Commercial policy wording has been amended to extend the period of non-occupancy

Direct Line, Allianz and Axa have lifted exclusions for policies regarding unoccupied properties following the UK government enforcing a lock down to control the coronavirus spread.

All three insurers have amended the wording of commercial policies to lengthen the period of non-occupancy from 30 days to either 60 or 90 days, according to reports from Law360.

It follows MGA Aqueous Underwriting waiving policy conditions for properties with an unoccupied status last week, adopting a similar approach to commercial insurer Zurich.

Aqueous Underwriting’s measures means that businesses in the food, hospitality and leisure sectors can now operate as a takeaway or delivery service. They will also be covered for claims including material damage, theft and escape of water (EoW). 

On 24 March the government ordered all non-essential businesses such as restaurants and pubs in the hospitality sector to close. Initially this lock down is expected to last until 13 April, but the government could extend it.

Last week, Tom Hill, executive director at Aqueous, said he hopes ”that the measures we’re offering our brokers will help business owners in these industries in some small way as they try to weather the impact of this unprecedented event”.

Direct Line, Allianz and AXA have been contacted for comment.