We asked EventInsure to put together some insurance advice for our organisation members.
We have seen that most insurers in the market have made allowances on their insurance policies for buildings now unoccupied, whereby they will not enforce the “un – occupancy clause” on the policy and will allow for full policy cover to operate as a result of buildings closed due to the COVID19 crisis. It should be noted that they will not extend this to a property that was already unoccupied prior to government lock down. Insurers do however still want clients to still try to make regular checks on their property whenever possible.
We would suggest that companies provide a letter on company letterhead to people who will need to travel to check on the building, so that if they are stopped at checkpoint, they can provide this to the Garda. This is general consensus of the insurance market, however we recommend that you check with your own insurance provider/broker for their own guidance on this matter. If you can’t comply with their requirements you would need to discuss this with them.
What needs to be done regarding maintaining cover
During the COVID 19 Crisis, we have not seen any insurers looking to reduce covers on property because they are now un occupied. Insurers across the market have been proactive in adapting to an unprecedented situation that we all find ourselves in and have made allowances and increased covers on their policy to assist their customers. We would recommend that any members that have queries on their policy, contact their insurance provider/broker to discuss these matters with them.
Best Practice/Checklist for Properties/Companies
We would recommend the following points, when people are either preparing to leave their premises or periodically checking on their premises:
- Ensure both Burglary & Fire Alarms are functioning correctly and if monitored that the connection is operational
- Are all security lights working correctly
- Is your CCTV system, operating correctly and is your remote access to this working
- Do not leave any valuables in plain sight of windows or areas open to public view.
- Valuable equipment, not in use should be stored in locked cabinets/safes.
- Money & Cash should be removed from the premises
- Any keys to safes, vehicles owned by the company or out buildings should be removed from the property
- Ensure all access gates are locked to prevent unauthorised access to the premises or car parks etc
- Are all windows closed & locked correctly, this is particularly important for ground level and basement level windows
- All electrical equipment should be unplugged, in particular extension cables with multiple plugs used
- Is all waste removed to the allocated bin area and not in view of passers by
- Are all hazardous/flammable materials stored away, as they will not be in use for the foreseeable future – These would both be fire prevention measures.
- Ensure that all sound boards, sound & lighting equipment are switched off and if applicable/possible , plugged out
- Ensure the sound room is locked, if applicable
- Rigging, Stage Equipment, Any Stage Weights should be set to their standard position
- Any ladders, stairs, platform or cherry pickers equipment should be put into storage while not in use.
- Ensure that any obstructions that could cause injury have been removed. This should be carried out both inside and outside the property.
- Try not to leave vehicles in your carpark, or any other property that would attract unwanted attention.
- Is the water turned off at the mains, if necessary
When checking the property, be on the lookout for,
- Any damage to the property and damage that could lead to further damage to the property or injury to employees or members of the public
- Wet patches or leaks or any issues with escape of water.
- Anything that is out of place or makes you suspicious if someone has been on your property.
We are still in the very early stages of this emergency and the situation is very fluid and changing on an almost daily basis. Insurers are committed to treating customers fairly and trying to assist them in any way. We have already seen the market put forward many options to clients. Best practice here would be to speak with your insurance provider or broker regarding the downturn in your turnover and wages or the reduction in the number of productions that you will be able to do over the coming months and see what options are available to you.
The team at Event Insure will be on hand to speak to any Theatre Forum Members. Even if we do not currently handle your insurance we will be happy to give you independent advice on any queries you might have.