Business: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he plans to take to ensure that insurance companies accept covid-19 as a legitimate claim for businesses when as a result of the recent emergence of that virus it is not named on their policy.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Chancellor has made clear that, for those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers pandemics and unspecified notifiable diseases, as well as government-ordered closure, the government’s medical advice of 16 March is sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

In addition, the FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers pandemic related losses. As such, any affected businesses should note the government’s full package of support.

The government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation.

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