally, all UK insurers are capitalised under Solvency II to withstand a wide range of severe events, including pandemics, again it’s depends on how insurers have worded their policies.”
If we insure your B&B, guest house or hospitality business, and you’ve been affected by the Coronavirus or you’re worried about the how the rapid spread of the outbreak across the UK may affect your business in the near future, why not get in touch to discuss? Our specialist guest house team can let you know what you are and aren’t covered for and make recommendations on the steps you can make to better protect your business. For a chat with one of our friendly advisors, get in touch on 01288 353999.
Our office is currently fully open, however (especially for our local elderly guest house customers) if you’re anxious about popping in to the office and you’d prefer a staff member to come out and visit then please just ask and we’ll be more than happy to come out and see you.