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COVID-19: Immediate considerations for your insurance arrangements


These are unprecedented times. Much of what we face is becoming clearer while other issues may yet emerge.

While this is true, your insurances are there to respond to the unexpected and unknown. There are many insurance policies that are potentially responsive to claims and losses arising directly or indirectly from COVID-19 related impacts, and they should be reviewed now. This includes mapping terms that are relevant to accessing cover.

When fighting any type of crisis, it is easy to forget or overlook some of the basic rules on how to access and use your insurance, whereas this should be an integral part of contingency and incident response plans.

This high-level guide from Marsh and Herbert Smith Freehills covers some of the insurance issues to consider from the midst of the firefight.

The key point is to check the policy wording and all endorsements if you have any concerns and to engage with your broker, legal advisers and insurers early. When working with Marsh (and your legal advisers) to agree which policies may respond, it will very much depend on the factual matrix and policy wordings. Insurance cover for the same scenario may exist under a wide range of insurances — for example, property damage, business interruption, event cancellation, trade credit, political risk, Directors & Officers, professional indemnity, cyber, employment practices liability, employers' liability, environmental liability, public liability or product liability.

Although there are issues common to all types of insurance (such as notification), insurers' coverage positions will depend on the type of insurance and the policy wordings. For example, force majeure is an issue in construction contracts and in any subsequent contractor disputes. In business interruption claims on property policies, the potential areas of cover may include physical damage, denial of access, a notifiable disease or loss of attraction: it all depends on the particular policy wording.

Read more in the full report.