Aviva Update 25 January 2021
Aviva have issued us with an updated Covid-19 bulletin the crucial elements of which are detailed below. As ever we stress the importance to speak to your usual contact at Bridge if your unable to comply with any requirements detailed in the Bulletin, or if you have any queries.
Supporting your clients
We just wanted to reassure you that we’re here to support your clients in protecting their business assets and employees for the long term, so that when it’s safe to do so, they’ll be ready to re-open. So, by following the five simple steps below whilst closed to the public due to Government guidance, their cover will remain unaffected:
1. Carrying out internal and external inspections of their building/s at least once a week.
2. Maintaining a weekly log of inspections.
3. Immediately repairing, or arranging to repair, any issues detected (including removal of graffiti and in the security or alarm or fire protection installations).
4. Removing any waste from the premises either inside or outside the building/s.
5. Checking to make sure all the external doors are locked and closing and securing all windows.
Government guidance allows those responsible for premises to attend them for inspections and maintenance even where they are otherwise closed. These steps will therefore remain in place until such time the Government’s guidance changes. When this happens, we’ll be in touch to let you know how this affects our current position.
We do however recognise that there may be circumstances where it’s not possible for weekly inspections to be undertaken, and where this is the case, please contact your local underwriter to discuss and agree an appropriate approach. There may also be some businesses who unfortunately have to cease trading entirely during the lockdown period, and where this is the case, we’d also ask you to notify your local underwriter immediately so that we can provide you and your clients with the appropriate support.
In addition to this, we’ll continue to maintain our support for businesses who have had to change their business model to meet new lockdown restrictions or diversify their operations to respond to changing market dynamics, by taking a flexible approach and assisting them to keep trading.
We’ll also continue to support your business clients who are working from home by providing the same level of protection to businesses now having to carry out their business activities from their or their employees’ homes.
Risk Management Solutions
Through our back to business campaign we’ll also continue to provide up-to-date guidance to support you, your people and your business. Below you’ll find some of the most relevant and timely Risk Management Loss Prevention Standards – available to you and your clients:
Whilst the lockdown continues to be everyone’s main focus, we’ve also produced a Winter Risk Management Bulletin, concentrating on those risks unrelated to Covid but that are still prevalent for this time of year.
Aviva Update 19 June 2020
Aviva Unoccupied Premises Update
Aviva have extended the period for unoccupied premises from 21st June to 5 August 2020. This is to allow you time for the necessary steps to be taken to enable you restart your operations. Normal policy and conditions will apply after this date and If your premises is likely to remain unoccupied beyond 5 August 2020 you need to make yourself familiar with the unoccupied premises condition in your policy. We would also request that you speak to your usual Bridge contact to discuss the matter.
Aviva Update 15 May 2020
Aviva have advised that for existing Aviva SME clients experiencing severe financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19, they can offer payment deferrals to help you manage your payments (subject to acceptance criteria). If you wish to discuss this further then please speak to your usual Bridge contact.
To reflect the reduction in risk from the shutdown of your business and any significant short term impact on turnover and furlough of staff, Aviva are willing to consider a premium reduction on a case by case basis. Please speak to your usual Bridge contact if you wish to explore this further.
Aviva have issued their loss prevention guidance and standards and these can be accessed via the following links:
Risk Assessments During Rapid Change Events LPS Practical guide in effective risk assessment for claims defense and good risk management practice in evolving situations
Temporary Mothballing and Shutdown of Premises and Operating Plants LPS Guidance on how to reduce risk when mothballing and shutting down plant, processes and premises on a temporary basis.
Managing Risks Caused By Stockpiling in Crisis Situations LPS This Loss Prevention Standard will help your business understand new and changed risks that arise when goods are stockpiled and provide you with strategies to ensure these risks are properly managed.
Claims Defensibility LPS Practical guide on what to do to improve claims defensibility, particularly during periods of high demand and change.
Aviva update 15 April 2020
Motor Fleet & Motor Trade
If you have taken the decision to register any of your vehicles as off the road (SORN) due to the impacts of COVID-19, Aviva will now be happy to amend your fleet policy cover to reflect the ‘laid up’ vehicles and provide you with a refund for the period the vehicles are laid up. Please speak to your usual Bridge contact if you want to take advantage of this.
Please note the vehicles will remain “laid up” until you inform us you they wish to place your vehicles back on full cover. At this point, an additional premium would be payable. For policies subject to a periodical declaration of vehicles, Aviva will take into account any refund made when they calculate the final year-end declaration adjustment. Special type and agricultural vehicles are excluded from this arrangements.
For customers with motor trade policies, as Aviva hold additional covers for your business (such as Property insurance) they will recalculate your premium by removing any vehicles that are notified as off road from your ‘Road Risks’ section and move the exposure to your Property section, ensuring that the Sums Insured adequately reflect the additional exposure. This should result in a return of premium. Please note, Aviva are only able to offer this option where the SORN vehicle is being stored at your commercial premises. When your vehicles are ready to go back on the road, Aviva will increase the cover back to the level you require for which an additional premium will normally be charged. Please speak to your usual Bridge contact if you wish to take advantage of this
Change in Business Use
Aviva recognise that some of you may make changes to your business due to the impact of COVID-19 e.g. where you’ve had to close a restaurant but are now operating as a takeaway or changing manufacturing to support production of ventilators for the NHS etc. Whilst these changes still need to notified to Aviva for approval, they have promised to be flexible and where possible not to charge any additional premiums. If you are planning to make any changes (or have done so already) please speak to your usual Bridge contact as soon as possible so we can discuss with Aviva and ensure you have the correct cover in place.
Aviva updates prior to 15 April 2020
We have been involved in in-depth discussions with a number of insurers over the arrangements of our clients’ policy in relation to the restrictions imposed by the UK Government in order to contain the COVID 19 pandemic. Aviva have responded to a number of our points and issued some general guidance for you. It is important that you read the following.
Aviva’s policy wordings in general follows the rest of the UK market in that the UK wide lockdown of premises, such as your own, isn’t a sufficient trigger for policy coverage. COVID 19 is not specified under their policy and even if it was it would still have to manifest itself at, or occurred specifically on your premises leading to its closure. We appreciate that the above clarification will come as a disappointment, however this is largely the same position for the overwhelming majority of commercial insurance policies in the UK – not just for Aviva policies. However, we do urge you to check with your usual Bridge contact to clarify the position under your policy.
Further information on the coverage that applies across a wide range of types of insurance contracts across the UK is available from the website of the Association of British Insurers:
Aviva have confirmed that cover will continue to apply to clients who have followed Government advice to close their premises temporarily for a period of up to 90 consecutive days. There is therefore no need to immediately notify us that your insured premises has closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Please note that If your premises were already unoccupied before the Covid-19 outbreak, and you are now unable to meet the terms of the unoccupied conditions in your policy due to the current restrictions, please get in touch with your usual Bridge contact so we can discuss the matter with Aviva and ensure that your current level of cover is maintained and any subsequent claim is not repudiated due to breach of these conditions.
Aviva have issued guidance on how to best protect your business assets during the lockdown. Some of key risk management points are listed below but document can be viewed by CLICKING HERE
- You should endeavour where practical and safe to inspect your Insured premises internally and externally and keep a log
- Risk assessments should be carried out on the changing risk/lack of supervision in place
- Any and all hazardous processes to cease (and not run unmanned) and be shut down safely
- Other processes should not be run if there is no adequate supervision; safety should not be comprised
- Heating left on but other critical services powered down if not required, unless to support protection or detection systems
- Drain all water and fuel supply tanks, apparatus and pipes
- All external areas must be clear of waste and combustible materials
- Consider waste build-up and the controls needed if waste collection services are affected
- All fire protection, detection, and security systems to remain active and monitored remotely where possible
- Adequacy of security controls should be assessed based on likely periods of unoccupancy and type of business, particularly in high-crime areas
- Secure and seal all letter boxes and openings and redirect post if necessary
- Consideration should be given to accumulation of vehicles, proximity to buildings, and their security when premises are unattended
- Perimeter security, fences and lighting are in good condition and operational
- All physical security and locking devices are working and in place
- All protection and detection systems are operational
- There are no leaking fluids or spills
- Any unsafe conditions are identified and remedied
Change in Risk
We asked Aviva to relax their requirement for notification of any changes in risk whereby for example you have the majority of personnel working from home, housekeeping and maintenance procedures have changed or you have adopted a change in your business description activities (for example to accommodate a takeaway/delivery service when ordinarily they trade as a restaurant). Other than what is provided for in Capital Additions section below, Aviva have not responded to this and we therefore ask you to review your business activities and operational arrangements and if there are any changes make sure you speak to your usual Bridge contact so we can ensure you are correctly covered during this period.
Whilst Aviva are not prepared to automatically increase your sum insured for business contents they do appreciate that you may have restructured your business structures to accommodate home working. They are therefore automatically extending your existing policy cover to provide the same level of protection you enjoy at the insured premise(s) so you can carry out your normal business activities at home and the homes of your employees. This extension applies to the following covers where they’re insured under their existing policies;
1. Business Equipment
2. Employers Liability
3. Public Liability
They will also provide cover for their business equipment whilst in transit to and from their homes. They have asked that you and your employees take reasonable precautions to protect your assets and employees during this time. Any existing policy terms, conditions and exclusions will remain unaltered and apply to their respective homes.
We ask that you review the adequacy of your sums insured and limits of indemnity and speak to your usual Bridge contact to advise us of any changes.
Policy Conditions and Warranties
Other than what we have already discussed above, Aviva have issued no guidance on this so we must advise you to contact us if you are now unable to comply with any of the policy conditions or warranties as a result of the restrictions in place.
We made a request that for those of you whose policy is due for renewal during the period whilst restrictions from the UK Government remain in place that Aviva offer an automatic extension to your policy for a limited period of time. Aviva have declined this request and will handle renewals as business as usual. If your policy is due for renewal we will be in contact with you to conduct the renewal review and we can discuss any requirement for an extension.
Aviva have not issued any guidance yet in respect of payment holidays or alterations to payment schedules if you are struggling to pay your monthly premium instalment to them. If you are struggling then please email them in the first instance a copy us in at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you pay your instalments through either Close Brothers or Premium Credit then both firms have advised us that they can show flexibility in your schedule of payments by offering limited payment holidays and extending the number of instalments. Both firms will consider each request on a case by case. In the first instance any such request must be made direct to them using the following contacts:
Premium Credit Limited:
Tel: 0344 736 9836 or 0330 123 9717
Close Brothers Limited:
Tel: 0333 321 8566 (Personal Lines)
0333 321 8567 (Commercial)
If you pay for your premium up front then you may want to consider paying it by instalment via one of our Premium Finance partners to help manage your cash flow.
If you think you miss a payment deadline then it is important that you contact us as soon as possible so we can assist you.
Motor Fleet Policies
Aviva have not issued any guidance in relation to Motor Fleet Insurance. We must ask therefore that if you intend to use your vehicle for anything other than your normal business activities, or you want persons to driver who would not ordinarily be covered under the policy then you speak to your normal contact at Bridge who can arrange the appropriate cover for you with Aviva. Please note, this includes activities undertaken to support people in their communities who are impacted by COVID-19, such as the NHS Volunteer responder scheme and for voluntary purposes (non-payment) to transport medicine or groceries to support others.
If your vehicles are laid up, SORN and kept off the public highway, please let us know and will approach Aviva to see if they can offer Laid UP cover and provide a discount off your premium.
In these challenging and uncertain times we would like to reiterate that Bridge Insurance is deeply to committed to all our clients and we will continue to act in your best interests in these challenging times. We hope that the continued updates from the UK Government regarding financial assistance for business interruption due to the COVID19 pandemic, will prove of use to you. You can find out more details about this by clicking this link.
Our accountants have produced a very helpful analysis and summary of the financial assistance available from the UK Government and this available to you by clicking this link (https://www.baldwinsaccountants.co.uk/news-and-insights/covid-19)
Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance.
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