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Marrs Insurance Brokers is a trading name of The Not Too Boring Company Ltd. Registered in England & Wales, Registered No. 09026225.

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SPRING 2020 - Coronavirus Special


Well, it’s been an interesting few weeks has it not? So many people were wondering what on earth was ever going to knock Brexit off the front page and then along comes Covid-19 and everything about Brexit seems rather silly and irrelevant somehow.


It’s brought out the very best and the very worst humankind has to offer; punch ups in Costco, chancers trying to take all the loo roll in the supermarket and then charging others £20 to buy one – fisticuffs in Woollies, Sydney  - passengers fighting over rotten scraps on the Grand Princess (bet they couldn’t have imagined that when they paid all those dollars for their Hawaiian cruise!). Lenin said every society is only 3 meals away from chaos and he wasn’t wrong.


What he WAS wrong about is another of his quotes: “Capitalists are no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself up by his own bootstraps”.


Here’s where Vladimir and my opinions diverge  - witness the selfless acts of millions of people worldwide – giving of their time and energy to deliver food and medicine to those self isolating, risking their own health and wellbeing to treat the sick, funding whole projects to support people less well off than themselves – not just capitalists of course, but people from all walks of life, creeds, colours and faiths.


If you had asked yourself what global event could have occurred which would restore our faith (mostly) in our fellow man, re-evaluate family life, find humour in the darkest situations, stop pumping tons of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere and (incredibly) have dyed in the wool Tory bashers ruefully admitting Bojo was the best person to get us folk here in Britain through a crisis resembling a war footing, you’d have been hard pressed to come up with something, wouldn’t you?     

  

Not that our oldies seem shaken by this – most of them who remember the Blitz, the threat of invasion and rationing after the war need more than the threat of a Chinese virus to worry them – I’ve seen far more panic amongst the 30-somethings who take the 6 foot (2 meters to you) rule to ridiculous levels – they are more in danger of being hit by a car when walking in the middle of the road than catching the odd droplet nuclei hovering round them…


On to the thorny subject of insurance. Ever since SARS hit the world stage in 2003 (another generous gift from the Chinese) insurers have realised that a pandemic could wipe out possibly mankind, but probably every insurance company before that, so they included exclusions of pandemics in most of their wordings – or, they specifically stated which diseases were insured, meaning that those omitted were not, or they limited cover in relation to aspects such as Business Interruption (where most of the current fallout lies) to premises where an infectious or contagious disease occurs.

The comments by the Chancellor were construed by willing ears as meaning that following a chat with insurers, the Government had persuaded those worthy companies to treat denial of access due to Government recommendation as Force Majeure and therefore, cover was provided under the policy.


This was not actually what Rishi Sunak said. What he in fact said was where businesses had cover for closure following a pandemic outbreak, insurers would agree to deal with the claim based on HMG’s recommendation people avoid shops, restaurants public places etc. as if this was a Government restriction. Sadly, the vast majority of polices did not provide the cover in the first place and so a huge number of businesses closed with little or no chance of their policies responding.


As the wageroll is usually by far the largest element of a business, it must be hoped the Government will make good on its promise to look after wages until we can dust ourselves off and pick up the pieces once more. We’ve done our best to manage expectations as we always try to and to help where we can but we have seen one of our clients lose 97% of their income virtually overnight and another (which manufactures medical ventilators) going stratospheric with multi million pound orders from all 4 corners of the globe.


My final and hopefully accurate final comment is that all things end, we will get through this, most of us will survive and hopefully remember what is was like to think of our family, friends, neighbours, even strangers as being more important than anything else – surely that’s a lesson worth its weight in gold?   


Keep safe and well.


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