25th March 2020

Following our update for businesses published here Government has been updated.

Government ordered closure

The government asked a number of different businesses and venues to remain closed from 21 March onwards.

Insurers have agreed that this advice is sufficient for businesses covered for COVID-19 losses to make a claim (if the only barrier to them making a claim was a lack of clarity on whether the government had ordered businesses to close). As such, intervention by the police or any other statutory body is no longer required to trigger cover in the current circumstances.

However, most businesses’ commercial insurance policies (including for denial of access) are unlikely to offer cover for COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers

Event coverage

Businesses with event cancellation policies that include unspecified notifiable disease extensions should be able to make a claim for the necessary and unavoidable cancellation, abandonment, curtailment, postponement and disruption of their event for reasons beyond the control of organisers and participants (subject to the other terms and exclusions of their policy).

Insurance for major events is often bespoke to the specific event, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their insurer or broker.

Unoccupied premises

BIBA has been asking insurers about their approach to unoccupancy conditions where businesses have arranged for their employees to work at home or are otherwise closed.

Zurich has confirmed its approach as detailed below and we expect other insurers  to follow soon.


It is our intention that where buildings are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our Unoccupied Conditions will not apply and we will not be taking any further measures to restrict coverage.

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