Business Insurance Checklist for COVID-19
Each business is different and requires its own protocols to prevent and or reduce loss and keep its insurance policy in good standing so that in the event of a loss the policy responds as anticipated.
A jewellery store requires different treatments than a private school, versus a restaurant, a nonprofit, or a commercial landlord.
During COVID-19, the general advice applies to the majority of commercial risks. These general guidelines can help you derive additional methodologies based on your situation.
Do you have an intrusion alarm ? If so make sure that it is fully functional. If not, consider installing a video camera that is linked to a cell phone, which will prevent someone staying in your premises undetected.
Many policies contain alarm warranties. You must adhere to any warranties in your policy so as not to void coverage.
Can you turn your water off at the main valve? This would not apply to buildings or premises with sprinklers or boilers that require water.
Every spring we see roof drainage systems malfunction for a number reasons. Water detected early can mean the difference between a small claim and a catastrophic loss. Perhaps your inspections can be more frequent in these weather conditions.
If you have space below grade, make certain that water damage is not an issue by conducting frequent inspections. In some areas, sump pumps are critical, make sure your pumps are working. Consider an alarm system advising of a high water volume in the sump pump vestibule.
Leave them on, and consider using timers to create the impression that the premises is being visited. Test exterior and internal lighting weekly.
If you have heavy machinery, for example, forklifts, bring them inside if possible, if you normally store them out in the open. Disconnect ignition and electrical systems and consider alarming equipment if left in the exterior to prevent theft
30 Days Away From Your Business is Considered Vacancy
Regardless whether or not you are operational your insurance will respond. Proviso, if you are not in your premises for 30 days your premises can be considered vacant. At this point, coverage ends, unless a vacancy permit has been granted by the insurer. This is an area where we are uncertain as to whether or not the insurers will waive this condition given the special circumstances. You must advise us of a vacancy situation at the 30 day point of vacancy. If insurers change the traditional 30 days rule on vacancy, we will advise you.
Other Individuals on Site
Are there any maintenance staff, cleaning staff, security, or administrators periodically on site? These are another set of eyes to look for problems on your behalf.
Buildings Under Construction
If you are currently building or renovating a structure it is important to recognize most course of construction policies have a 30 day cessation of works clause. If your job site is not active for a period of 30 days or more we must notify the insurance carrier and have them agree to a special arrangement of coverage.
If You Are In a Large Complex Tenancy
Usually larger complexes have security on staff. Speak to the security coordinator and understand their protocols
Periodic Drive By
Inspect your premises visually from the exterior if this is the only option. Keep the exterior of the building free from any trash, debris or flammable items. If extreme weather does occur, set heat to function at a minimum standard of temperature.
If you don’t have a security service, you may want to consider hiring a security service for nightly visitations.
Have a Protocol in Place
Discuss with your senior staff who is responsible for reporting situations to initiate action, if action is needed. You should have an emergency Response team that can communicate with one another.
If you have valuables such as artwork, sculptures, we suggest that you remove these items.
Check of Premises:
- Eliminate spoilage materials in stock
- Make certain that all fire protection equipment is current and functioning.
- Remove flammables from your general work area and store them in an approved area and in approved containers.
- Check all generators and pumps for fuel and operational condition.
- Shut down process support equipment and lock out idle equipment
- Remove any electronics or other targets from your premises, as they could be a target for theft. More reason for a security system, if you don’t have one.
- Remove all sensitive valuable business papers, documents or data (that is not in the cloud). Make certain that they are secure, perhaps off premises storage.
Premiums and Leniency
Some insurers have indicated that for those clients on direct bill they may be willing to grant some leniency with respect to payments. We have only been told that insureds can call the billing department shown on their direct bill insurance documents and perhaps make more palatable arrangements.
There are undoubtedly additional techniques you can utilize. Hopefully reading these well activate your thought process re risk prevention and mediation.
As the situation changes we will be in contact with you.
Have questions? Get in touch, we are here for you.
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