Commercial Lines COVID-19 FAQ’s
I cannot pay my insurance. What can I do?
Many insurers and finance companies empathize with the financial impact COVID-19 is having on you and your business. They are willing to work with policyholders on an individual basis to find a payment solution. Many will defer payments for up to 30 days and others are waiving NSF fees. While the companies are trying to ease financial burdens, there is an expectation that premiums will be paid. We encourage you to speak with your broker discuss the options available.
COVID-19 and business interruption insurance:
Many business owners are experiencing a loss in revenue or closures due to COVID-19 and are asking if there is coverage.
Property insurance policies, and the resulting business interruption coverage, usually require physical damage by an insured peril such as a fire, wind storm or a break-in to trigger coverage for a claim.
A pandemic, such as COVID-19, generally does not trigger coverage as there has been no physical loss and often is not covered on the policy. Please talk to your broker to discuss the circumstances unique to your situation and policy.
To learn more about how coverage is triggered, please visit the following link: www.ibc.ca/on/business/COVID-19
The various government bodies continue to announce a series of measures to help individuals and businesses. More information on how to access assistance is available on their websites.
We suggest the following actions may help you with respect to an insurance claim or a government assistance application.
• Keep meticulous records of all losses, expenses, spoilage (for restaurants, caterers or similar types businesses), and cancelled appointments (for hairdressers, dentists, auto body shop, physio therapist or any business that schedules clients).
• Maintain these logs or records until you get the all clear to resume normal operations
• Identify the date you shut down operations either through your receipt records OR if you have proof by a message you sent out or update on your website.
My license is about to expire and the Service Ontario site is closed. Can I still drive?
Service Ontario has the ability to provide many services on-line. The following link can help you identify what services are still available. They have extended validation to expired and expiring driver’s licenses, health cards, and license plate stickers along with many others. Please visit their site to determine appropriate steps unique to your situation.
What happens if my premises is vacant or I’ve had to close my business?
Policies contain an exclusion if your premises is knowingly vacant or closed for 30 or more days. While we wait for many of the Insurers to provide an update or advise any changes to this exclusion, we recommend you contact your broker to discuss options and requirements for your policy.
We also recommend you take measures to ensure the premises are protected and remain undamaged during this unprecedented time. Suggestions include:
• You visit the property regularly (varies by Insurer)
• Proactively maintain a prudent level of care, control, and maintenance of the property. This includes adequately maintaining security systems and utilities.
• All doors, windows and other openings to the building(s) are closed and securely locked;
• All rubbish is removed;
• normal levels of heat are maintained in the building
• water services have been shut off and all pipes; appliances have been drained
Additional tips can be found on here
What is a Declaration of Emergency endorsement?
This endorsement is typically added to most property and casualty policies and extends the termination or expiry date when an emergency is declared. It must be declared by a Canadian public authority designated by statue for the purpose of issuing such an order.
The emergency must have a direct effect or impact on either:
• The policyholder, their site, or their property located within the emergency area; or
• The operations of the insurer or its agent/broker located in the declared emergency area
If a policy was not renewed by the expiry date, generally:
The policy is automatically extended or the effective date of the cancellation will be suspended until the “emergency” is over plus the lessor of:
• 30 days, or
• Total number of days the “emergency” order was in effect
• Subject to a maximum of 120 days
Coverage, terms and conditions are based on your existing policy. Please contact your broker for further information on your individual policy’s terms and conditions and how this endorsement applies.
This does not apply to automobile policies.
Can I make a claim during the period where the Declaration of Emergency wording applies?
Yes, typically the insurer will honour the current policy’s terms and conditions.