Advice on COVID-19/Coronavirus
The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to dominate the news, with major implications for public health and the NHS.
It is also causing economic disruption across the globe and turbulence on the financial markets, with many insurers restricting travel and meeting commitments to ‘essential business only’.
As you would expect, we are monitoring developments closely,but we have also put in place sensible measures to ensure that Rigby Financial is well prepared.
We can reassure you that in respect of the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak we are focused on three things: the health and welfare of both our clients and staff; our ability to continue to support clients;and, of course, the sound management of insurance programmes. Some of the specific actions that we have taken include:
A robust approach to risk management and operational effectiveness is integral to our business and so we have been prepared for abnormal events for some time through a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
Our BCP plan identifies the requirements that would be needed for each area of the business to function under a wide range of scenarios and it is kept under constant review. These scenarios include natural disasters, acts of terrorism, data breaches, power and transport failures and major sickness outbreaks such as pandemics. Thankfully real scenarios have been exceptionally rare, and our processes have performed well in simulations to date.
We have invested in technology and infrastructure to ensure that the business is both robust and adaptable to be able to cope with significant and potentially disruptive events:
Remote Working/OFFICE temporary closure
Presently many of our staff have the ability to work from home if required and can remotely access our systems within a secure IT environment. A programme to roll out access to other relevant staff is well underway and we anticipate that all staff will have the ability to work from home from 30 March at the latest or sooner should a lock down be imposed. We are also able to redirect work phone lines to employee mobile phones where necessary.
Please continue to call the main telephone 01744 886077
Direct emails in the normal manner to staff or use the generic email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Employee and client safety
The health, safety and well-being of our staff and clients is of paramount importance to us. We are therefore closely monitoring and implementing official guidelines from the Government and health organisations in respect of COVID-19. Specific actions taken include:
We have asked staff to follow the Government’s advice in relation travel to and from higher risk destinations for themselves and family members. We have put in place our own internal reporting processes to manage this, advising staff to self-isolate as required.
• Signs of Sickness
We are asking staff to stay at home and self-isolate in line with current guidance.
• Continuity in event of Personal Containment
In the event Government advice recommends all workplace closures, or we feel that this is necessary, then we are ready to respond immediately.
• Personal Hygiene
Hand washing facilities/hand sanitisers are available throughout our offices for both staff and clients and we have reinforced our existing clear desk policy.
• Business Travel
We have asked staff to consider business and personal travel. We recognise that many clients will also want to minimise their travel and face-to-face contact during this period and therefore we can facilitate meetings by telephone, video conferencing and Teams/Skype.
In the current circumstances, we believe that facilitating meetings by video conference or telephone is best practice but we remain responsive to client needs in reasonable and appropriate circumstances.
The coronavirus outbreak is clearly a constantly evolving situation both in terms of infection rates and the impact on our clients and insurers alike. While we cannot predict when the outbreak will peak and/or start to subside, we hope that the market disruption will ultimately be short-lived.
In the meantime, we want to reassure you that we are taking sensible precautions to minimise the potential impact of coronavirus on our clients, staff and operations while ensuring it is business as usual during this busy insurance period.
I am completely focused on maintaining a high degree of service during this difficult period and please be assured that every member of the team will have a full capability whilst away from the office.
If you have further questions please contact your usual contact at Rigby Financial.
Andrew Rigby - Director
COVID-19 information you may find useful:
As information and updates on the evolving developments of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) are communicated by authorities, the pandemic is causing significant disruption and impact on society and business alike.
Whilst expert coverage and advice in circulation across the media is naturally focused on preventative and delaying measures to limit the impact of the pandemic on society, for many businesses this is a very challenging time with the pandemic now actively disrupting economies and businesses worldwide. This is an unprecedented time which is causing some uncertainty with organisations and businesses regarding whether their insurance programme will respond if COVID-19 causes significant disruption to their operations.
Will my insurance respond if my business suffers a disruption or incurs losses as a direct or indirect impact of COVID-19?
Each insurance policy is unique to the organisation or business it is designed to protect. Insurance policies are typically developed with a combination of standard and bespoke protections that can be added to meet the unique risks for an organisation or business. Protection against the impact of infectious diseases can be part of an insurance policy but it is not always included as standard so it’s important that you carefully review the insurance policy which is in place specifically for your organisation or business.
If you are a Rigby Financial client, we continue to encourage you to speak directly to your dedicated Account Executive/handler,especially if you have any questions relating to COVID-19 and your individual insurance policy. We are ready to provide you with guidance and clarification on your policies and how they will respond to the issues you are experiencing.
Over the last few weeks we have listened to our clients questions and provided answers and guidance in relation to their insurance programme and COVID-19. We would like to share some of those frequently asked questions and we hope these FAQ’s provide some clarity. However, as recommended above, if you would like to get in touch with us to discuss your specificrequirements, contact your Account Executive/handler and a member of our team will get in contact you shortly
Go here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public for the latest government advice on coronavirus.
I own a business with several locations and over 50 members of staff, if we have to shut the business, will my insurance policy respond to the loss custom?
Whilst some Business Interruption policies will include an extension for Notifiable or Infectious Diseases,wordings do vary and not all will provide protection. Of those that do, some list specific diseases, while others refer to any diseases notifiable under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010, for example. When COVID-19 was added to the list of notifiable diseases, policy coverage did not change.If you have any doubt or are unsure about whether your insurance includes this extension get in touch with your insurance broker who will be happy to check and confirm for you.
The landlord of the business park we work from has intimated they may take decide to close the buildings and the park as a whole due to COVID-19, how will my insurance policy respond?
Your Business Interruption cover may include an extension to cover loss resulting from interruption or interference with the business as a result of notifiable/infectious diseases. Different policies include different wordings related to notifiable/infectious diseases and although COVID-19 is now registered as a notifiable disease, policies have not changed. If your activities were interrupted at your own premises due to a notifiable disease and the relevant authority prevented you from working or forcibly closed the location, then there may potentially be cover. If you are not sure about whether your insurances extend to cover this, speak to your insurance broker as soon as possible to check your policy.
If a member of my staff contracts COVID-19 on our work premises, can we be held liable for damages or loss earnings by the employee? If so, what insurance policy will protect me and my business?
Your organisation has a duty of care to its employees to ensure that their working environment (both within company premises and at 3rd party locations that employees are attending) is safe. Your Employers’ Liability cover responds in respect of your legal liability (as employer). However, it would have to be proven that the employer has not taken reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. So, as an employer it is important to ensure that you have a business contingency plan in place, have tested it and where appropriate,implemented the risk management measures to mitigate / prevent the spread of the virus.
A crucial supplier in our supply chain has failed to deliver stock to my business, citing staff absences due to COVID-19 and issues further up the chain from their suppliers in similar circumstances as the reason for the stock issue. As a result, I am unable to supply my customers and meet my contractual obligations. Which of my insurance policies will protect me and any losses incurred by my business?
Business Interruption policies may include a supplier’s extension, however this will generally only respond when there has been physical damage at the supplier’s premises and is highly unlikely to respond to notifiable diseases. If you have any doubt or are unsure about whether your insurance includes this extension contact your insurance broker who will be happy to check and confirm for you.