Ask the NHBF | Business interruption insurance

April 23, 2020

An update regarding business interruption insurance as of 22nd April 2020

Whether you hold a Coversure policy, any other hair and beauty insurance policy, or a policy from a provider outside the industry, the business interruption section of standard policies are highly unlikely to cover you for coronavirus.

Policies which include a ‘contagious diseases’ extension under the business interruption section typically only cover disease outbreaks which could be traced to starting within your premises, for example legionnaire’s disease. 

A tiny number of policies across the entire insurance industry have an expensive add-on for business interruption which covers ‘unspecified notifiable diseases’.

The government added COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases to make sure that businesses which did have policies that cover ‘unspecified notifiable disease’s would be able to make a claim.

Government statement: 

‘Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases such as COVD-19. Some businesses will have purchased add-ons for their insurance to cover ‘unspecified notifiable diseases’. The effect of the government adding COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases is to ensure that businesses with unspecified notifiable disease cover are able to make a claim, subject to the terms and conditions in their policy.” 

This has caused confusion as it led many policy holders to believe they should be covered for ‘unspecified notifiable diseases’ within their standard policy and that they should therefore be able to make a claim. This is not the case unless a business has bought additional cover for ‘unspecified notifiable diseases’.

Association of British Insurer’s statement:

For more guidance about this, we recommend that you read through the Association of British Insurer’s Q&A information here