Updated 31st March 2020

We have received a number of clients asking, how their Business Protection Standard and Business Protection Standard Plus policies underwritten by Covéa Insurance plc, the UK insurer for these products, will respond to the unoccupied clause, given the need to close businesses as a result of Covid-19.

We are delighted to confirm that for the benefit of our policyholders, Balens have agreed with Covéa Insurance plc, that full cover will continue to apply, for a period of 90 days. The basis of cover is as per the details noted on your policy documentation. The above agreement, is on the understanding that the business has temporarily stopped trading, or closed its doors, as a result of Covid-19 only.

You do not need to inform us of the business closure in the above circumstances. We do recommend however, that you keep a note of the date when the business became unoccupied.

If you have closed your business for any other reason, other than as a result of Covid-19, you must notify us in the normal way. Insurers will consider insurance cover, on an individual basis, in these circumstances.

During the period of un-occupancy, you should ensure that you take all reasonable care to keep your property safe and that all security measures are put into full and effective operation. You will be able to find the full wordings regarding the conditions attached to your policy, under the Conditions sections of your policy documentation. Please read these carefully and ensure that you comply.

Please note, that Insurers are currently putting together a risk management leaflet that you will need to observe once your property has been unoccupied for more than 45 days. This will be uploaded onto the website shortly. In the meantime, the below Risk Management guidance will provide you will some information on areas to consider.

Finally, we do suggest you try to visit your premises, regularly if possible, whilst complying with the Government guidelines and when safe to do so. We recommend you record when you visit your location and note any observations, if relevant.

If you have a property policy with Balens, that isn’t underwritten by Covéa Insurance plc, please contact us on Combus@balens.co.uk for bespoke guidance on what you should do, relating to un-occupancy.

Risk Management Guidance – Covéa Insurance plc

Waste – Remove all external waste, pallets and empty skips before closure of the premises.

Waste bins – Empty all waste bins and move to a secure area, ideally at least 10 metres from the building. If it is not possible to keep at least 10 metres then these bins should have lockable lids.

Fire Systems – Ensure all fire and/or sprinkler systems remain fully operational.

Fire Doors – Check to ensure that internal fire doors are closed.

Building Utilities – Ensure all non-essential electrical devices and building utilities are turned off.

Inspections – Arrange for a weekly inspection of the building (internally and externally), risk assess for any lone working issues. Comply with existing government guidance regarding vulnerable people and lone worker risk assessments. Consider the provisioning for alternative skilled personnel.

Physical Security – Check that physical security measures are in place and effective. For example, fences are fit for purpose and in good repair, windows are locked, shutters are in place, gates are locked.

Intruder Alarm – Set Intruder alarms and ensure that the remote signalling is in place. Make sure there are a sufficient number of key holders available to respond to an activation within 20 minutes.

Maintenance – As long as it is practical, continue essential maintenance and complete any remedial measures. Continue to respond to all Building Management Systems (BMS) alerts.

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