Following an increase in cases of Covid-19 the government has changed guidance on the 22nd September with the new official advice from the government being:
To help contain the virus, office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter
And this is expected to be in force until March 2021. If your business implements these changes, it will have an impact on your business insurance if your office is empty. This is the case whether you own the property or are a tenant.
The business owner is normally required to put in place the following measures to protect their property:
- Ensure Alarms, Fire Detections and all Security Systems are in place
- Inspect the property every 14 days and keep a log of the inspections
- Switch off certain utilities such as water to reduce the risks of frozen or burst pipes
- Ensure the property still has a form of heating to a minimum level
- Remove waste and/or combustible materials from in and around the property
- Maintain the property, such as the roof to a good state of repair
- Have an emergency response plan in place for any call outs or incidents in this period and ensure all keyholders are briefed
Insurance companies as standard restrict cover after a period of time that the property has been empty. This is normally 30 or 60 days. Please refer to your policy wording to find out what your insurance companies terms are. When the initial guidance came into force on the 23rd March 2020 many insurance companies responded by removing this cover restriction from policies for the period of which the government had imposed the work from home guidance. If you are unsure what level of cover will apply to your business or should you be unsure of your obligations following any changes being made to the way you work please contact our team on 0808 161 7008 to discuss in more detail.