COVID-19 and Business Insurance

March 18, 2020 3 min read
FAQ

How does business insurance work  during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Our team at MIG is working diligently to balance providing service to our customers and responding to the ever changing situation created by the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of our business insurance customers have had some good questions regarding their coverage for business interruption as well as other aspects of their insurance.

We thought you as a business owner could benefit from us sharing our commonly asked questions here, although make sure to refer to your specific policy for coverages and wordings.

Q. My business insurance includes business interruption coverage. I’m now having to close for an unknown amount of time to protect my employees and my customers from potential of the COVID-19 virus. Will my policy provide coverage for this closure?

A. Not to be blunt but the short answer is no, there is no coverage for loss of income resulting from closure to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Business interruption coverage does contain a common extension of “Interruption by Civil Authority”. However this will only relate to damage to property that causes business operations to be interrupted, resulting in a loss of income.  The virus doesn’t cause damage to property so in most cases there is no coverage for loss of income. 

Q. If I am away from my business for more than 30 days because of the COVID-19 outbreak, is my business insurance coverage affected?

A. This clause that applies at any time will continue to apply throughout the outbreak timeframe. Most business insurance policies will exclude any buildings that are vacant for thirty days or more.  If you feel your building will be vacant for this length of time, please contact us at businesssolutions@miginsurance.ca and we can advise your insurance company of this potential change. 

Q. What about business liability insurance? What if my business is accused of having spread the virus?

A. If your business is subject to accusations of not having taken enough precautions against the spread of COVID-19 and any resulting bodily injury claims, your business liability insurance will respond to cover defense costs. If you’re in the hospitality or retail business, your risk of a claim may be higher if it is thought there was failure to exercise a reasonable level of care in preventing the transmission of the virus. However, the reality it is will be very difficult to pinpoint a customer’s exposure since symptoms don’t typically present themselves for several days.

Do you have any further questions regarding your business insurance as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak? Contact us at businesssolutions@miginsurance.ca. 

Written by