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Business: Insurance

Treasury written question – answered on 4th May 2020.

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Photo of Claire Hanna Claire Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast South

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to help ensure that businesses can claim on their insurance for business interruption due to the covid-19 outbreak.

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

For those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government’s social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

However, it is important to note that most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Some policies cover losses arising from any disease classed as notifiable by the Government, however, most policies only cover a specific list of notifiable diseases. The terms of a policy cannot be changed retrospectively.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. The Government encourages businesses to seek assistance through the wider support package if they are in financial difficulty. Businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor in recent weeks, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

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