Covid-19 came out of the blue; trading out of it is all about risk management. 

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown multiple obstacles in business’s paths. And many of them are exactly what insurance is designed to mitigate. 

So ETN asked the experts at SEIB insurance brokers to tackle some common quandaries currently being asked by equestrian businesses. 

People got very comfortable about shopping online during lockdown. So, to encourage customers to visit my store, I’m aiming to get my staff and I qualified as BETA trained hat and body protector fitters and RAMA/SQPs. Are there any insurance implications I should be aware of?

If you are diversifying or adapting your business and its activities during this time, you are asked to advise your broker/insurer straight away to ensure that the policy can be tweaked to make sure you are adequately covered. 

In order for insurers to cover the fitting of body protectors or other safety equipment, they may require staff have specific training or qualifications. Therefore, it would be best to double check before enrolling on any training courses to ensure you have the correct BETA qualification. 

I have a mobile show unit - a big trailer that I tow to shows to set up as a tradestand - which is unlikely to have many outings this year due to Covid-19. It’s still insured as usual. Can I make a saving?

It is best to double check with your insurer/broker, but providing the trailer is covered whilst at your home address or on an all risks basis, and you are abiding by any security conditions, the cover should not be affected. 

Some insurers charge an additional premium to extend cover for trading at shows, whilst others provide this as standard. But if you are not attending the normal number of events, it would be a good idea to check with your broker/insurer if you are able to remove this cover, in which case you may be entitled to a return of some of your premium. 

I’m a retailer and customers sometimes ask me to recommend insurance for horses, horseboxes, 4WDs, stables and so on. Are there opportunities available to sell insurance on commission?  

This is a tricky one as selling insurance is a regulated activity. This means anyone providing advice for a fee has to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

You can introduce business by not giving any advice, but purely introducing a company. SEIB can arrange an Introducer Agreement whereby you could earn commission by passing on leaflets to your clients.  

SEIB would provide guidance on how to facilitate the introduction and what you need to know to remain within the law.  

As a non-essential retailer selling mainly clothing, I had to close my store when the lockdown began. I visited the premises last week to begin to make plans to open again, to find that mice have been chewing at some of the garments. Can I make a claim?

This would be dependent on the cover provided under the insurer’s policy wording. However, it is standard industry practice to exclude damage caused by vermin, so such an exclusion may mean you are unable to claim for the damage. 

Would my public liability insurance cover me if a customer became infected with Covid-19 by visiting my premises?

Under normal circumstances, if a third party alleged that they became ill following a visit to your premises, and that they contracted the illness during their visit, your public liability cover would respond and deal with the claim. 

However, across the market, insurers are applying Covid-19 exclusions, which may mean that you have no cover in this instance, therefore it is best to check your policy wording and speak to your insurer/broker regarding this. 

Also, remember that for a claim to be successful, you have to be found negligent in allowing the transmission of the virus. A third party would need to evidence that the virus was contracted during the visit, which may prove difficult. 

For more information, insurance help and advice, contact SEIB by clicking here or call 01708 850000

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