As the threat from COVID-19 continues to rise, we are entering an unprecedented period of uncertainty as ever more restrictive measures are being imposed upon individuals, communities and organizations.
We’d like to assure our broker partners that we are closely monitoring the situation and have robust plans in place to ensure that we can continue to provide you and our mutual customers with the services, assistance and advice that you all need. Our modern technology platforms and established policies and procedures are built for resiliency. They are enabling us to maintain the same level of service, even while we are working remotely.
Our front-line underwriters and claims handlers are available to help you. Based on their feedback, we do understand that you have questions, and we wanted to take the opportunity to answer some of these relating to:
- Coverage related to COVID-19
- Premium payment options
- Risk control and value-added services
Coverage Related to COVID-19
Declaration of Emergency Endorsement
Effective March 23rd all Canadian provinces have declared a state of emergency and/or state of public health emergency. All standard policies issued by Ecclesiastical contain a Declaration of Emergency endorsement, which can be found under the General Conditions section of the policy and will be triggered on an as-needed basis.
This endorsement extends the termination or expiry date of the policy when a Canadian public authority designated by statute, declares an emergency. As a result, the policy period will be automatically extended, or the effective date of the cancellation will be suspended until the emergency is over. Please refer to the General Conditions section of the policy wording for details.
Business interruption coverage requires that the customer’s operations be impacted by direct physical loss or direct physical damage to insured property.
Some Ecclesiastical business interruption policies contain a limited extension for “Infectious disease, murder / suicide, food poisoning, defective sanitation and vermin”. However, this extension does not respond to losses that occur as a result of the general emergency measures imposed across Canada to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premises that are temporarily closed or unoccupied due to COVID-19
During this period, coverage will remain available, but customers should continue to ensure protective measures are in place.
A guidance risk bulletin highlighting best practices is available here.
Employees working from home
A limited extension for property temporarily removed, including insured property at the homes of employees and volunteers, is contained on many Ecclesiastical policies.
A guidance risk bulletin providing tips for employees working from home is available here.
Any critical recommendations with specified deadlines that cannot be fully complied with or fully completed solely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held until restrictions are lifted and a new completion date agreed.
Premium Payment Options
Two flexible payment options are available.
Current credit terms ensure flexibility and continuity of normal operations.
Direct bill (payment plan)
Customers who are on a payment plan have flexible installment options.
For those customers most affected, we will review options on a case by case basis, including waiving the NSF fee if necessary during the month of April.
Claims can be reported directly or online through our First Notice of Loss capabilities, which is fully smartphone compatible.
After-hours emergency response is available by calling 1-888-693-2253.
Uninterrupted claims service is also supported by our vendor partners and Independent Adjusters ensuring a positive customer experience despite the current restrictions that may apply in a particular jurisdiction.
Customized guidance and tools to assist customers in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 are available here.
As always, we are available to answer any additional COVID-19 questions you may have.