ABI Guidance On Unoccupied Properties

ABI have providedus withy updated guidance on unoccupied properties with other business insurance information also available.



How are insurers supporting unoccupied premises where businesses are temporarily closed?

If a business has to temporarily close because of Covid-19, where customers are taking the appropriate steps to mitigate the risk of damage to the property while unoccupied, insurers will be flexible around the period of un-occupancy specified on the policy document.

Policies will often include conditions that are intended to ensure good practice in protecting buildings of damage caused by the risk of fire, theft and escape of water, which are often increased when a building is empty.  It is important that business owners continue to follow risk management advice and ensure they understand what steps they need to take.

Some insurers have also waived requirements for their business customers to immediately notify them of their unoccupied status, (depending on the individual business circumstances), to allow customers to concentrate on managing their businesses, and to allow insurers call centres to focus on managing the significant number of insurance claims being processed.

If there are any specific requirements as part of your insurance contract that you are unable or unlikely to be able to comply with, such as on-site security, businesses should speak to their insurer or insurance advisor/broker.

If a business isn’t able to operate because of COVID-19, should I just cancel my insurance policy?

Business insurance helps to protect business owners and independent professionals against everyday risks, such as accidents in the workplace and associated public liability, stock or premises damage, legal costs and cyber-attacks.

There are also some types of insurance that a business is legally obliged to have, such as employer’s liability and commercial motor insurance.

Even in a time when a business is unable to operate as usual due to the impacts of COVID-19, it’s important that businesses remain covered for standard risks, many of which may be more likely when the property is unoccupied, such as vandalism of the property, theft of stock or equipment, or even loss of information or damage to IT systems and networks.