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Insurance Considerations During the COVID-19 CrisisAcross the world, COVID-19 is upending daily life. Below are two important insurance updates to keep you in the know.

COVID-19 and Auto Rate Relief

Americans who are suffering financially due to COVID-19 may have relief coming for insurance payments. Many insurers have announced auto insurance premium discounts to recognize that insureds are driving less during the coronavirus crisis. According to the Insurance Information Institute, these discounts, refunds, dividends and credits total $8.1 billion. It is estimated that this total will reach $10.5 billion as more auto insurers announce their offers. In addition to offering discounts, many carriers are also relaxing payment terms, and some are adding free coverages for identity theft, delivery services, and other needs. Many states have asked or ordered auto insurance companies to provide flexibility to customers who are financially affected by COVID-19. Specifically, Florida has encouraged insurers to be flexible with premium payments in order to avoid lapses in coverage.

 

COVID-19 and Teleworking: Coverage Issues

With many “shelter in place” municipal orders in place, it logically follows that more business operations and activities are now occurring in the home. You might be wondering, what are the insurance implications of this? Homeowners policies contain various property restrictions for business property and liability exclusions for business activities occurring in the home. Such restricted coverage reinforces the policy’s intent to cover only personal-related loss exposures and not business-related ones. This approach thus encourages individuals to cover their business loss exposures with commercial insurance policies or home business endorsements. Courts have generally held that a business must contain two elements: (a) continuity of the business activity, and (b) a profitability goal. Thus, for traditional employees who previously worked in an office Monday through Friday and now telework those same days on a temporary basis, they are likely not to encounter any new coverage gaps. Conversely, a business owner who operated his or her business outside the home and now operates this business in the home should reach out to his or her insurance agent to properly insure any emerging and uncovered loss exposure gaps from this ever-evolving COVID-19 phenomenon.

We will continue to provide updates on emerging insurance issues amidst the COVID-19 crisis. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Gulfshore Insurance.

Andrea Pelletier, CPRIA, CPIA is Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Andrea works with successful individuals and their families on creating and customizing package insurance solutions in the areas of luxury homes, car collections, jewelry, fine arts, watercraft, and personal excess liability. Comments and questions are welcome at apelletier@gulfshoreinsurance.com

 

To view our complete risk management library of articles for community associations, click here.

Jeff Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in community and condominium associations. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jsanders@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Click here for a free BI worksheet designed specifically for churches.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com

 

To view our complete risk management library of articles for community associations, click here.

Jeff Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in community and condominium associations. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jsanders@gulfshoreinsurance.com

General Guidelines for Working with Customers and Staff during the COVID‐19 PandemicBasic Precautions

  • Keep business units separate whenever possible
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging or other close contact
  • Cough/sneeze into a tissue or your elbow if no tissue is available
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning/disinfecting
  • Avoid gatherings of more than three people at work and maintain social distancing (stay up to date with CDC guidelines)
  • Avoid face to face meetings; conduct web based meetings whenever possible

 

Basic Staff Guidelines

  • Communicate to employees why the day‐to‐day products and/or services you provide are essential
  • Communicate and reinforce daily safety protocols
  • Allow employees to stay home if they are uncomfortable working and permit the use of paid time‐off, if available
  • Post the FFCRA notice at the workplace, or send via email or regular mail to remote employees

 

Landscape Customers

  • Obtain written confirmation from your customers allowing you to continue working on their property
  • Communicate, as accurately as possible, the times you plan to be on their property
  • Inform clients of the safety protocols your company has in place, including but not limited to the proximity rule of 6 feet (continue to monitor and follow up to date CDC guidelines)
  • Designate one point of onsite contact (e.g., the foreman) and ask your customers not to approach any other workers
  • Be prepared to stop work if a customer expresses any health or safety concerns

 

Field Staff and Supervisors

  • Train designated personnel (e.g., foreman) to answer health and safety questions from the public clearly and concisely
  • In instances where employees will be on one job site all day, encourage meeting on‐site rather than at the shop
  • When crews must report to the shop, stagger start times to maintain social distancing
  • Operate with the minimum number of employees necessary on any site
  • Do not rotate crew members to minimize interaction
  • Limit the number of crew members per truck and assign one truck that is not shared with other crews
  • If employee wishes to drive his personal vehicle to the jobsite, the personal auto minimum limit requirement is 100,000/300,000 and must provide proof of insurance (copy of insurance declaration page)
  • The use of a personal vehicle for work will require screening of their MVR and be determined an eligible driver
  • Make certain that all vehicles are well ventilated and sanitized at the end of each day
  • Always wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and do not share
  • Store PPE in clear plastic bags and sanitize at the end of each day
  • If crew members must work in proximity to one another for heavy lifting or similar tasks, they should wear facemasks and disposable gloves
  • Being designated an essential business is a privilege, so represent your company and the industry in a professional and compassionate way as you continue to provide much‐needed products and/or services

 

Office and Sales Staff

  • Restrict the use of restroom facilities to office personnel only and disinfect surfaces
  • Disinfect personal workspace, including phones, keyboards and desktops daily
  • Disinfect doorknobs, push bars and cabinet pulls daily
  • Disinfect steering wheels, dashboards and car door handles daily
  • Operate with the minimum number of employees onsite and allow remote working when appropriate