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IRC launches ‘We are open' online directory to promote small shops and business still open

14 May 2020

Open shops and small businesses are urged to add themselves to the new ‘We are open' interactive map
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FCA seeks legal judgement to clarify whether insurers should pay CV-19 claims made by firms

14 May 2020

More than a million businesses forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown may know whether insurers will have to pay previously rejected business interruption claims in a matter of... Read more…

Free ActSmart subscription to help businesses through Covid-19

14 May 2020

ActSmart are offering three months of FREE access to to a range of services and support with the ActSmart bronze subscription in return for a small charitable donation
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250 free-of-charge digital Out of Home campaigns offered to local businesses

13 May 2020

Free Out of Home campaigns will help local entrepreneurs across the UK to highlight how they've adapted to continue trading in the current circumstances.
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Working safely during COVID-19 in shops and branches

13 May 2020

A summary of the specific guidance for shops on working safely
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How consumer behaviour has changed among the British public in the face of COVID-19

10 May 2020

Recent research undertaken by the Institute of Customer Service displays evidence that the British public now place higher value on customer service that they did before COVID-19
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Government will deliver a "tapered" end to furlough scheme

5 May 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised there will be no "cliff-edge" cut-off to the government's job retention scheme to support workers through the coronavirus pandemic.
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Coronavirus Testing available for shop workers

30 Apr 2020

The Government has extended COVID-19 testing to essential workers with symptoms and people who live with essential workers and have symptoms. This includes anyone with symptoms whose work cannot... Read more…

Best practice on offering and processing ‘card not present' payments

23 Apr 2020

This guidance is designed to inform retailers about best practice on offering and processing ‘card not present' payments during the Covid-19 outbreak.
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Get ready to make your claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme today!

20 Apr 2020

As of today employers can make a claim through the Job Retention Scheme if they have put their employees on temporary leave (furlough) because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
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IRC supports Government's challenge to business insurers

Posted on in Political News

The myth: It has become widely believed within the retail sector that if the Government tells a business to close that the business is then eligible to make an insurance claim.

The truth: Business Interruption Insurance (BII) can only be claimed if included in policy, and if detailed terms of the policy are fulfilled.

The Treasury Select Committee led by Mel Stride MP, has challenged the Association of British Insurers (ABI) regarding the support offered to business via their members, with specific regard to business interruption insurance.

The Committee sought to clarify where business insurance support had ceased to be offered or policy terms had changed and exclusions added, since the pandemic began.

Government appeared to expect that business insurance policies would provide funding support for independent retailers through the provision of cover for coronavirus related costs after it added COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases.

Government guidance stated that "those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy)."

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has responded with a statement clarifying their position, most notably:

"Only a very small number of businesses choose to buy any form of cover that includes business interruption due to a notifiable or infectious disease. Usually these extensions list very specific diseases that are covered, not any notifiable disease that may emerge such as COVID-19. An even smaller number will have cover where the notifiable or infectious disease is unspecified enabling them to potentially claim for the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, such policies often respond only when the disease is present at the premises as they cover the interruption to trade caused where business premises have been infected by an illness such as Legionnaires' disease or norovirus and where the building needs to be closed and cleaned to deal with the specific incident."

The ABI stated that insurers would go bust if they had to pay out claims to British businesses with total revenues of £4.4 trillion all at the same time and has offered to work with Government to build a specialised scheme that would pay out to firms forced to shut down in a future pandemic.

Government and business may have misjudged the potential access to cash support via business interruption insurance. It is a retrospective cover that may provide some interim payment towards costs, but only once there is clarity over the degree of the loss, but surety of its support would be enough to see many businesses through the crisis.

Current feedback suggests that there are a limited number of insurance policies that are providing appropriate cover, but it is evident from feedback throughout the independent retail sector, that there is a high degree of ambiguity in the wording and interpretation of many policies.

Tell us your experience

Members of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), initiated by The ACT, are calling upon Government and insurance brokers to challenge policies where there is ambiguity.

The IRC is a well-established organisation representing over 100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK, it brings together like-minded trade associations with interests in the small and independent retail sector.

The IRC are collecting data from independent retail businesses which:

1. Have a Business Interruption clause in their insurance policy and
2. Have submitted a formal claim following the outbreak of COVOID-19 which
3. Has not been accepted by/is in dispute with the insurer

In order to highlight these issues and support the Government's request for more information, the IRC has set up an online survey, open to all independent retailers, that will help to evaluate policy ambiguity, offending insurers and the level of claims and funds under challenge.

TAKE THE SURVEY NOW

Let us know your experiences with BII by completing the online survey at indieretail.uk/business-interruption-insurance.

The IRC would also love to know if your claim has been successful, or your insurance broker/insurer have provided great service. Please let us know by emailing info@indieretail.uk.

 

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