Covid-19 update

15th January 2021

Dear Member,

Business Interruption Insurance

Many members were denied payouts under their BII for the closures forced upon them by the Government’s response to the current pandemic.

As you will know from our previous Updates, the Financial Conduct Authority took a test case, ultimately to the Supreme Court, challenging on behalf of policy holders the interpretation of certain typical BII clauses by insurers which had as its effect a denial of cover.

In a ruling published today, the Supreme Court has provided clarity around their correct interpretation and found substantially in favour of policy holders.

Whilst this does not automatically mean all insurers will be required to pay out on any BII clauses you may have in your insurance cover, it could well apply and Members are advised to talk to their brokers.

The full ruling can be found here.

Wales – The First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has today announced that businesses will have to undertake a specific regularly reviewed risk assessment.  Members will have been using the bacta template on our website but it is suggested that this is reviewed if it hasn’t been.   I appreciate it is something of a moot point whilst we are all closed but it is worth checking your risk assessment covers the key points of ventilation, hygiene, physical distancing and PPE, mentioned in the announcement/legislation which can be found here:

Workplace Testing – The government is planning on rolling out a programme of mass testing for those that must leave home to go to work during the national lockdown. This will comprise government funded (until 31 March)  twice weekly lateral flow testing to all those who have to leave their home to work during the national lockdown, not just critical workers. This will likely be offered in three ways:

    • through employers-for organisations with over 250 employees
    • through community testing-for the self-employed and those in organisations with less than 250 people;
    • potential at home testing-for those who are harder to reach (such as those on zero hours contracts). 

To support the Department for Health and Social Care to plan the operational elements of this rollout, including how many tests are needed, and where testing sites need to be set up, DCMS is asking trade associations the following questions:

  1. The names of companies that would like to participate in this scheme and if they already have testing schemes within their organisations.
  2. The number of people that require tests (not working from home). 
  3. The geographical locations of these organisations. 
  4. Prioritisation.
    • Is this a key/critical worker? 
    • Are they working on critical national infrastructure for example? 
    • Do they already have a testing scheme in place?
    • Are they interacting with many people while working?

If workplace testing is needed by your members, can you please respond to Pak Ling Wan at DCMS by letting him know answers to these questions. The deadline for this is Tuesday 19 January so that he can feed into the DHSC’s planning.


Kind regards,