We recently sent some information out in relation to the affect of Covid-19 on the insurances that we provide to our clients.
It is inevitable that there will be a lot of changes on a very regular basis as things develop. We will try to keep you all up to date with details as they arise.
JWS Travel Insurance
We have seen a major change in the selling of Travel cover, and many Insurers have ceased selling new policies, although still honouring existing policies and annual travel. It is highly likely, however, that exclusions will be imposed at the first opportunity, and we are advising that, as from 16th March 2020, any new JWS Travel policy, or renewal of an annual one, will now have the complete exclusion of cover relating to Covid 19. It will be shown on the Key Notes and on the policy as an exclusion.
We only briefly commented on this cover in our last communication, but we have had subsequent questions raised, so allow me to clarify the meaning of this cover, also known as Consequential Loss and Loss of Profits/Income.
This type of insurance becomes operative in the event of what is known as ‘material loss or damage to insured property’. So, simply, any loss or damage caused by insured perils, i.e. fire, storm, flood, etc., which results in an interruption to your business is covered.
The question raised is, ‘in the event that your business has to be closed as a result of reduced bookings, lack of trade and general closure of your business as a result of the Covid-19 virus, does my policy cover me?’ Sadly, the answer, particularly with local Kenyan/Tanzanian policies, the answer is ‘no’, as there is no physical loss or damage to property.
Some people have heard about international policies covering “Consequential Loss following closure of the premises by an authority as a result of specified diseases”. This is quite a common extension of cover for leisure and hospitality sector in the UK, but unfortunately, Covid-19 is not deemed to be one of the specified diseases, as it is a very new strain.
Under the Work Injury Benefit Act, the Act provides benefits to employees for ‘Occupational Illnesses’. We have been asked if someone contracts the virus at work, whether this would be considered under this extension. It has not been tested yet and no Insurer has come forward with any definitive advice on this, nor are they likely, as they are probably waiting for the authorities to give them guidance. WIBA and Employers Liability is all a legal stage at the present, so, on the basis the courts in Kenya are presently shut, we do not believe anyone will give any clarification for quite some time.
Our view is that it will be impossible to be absolutely certain if someone contracts the illness whilst at work, so we do not feel it will be deemed an ‘Occupational Illness’, which is not a 24-hour cover.
That is all for now, but we will bring you more information as and when we are aware of it. Please continue to consult our News and Blog page for further updates.