Frequently asked questions about coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls from Members who have business cover with The Retail Mutual and have questions in relation to coronavirus and how it may impact their business. We have put together some frequently asked questions surrounding coronavirus.

If the Government forces my business to close, am I covered for business interruption?

If there is a forced closure of businesses by the Government, there would not be cover in place for any resulting loss to your business.

The Government is issuing daily updates on the COVID-19 outbreak; find the latest guidance for businesses, as of 17th March, here.

Click here for more information and guidance from the Government on addressing coronavirus in the workplace; this is updated regularly in line with the changing situation.

You may be eligible for financial support from the Government following the recent announcements from the Chancellor.

There is a case of coronavirus at my business, am I covered?

You may be covered by The Retail Mutual if you have business interruption cover and

  • there has been a confirmed case of coronavirus on your premises, or
  • the virus is found at your premises, but no one has been affected.

In both cases, you should report the outbreak to the local authorities.

For example, you may be covered should your business be closed as a result of either your staff being taken ill due to a coronavirus outbreak on your premises or the virus being found at your premises.

Please check your business cover wording under the Business Interruption section for further information.

Is it too late to take out Business interruption cover for coronavirus?

If you don’t already have business interruption cover in place you may be considering taking it out, but ensure you check the cover carefully with your provider as it may exclude coronavirus.

Cover provided by The Retail Mutual is designed to protect our Members from the negative consequences of unexpected events. Because losses arising from coronavirus are now widely predicted, we have decided that with effect from 28 April 2020 and until further notice, any business interruption cover added or newly taken out will exclude all claims arising out of or in connection with coronavirus.

Am I covered if I fall ill with coronavirus?

If you should fall ill, you will not be covered under personal accident cover. Our cover wording contains the following exclusion:

“you, a director, partner or employee suffering from an illness or disease that does not result from a bodily injury”.

Is my business covered if I leave it unattended due to being in response to Government guidelines, or you are having to self-isolate?

If you have the appropriate business cover in place, your business may be covered if there is an outbreak of coronavirus on the premises and you leave it unattended for a period of time due to being closed in line with the Government guidelines or because you have to self-isolate.

This may include, but is not limited to:

  • theft of stock via forcible entry to the premises
  • damage to the premises (e.g. windows and shutters) due to forcible entry
  • accidental damage due to fire or flood

If your premises are in Northern Ireland, you will not be covered if the police or the Government deem the incident to be related to rioting.

To ease some of the worry and stress, we have made provisional amendments to our cover for The Retail Mutual Members who are prevented from operating their business or attending their premises due to the Government restrictions on trading, social distancing, self-isolation or quarantine.

Click here to view the full list of provisional amendments, what we do require you to do ensure your cover remains valid and further actions you can implement to reduce risks.

What can you do to support me as a Member in the event of coronavirus impacting my business?

As a discretionary mutual, The Retail Mutual will endeavour to support independent businesses through this difficult time, by considering claims that may go beyond the standard scope of cover.

If you are a Member of The Retail Mutual and have any further questions around coronavirus, please call our claims team on 0333 2121 008.