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Covid-19: How to prevent customers from breaching their unoccupied property insurance cover

Businesses across the country have been abruptly forced to adapt to the uncertain circumstances that Covid-19 has brought. With the government’s order that all non-essential businesses temporarily close, restaurants, gyms, bars, pubs, hotels, shops and more have all had to shut their doors. 

This pandemic has shown that many businesses don’t have efficient measures in place to inspect their properties while they are unoccupied. In a post Covid-19 world, companies need to have a service to fall back on and rely on to provide visibility of their property. We never know what is around the corner and it’s important to prepare as much as we can.

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For many businesses, this lockdown is the first time they have had to leave their property unoccupied for a long period of time and is unfamiliar territory. This is creating challenges for both the businesses and their insurance partners who already have a lot to cope with in the current climate. 

In normal circumstances, customers are required to carry out regular property inspections when their commercial property is left vacant. Without these inspections, their contract would be breached. While this requirement is normally reasonable, Covid-19 has meant that employees and property owners may not be able to easily access the property or even afford to hire a contractor to complete checks.

In response to this problem and to help customers who may be struggling to meet the unoccupied clause in their contracts, many insurers are extending the time frame. Insurers have made market wide policy changes to adapt and have increased the unoccupied clause from 30 to 90 days. While many businesses are benefiting from an extension to the unoccupied clause in their contracts, they will still need support in completing the property checks when required.

This is where Shepper can help. With a network of trusted local Shepherds, Shepper can quickly get your customers’ properties checked, taking into account any specific requirements. Whether you need reassurance that a hotel is secure, or that a restaurant is leak free, Shepper will be able to provide you with a detailed report quickly, complete with images and video. 

Shepper has been developing this service alongside insurers and brokers, who are working tirelessly to adapt their policies to the current environment. 

Jan Vanhoutte, Shepper co-founder commented: “We recognise that this is an unusual situation for businesses and we’re doing all we can to help insurers support their customers. Along with extensions to the unoccupied clause, a service like Shepper gives businesses extra support by enabling companies to check on their unoccupied properties in a fast and cost effective manner.”

By Alexandra Lawrence, content marketing manager at Shepper

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