Screens, face masks, sanitiser, signs to encourage social distancing – all easy enough to implement as COVID-19 restrictions lift and businesses are allowed to re-open.
By following the guidelines set by health authorities, you would think that your insurer would also be pleased. However, there is a lot of grey area regarding business insurance and how businesses are required to operate under this new “COVID normal”.
Businesses operating under this ‘new normal’ are expected to be fully aware of current biosecurity regulations and laws, contactless and online shopping processes whilst also ensuring their operations during this ‘new normal’ align with their selected business insurance product.
Managing the risk
It’s likely that your business has already developed new products or services in response to the changing business environment. In addition to seizing these new opportunities, you should also be listening to what it is the customer needs and let this guide further developments and refinements to products and services.
The pandemic shift
Thanks to the virus it’s a completely different playbook for business. The expectations and behaviour of customers has shifted drastically as a result of the pandemic. Customers are searching for reputable businesses with transparent online channels and reliable delivery. Findings also showed that there was a higher demand for integrity from airlines, financial services and restaurants, although customers’ expectations and desire for personalisation in financial services declined considerably.
Entering protection mode
Protecting your employees, visitors, and customers from spreading or catching the COVID-19 virus is of utmost importance whether you operate online or have a shopfront.
For businesses with shopfronts, the implementation of physical safety measures such as screens, masks, signage and sanitation stations, as well as social distancing and contactless processes should be in place to protect all who are employed or engage with the business.
Guidance and regulations from relevant health and safety authorities should be frequently checked to ensure businesses are in compliance
- World Health Organisation guidance
- Safe Work Australia
- Australian Government’s information and advice for the business and industry (non-healthcare) sectors.
It may feel like it’s becoming a bit of a balancing act to make informed safety moves, meet the expectations of the community, whilst still operating your business and adhering the standards of the ‘new normal’. Your business decisions should take into account regulations, guidance, and people’s perception. Will your new safety procedures show that you are putting your customers’ health first, or will they consider it to be overly cautious?
Reassessing your business insurance
Before you make the changes to your business operations, you need to consider how these changes will affect your business insurance. Before any changes are made to your products or services your first call should be to your Business Insurance Broker to discuss what you are altering, why, and how you can go about it. We can advise you on whether the change will affect or void your current insurance product and recommend new products to cover your new developments. For example, if your business sees the opportunity to implement online services, we can recommend Cyber Insurance policies to cover you for any cyber liabilities that occur as a result of the new service. This change would have created new risks that your existing insurance policies won’t have covered, so it’s best to discuss it with the insurance experts first.
As with any business decision, it is important to do your due diligence before implementing new products, services and safety measures. Rushing decisions can open you up to a number of liabilities that your existing policy may not cover you for. Insurance is one of the best ways to manage the risks that now confront businesses as a result of the pandemic.
Here are some great risk assessment resources that can get you started on reassessing your insurance policy:
Be vigilant. Call McKenzie Ross Insurance Brokers today to discuss your needs – (03) 9691 2222.