During this current Covid 19 crisis, Tower continues to provide an essential service to our Customers and Brokers during these unprecedented times.
We want to reassure you that we continue to work hard for our Customers and Brokers, and have put together some answers to some of the most frequent questions that we are asked:
Queries relating to Business Interruption
Every circumstance or claim involving Covid -19 is subject to individual policy interpretation that will need to be established at the time of claim.
Will Business Interruption policies with Tower cover customers’ losses as a result of Covid-19?
Tower Insurance does not typically provide coverage for pandemics.
Tower does provide cover for business interruption that arises out of damage to the property insured.
In some cases we also provide an extension to cover for a loss that occurs as a result of a disease.
These relate to the need to close premises due to unforeseen events including, notifiable diseases linked to the premises.
The important point is that the disease has to be at the premises.
As a result, and in common with the rest of the insurance market, Tower policies do not provide business interruption cover for Covid 19 as a result of Government action to close all but essential services.
However, even where Government action allows for business to make an insurance claim against their policy, cover would only apply when all of the following triggers have been met;
- The Disease has to be notifiable in the territory of the occurrence and insured by the policy
- The occurrence of the disease has to manifest or be discovered in the Premises insured
- The occurrence has to result in the closure of the Premises by or on the advice of a Public Authority
- The policyholder will have to suffer a loss
If my customer’s suppliers are affected by Covid-19, will business interruption cover apply?
Most policies will not respond to this as a trigger for business interruption cover, unless specific extensions relating to pandemic have been added. See the previous questions for how Business Interruption policies with Tower may cover certain losses as a result of Covid-19.
What about if a business is still open?
If a business is open because it was not required to close as part of Government’s measures, but is or has been closed as a result of the discovery of Covid-19 at the Premises, the customer may also be able to claim for certain losses suffered after 26th March 2020.
Will any Policies change as a result of Covid 19?
On 27th March, Tower published several Notices to Customers and to Brokers. The Notices can be found by clicking on the links below. The Customer Notices detail Exclusions that will be added to all Policy Renewals, effective from 1st April 2020. The Broker & Customer Information contains a range of information detailing Tower's approach to Covid 19.
What is Tower’s position on subsequent loss / damage following a closure of a premises by the Isle of Man Government?
If premises have been closed on the order of the Government and, for example, subsequently a theft occurs, we would regard the theft (by another party) as a new and intervening cause and the claim would be handled in accordance with the circumstances of the claim and the policy terms and conditions.
Claims & Business Continuity Queries
In the current situation there may be instances in which customers don’t submit claims in a timely fashion, breaching the late notification of claims clause. Will Tower ensure that consideration is given to these claims?
We recognise that we are operating in a hugely unusual set of circumstances, and consideration will be given where customers or brokers are not physically able to report issues. These will be considered on a case by case basis.
How should a Broker advise a customer who cannot protect unoccupied premises or meet other warranties given the developing situation?
Under normal circumstances we would expect customers to be taking reasonable care to comply with warranties under their policy. Where a customer is directly impacted by Covid-19 we will make considerations in reviewing their adherence to warranties and other conditions, but in other situations we would generally expect these to be followed, if they are appropriate. For example, if a business is not open then there will be some conditions which will not apply.
If a customer suffers a non Covid-19 related large loss, how will Tower support the processing of that claim?
From a significant claim perspective, we continue to have our team of experts with full IT capability to handle large losses. The team is maintaining contact with loss adjusters and other experts to ensure we provide an uninterrupted service to our customers.
How will Tower continue to service Brokers & Customers if we have high sickness levels over the next few months?
We have robust business continuity plans in place but inevitably with higher employee absence there will be prioritisation. We are actively working to move resource around the organisation to support our front-line teams.
What specific measures are you taking to help Tower staff to stay safe as the situation with COVID-19 develops?
We are following government guidance closely to protect our employees. We are also taking into account the impact of school closures and supporting our employees to work more flexibly so they can balance their responsibilities more easily.
Will working from home or prolonged staff absence disrupt the levels of customer service we can expect from you?
We are doing everything we can to maintain service levels but as the situation develops we do expect to be operating at a reduced capacity. As always we will be doing everything we can to manage this in the best interests of customers.
If you require further information, or wish to discuss in more detail, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01624 645900.