Keeping your organisation protected during the coronavirus lockdown

Unity Insurance Services
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown brings new challenges and risks. Unity Insurance Services explains how to make sure you still have appropriate insurance cover in these unusual times.

The UK has been in lockdown since March. Picture: Unity Insurance Services
The UK has been in lockdown since March. Picture: Unity Insurance Services

All organisations, including children and young people’s charities, are juggling numerous complex issues such as homeworking, furloughing, mothballing, scaling back, or diversifying, all of which carry insurance implications.

Staff working from home

Does employers’ liability insurance cover our staff working from home during the lockdown?

Staff working from home must still be covered by an Employers’ Liability policy. In the majority of cases, Employers’ Liability insurance will cover employees working at any location. However, if in doubt you should check your policy wording or get in touch with your insurance broker.

Are staff working from home using work IT equipment?

If your staff are working from home with equipment from their normal place of work, such as PC monitors, we suggest that you check your building and contents insurance policy to make sure that it is covered off-site.

Also, if you have had to buy or hire equipment for staff to be able to work from home, such as laptops to be used instead of desktop PCs, make sure these are added to your building and contents insurance policy.

Furloughing staff

Do we need employers’ liability for furloughed staff?

Furloughed staff are still legally employed and retain all of their rights as an employee. Therefore if you’re employing furloughed workers, you still have a legal obligation to maintain Employers’ Liability insurance. A gap in this compulsory cover could result in prosecution and a fine for your organisation.


We’re doing different activities - are we still covered?

During the coronavirus outbreak you may be diversifying to make money or serve your community in a different way. As this may have different risks, you must let your insurance broker know as you may not be covered for these activities. They can check whether you are covered under the existing terms of your policy or whether you need to make a temporary change to your cover.

Operations have temporarily ceased

Can we cancel our liability insurance while we’re not operating?

Even though your organisation may not be operating, the risks may still be present and potential claims could still be made against you. Therefore we recommend that you continue with your cover.

If you’re hiring out your building to other organisations while you’re not operating - such as a nursery for children of key workers - , claims could be made against you for accidents at your premises by those using or visiting it. Even a vacant building, warehouse or office will still have a public liability exposure. For example, if a member of the public entered your premises and had an accident, you may be held liable. Therefore, we recommend that you keep your property owners liability cover in place.

If you normally provide or sell products, we advise that you keep your products liability insurance in place, because claims can still be made against you for the products you’ve already sold or supplied before the lockdown restrictions.

Our buildings are unoccupied due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Will this affect our insurance?

Unfortunately, if your building is no longer occupied or being used regularly, this represents a greater risk for vandalism and theft. Check your buildings insurance for terms around occupancy.

It may sound obvious, but minimise the risks by securely locking all doors and windows, and lock equipment away out of sight.

Unity Insurance Services is a charity-owned, specialist insurance broker with particular expertise in children’s charities and youth organisations. For more information on how Unity can help with your insurance needs, visit our website or call us on 0345 040 7731.

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