March 17, 2020 / 10:57 AM / 19 days ago

UK industry body says most companies not insured for coronavirus closures

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - Most companies in Britain don’t have cover for closures due to the coronavirus epidemic, Britain’s Association of British Insurers said on Tuesday.

Britain’s government recommended on Monday that people avoid restaurants, bars and clubs, and work from home where possible, but stopped short of ordering the businesses to shut their doors.

“Irrespective of whether or not the government order closure of a business, the vast majority of firms won’t have purchased cover that will enable them to claim on their insurance to compensate for their business being closed by the coronavirus,” the ABI said in a statement. Standard business interruption cover purchased by most companies does not include forced closure by authorities.

“A small minority of typically larger firms might have purchased an extension to their cover for closure due to any infectious disease,” the ABI said.

“In this instance an enforced closure could help them make the claim, but this will depend on the precise nature of the cover they have purchased so they should check with their insurer or broker to see if they are covered.” (Reporting by Huw Jones)

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