HCi recognises that the months ahead are going to be a trying time for our mutual clients, the insurance industry and the broader economy. Unfortunately, many small to medium size businesses will experience severe financial headwinds during this time.
In light of this, we have put together a number of initiatives to assist you and your clients, with current HCi policies, where we can. These include:
- Extension of credit terms
- Short term renewal option
- Assistance for unoccupancy
These initiatives take immediate effect and will apply to business effective up until 30 June 2020. We will continue to review developments in the coming months and may announce an extension to these offers or further changes as needed.
Extension of Credit Terms
HCi has decided to extend our credit terms with our brokers from the current 90 days, out to 120, to assist with clients experiencing financial hardship. We are providing this option to you to use on a case by case basis to assist those clients during this period.
Where a client has a claim during this 120-day period and the premium has not been paid, HCi's current procedures will remain in place and either the premium can be paid, or we can deduct the amount from the claim’s payment.
Short Term Renewal Option
To assist in retaining your clients who are experiencing financial hardship, we are offering the ability to reduce the renewal periods to a minimum of 6 months. This option will be available to you in our quote and bind systems.
Assistance for Unoccupancy
For existing clients and policy sections, we have made the following concessions, when applying the terms and conditions of our unoccupancy exclusions:
- Where an insured has placed their business into “hibernation” (as that term is defined below), we will consider the premises to be occupied. They will therefore not be subject to the terms, conditions and restrictions of our unoccupancy clauses contained within the General Exclusions of our Business Insurance policies. This also applies to property owners, who have had some or all businesses within their insured building placed into “hibernation”.
- Where a property is unoccupied, but is outside the scope of what we consider to be in “hibernation”, the standard unoccupancy exclusion in the policy wording is extended to 120 days. We understand that decisions about the future of a business are difficult to make and the insured may initially decide to hibernate the business, but may subsequently decide not to reopen the business. In those cases, we want to assure you that the 120 days unoccupancy period will only start from the day the insured makes the decision that the closure will be permanent.
- Any unoccupied property that does not fall into these categories, is subject to our normal unoccupancy exclusions.
For the purpose of this concession:
“Hibernation” means that:
the premises are not occupied due to the business having temporarily ceased as a result of a reasonable business decision taken by the Insured in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, provided that:
- the business assets remain intact and located within the premises (whether stock is removed from the premises or not); and
- there is a clear intention of the business re-opening when the situation around COVID-19 eases.
We do not consider “Hibernation” to include:
- businesses that have been or are in the process of being wound up or are insolvent;
- businesses where all assets have been removed from the insured premises; or
- where there is no clear intention to reopen the business.
In addition, we have created a Vacant Property Checklist, which may assist your clients whilst their business is in hibernation.
We also wanted to let you know that, we have successfully transitioned to a remote working environment for all teams. However, whilst we are working hard to maintain our service standards for you, this change, combined with the fact that we are still dealing with a high volume of CAT claims following the bushfires and storms over the summer period, may mean that sometimes our service is affected. We ask you to bear with us if you are experiencing any issues contacting us.
We are committed to assisting you and your clients, to the best of our ability, during this global crisis and we will continue to be in contact with any further developments or strategies we put in place. In the meantime, stay safe and please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Account Manager if you need anything at all.