With many COVID-19 government restrictions now in place, we understand this is placing our clients under enormous pressure as businesses are being forced to close or operate in a limited capacity. Unfortunately, general insurance is unlikely to provide the protection that it does for traditional risks such as fire, burglary or storm. This bulletin is to support and provide clarity around;

  1. Personal Service and Support.
  2. Business Interruption.
  3. Risk Management Tips (Support + Guidelines).
  4. Keeping You Informed.

PERSONAL SERVICE AND SUPPORT

During these turbulent times, LEA Insurance Brokers are here to support you.

We are focused on continuing to provide our customers with the care and attention we always have. We aim to minimize the impact and disruption to our clients and our business activities as much as possible. As a ‘people’ business, the best service and support we can offer is access to your brokers’ expertise. Whilst this bulletin is designed to assist you, our recommendation is to speak with your broker regarding any specific queries you may have.

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We also wish to bring to your attention that we proudly services many diverse businesses throughout the country. In an attempt to help connect our clients in need, we would like you to consider LEA as a business directory. If you require any service, or in turn, you are in a position to help another, please contact us so we can assist in these connections.

You have our service commitment as we assist you through these difficult times.

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION

Traditionally, business interruption policies only cover disruption to a business as a result of damage to ‘insured property’.

However, over time, insurers widened the protection to provide coverage as a result of a closure of the business by a public authority for a number of risks, including infectious disease. This was designed to cover things such as an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease or Measles; which can close down one or two buildings disrupting a small number of business. Notwithstanding this, some policies provide coverage for an outbreak up to 50 kilometres from the business location, but mostly only cover at or near the premises insured.

The cover afforded by both business packs and Industry Special Risk (ISR) policies are not intended to cover disruption caused by an outbreak in a different state, let alone a different country.

The outbreak of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003, prompted insurers and reinsurers to do modelling as to just how large claims could amount to in the event of a major pandemic such as the Spanish Flu, which lasted from January 1918 – December 1920 and resulted in the death of anywhere between 40 and 100 million people. The reality is that the global funds held by insurers could not meet business interruption claims arising from such a large-scale pandemic. We would have no insurance industry to protect against the traditional insured perils.

Not wishing to strip away the coverage that was being offered for localized infectious disease outbreaks insurers – prompted by reinsurers- added an exclusion to their policies, stating that disruption from a number of highly effective diseases were not covered. As such, diseases can arise at any time and originate from new sources, the insurance industry introduced a clause which excludes any disease that is notifiable under the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth), which has been updated by many insurers in line with changes in legislation to the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth).

As of the end of January 2020, Coronavirus is a listed disease and so policy exclusions will take effect. This means that regrettably there is no insurance protection from disruptions to business arising from Coronavirus.

As with any other threat, it is important to consider what risk management measures you can introduce to mitigate the risk to your staff, customers and business.

RISK MANAGEMENT TIPS

We would like to assist and provide you with some general advice on how to protect a variety of building types, should a temporary closure be required. Each guide includes risk control measures and site closures checklists for your use.
(Whilst these documents reference Zurich throughout, this generally applies in all circumstances.)
(Contact LEA Insurance Brokers and not Zurich if/ where it references Zurich.)

        Temporary Premises Closure Guide

        Partial Premises Closure Guide

        Temporary Construction Site Closure Guide

        Temporary Closure of Buildings in Refurbishment Guide

        Temporary Closure of Schools Guide

Recommended Actions For Your Organization:

  1. Implement a home quarantine regime for anyone who has travelled to an infected country or is likely to have been in contact with someone infected with Coronavirus.
  2. Review and update, if necessary, human resources (‘HR’) policies in fitness or work, including possible quarantine of employees to remain off work if affected.
  3. Consider or extend flexible working arrangements to reduce the likelihood of the spread of the virus in the workplace or the community.
  4. Update travel rules and arrangements limiting non-essential business travel.
  5. If not already in place, provide sanitized hand washing stations for use by staff and visitors.
  6. Review arrangements for workplace hygiene and cleaning protocols including “cough and sneeze” etiquette.
  7. Protect the mental wellbeing of employees concerned about the Coronavirus.
  8. Ensure clear and honest communication to employees on their welfare.

KEEPING YOU INFORMED

Everyone should remain alert for updates and advice from the relevant authorities on additional steps to manage the spread of the disease and the survival of your business.

There are many excellent resources, advice and regular updates available, so we thought it prudent to house some of these in one place for your ease of access.

   For the most up to date information on the virus: World Health Organisation (WHO)

   For the most up to date information on travel: smartraveller.gov.au.

  Having a fully documented & exercised business continuity management plan is important for every business

   For the most up to date information on Jobkeeper Payment: ato.gov.au

   For the most up to date information on delivering support for business investment

   For the most up to date information on cashflow assistance for employees

   For the most up to date information on stimulus payments to households to support growth

   For the most up to date information on assistance for severity affected regions

   For the most up to date information on SME guarantee scheme

   Work Place Health & Safety Considerations (Working From Home)

  COVID-19 – Workers Compensation Implications?

COVID-19 SERVICES YOU MAY REQUIRE

    Crawford Contractor Connection – Covid 19 Cleanup Assistance:

   Australian Government – Second Stimulus Package for Small Businesses

   Centrelink Unemployment Benefits – Unemployment Process

   Cyber Security – Essentials in preparing for COVID-19

   Beyond Blue – Looking after your Mental Health during Corona Virus Outbreak

Recommended Actions For Your Mortgage:

If you have been affected and need to speak to your bank, most banks may consider a pause of your repayments for up to six months. Please note with mortgage pause, this does still mean you owe the interest costs and principal repayments at a later stage. Any pause in repayments will be capitalised into the rest of the loan term and payable over a longer period.

Below is a list of numbers please contact your bank if pausing your repayments.

ANZ                                                    1800 252 845

BANKWEST                                        1300 769 173

BOM                                                    1300 630 266

CBA                                                     13 30 95        

CITIBANK                                           1800 722 879

CONNECTIVE ADVANTEDGE           1300 155 426

CONNECTIVE SELECT                       1300 738 336

FIRSTMAC                                          1800 651 898

ING                                                      1300 349 166

MACQUARIE                                      1300 363 330

ME                                                       13 15 63        

NAB                                                    1800 701 599