In order to help tackle Covid-19, more and more businesses are closing their premises with buildings and offices being left unoccupied. You need to be aware that this has implications for business insurance policies.
Premises are ‘generally’ classed as being ‘unoccupied’ if it’s completely closed for normal business activities for a specific number of consecutive days. Each policy is different but most typically set a time limit of 30, 45 or 60 consecutive days. Once this limit is reached, you must inform insurers as they may begin to restrict cover.
If you’ve taken the decision to completely close your premises, you should refer to your policy document, which will set out your responsibilities. These might be requirements like setting your security alarm, locking windows and closing shutters.
Once you reach the unoccupied time limit in your policy, insurers also normally require policyholders to take some additional precautions to reduce the potential for damage to occur, which would otherwise go unnoticed for long periods of time.
These additional precautions could include:
- Isolating gas and electricity supplies
- Isolating water supplies and draining the system
- Performing, and recording, visual inspections at the premises at regular intervals
- Removing any build-up of post
We are seeing some flexibility from insurers on this matter in the form of extending the number of days before they class a location as being unoccupied, but it is important you check your policy wording for the specific time limit and the policy conditions that apply if your building is left unoccupied.
If you would like any help in understanding your policy terms and conditions or if you think you will exceed the unoccupied time limit on your policy then please get in touch, 01483 726777 we’d be delighted to help you.