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Recruitment insurance COVID-19 FAQs

During the COVID-19 pandemic, recruitment businesses are being put through a great deal of turmoil. Many are having to put a large number of staff on furlough, and looking at ways to keep things ticking over, at a time when many hirers are putting recruitment freezes in place. 

Marsh Commercial have been busy fielding incoming queries from recruitment insurance clients and doing our best to help clients where possible. We have compiled a number of the common queries we’ve received and our answers, in the hope this will prove useful for other recruiters facing the same issues.

Q. Does my policy cover me for business interruption losses following COVID -19?

A. The policy (or indeed most policies held by recruiters) are not designed to meet claims resulting from downturns in the economy, especially resulting from pandemics. Because the losses are not a consequence of insurable incidents at a business premises, or in the immediate area surrounding the office, then the policy will unlikely pay business interruption claims.

Q. But what about the Public Authorities clause in some policies?

A. This only applies where an incident has arisen at your own business premises, or in the immediate surrounding area (some say within a mile of the business premises), which has been reported to the Public Authorities, resulting in the business premises being shut down, or where access to the premises is denied by the Public Authority.

Q. What special measures or insurances do I need for staff working from home during the lock down period?

A. Make sure that all computer equipment owned by the company is covered on the property insurance section, relating to portable equipment away from the office. Some insurers just want the maximum amount at any one location, rather than the accumulative total of all equipment.

Ensure that there is some support in place for workers who are isolated within their home. Check in regularly with them, or include them in some group activities, communications or self-help suggestions, as the current environment could be impacting your employees mental wellbeing. You still have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for your staff.

Q. Do I need to make any arrangements around my business premises?

A. In regards to your usual place of business, if possible and safe to do so, check it regularly for any damage while it is unoccupied. Our insurer partner for recruitment have been flexible regarding unoccupancy clauses in their policy, so it is worth checking if your own insurance arrangements have the same flexibility.

Q. Is there any impact on my Cyber and Data liability risks?

A. There will be a greater risk arising from employees working from home, as a result of stretched security measures relating to cyber protection. If not already in place, then we recommend a full cyber and data liability policy, which covers a wide range of risk including fraudulent impersonation. The risk of GDPR claims still exist and the loss of data could create additional claims from individuals who feel their data has been lost or accessed. 

It is highly likely that cyber criminals will be taking advantage of the current problems caused by COVID-19, so we expect an increase in claims of this nature.

Non COVID-19 recruiter questions 

Q. What is happening with IR35, and what should I be doing now?1

A. Whilst there are more immediate issues facing businesses, the IR35 question for the private sector has only been delayed until April 2021, not abandoned altogether. The same processes need to be undertaken when dealing with Personal Service Companies, who are supplied into private sector companies. Determining their tax status over the next 12 months will only help reduce the panic when we come out of lock down. There are a number of businesses and tools available, which will carry out the determination, so it is a good practice to keep on with this process, in readiness for next April. 

Q. Can I insure younger or less experienced HGV drivers on my Drivers Negligence insurance policy?

A. We all recognise that there has been a shortage of experienced HGV drivers, because many are retiring and not being replaced with newly qualified drivers, causing a shortage, or put off by the certification and qualifications needed. Marsh Commercial are able to provide cover for these younger, less experienced drivers, but there will probably be a higher excess for claims arising from this group of drivers.

If you have any queries with regards to your recruitment insurance arrangements, then we recommend you speak with your regular business insurance advisor who can investigate on your behalf.

1The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable and should be understood to be general risk management and insurance information only. The information is not intended to be taken as advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Statements concerning legal, tax or accounting matters should not be relied upon as legal, tax or accounting advice, which we are not authorised to provide.