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Coronavirus: Home Insurance

We understand there’s a lot of change to routine at the moment, with many of our customers working from home, looking after children, or self-isolating.

We’ve put together some FAQs to help answer your questions on your home insurance policy.

Please note that as of 31st May 2021, there are some changes to working from home cover which mean you may need to get in touch with us to update your policy. Please see below for further information.

If you’re an office-based worker who is working from home, our home insurance policies will cover you and you don’t need to let us know.

However, if you are working from home and your home is used to conduct any of the following activities, you’ll need to get in touch to discuss your policy:

  • Face to face meetings with business clients
  • Making, selling or storing business goods from your home, in particular any valuables or items that include hazardous or flammable material
  • Offering services such as hair and beauty treatment, personal training, child minding or dog grooming
  • Or if your home has been adapted solely for the purpose of home working, or if you’ve acquired new business equipment that belongs to you.

If you cannot visit the property, we would encourage you to make alternative arrangements where possible – a neighbour, for example, who could visit/inspect whilst still observing social distancing measures. However, if this isn’t practical, we wouldn’t apply any changes to the terms until the government relax the restrictions in place.

Yes – our home emergency cover is still available and engineers are still attending properties to fix problems, however, please bear with us as due to the social distancing measures in place visits are taking longer and so it make take longer than usual for us to be able to attend your property.

If your property becomes uninhabitable from an insured incident then we’ll work pragmatically with you to make sure that you and your family can move to temporary accommodation safely.

Your insurance only covers damage to the property from insured risks and as the Coronavirus is not an insured risk you wouldn’t be able to claim for this. 

One of the benefits of NFU Mutual’s Home and Lifestyle, Home and Lifestyle Plus and Bespoke cover is the optional holiday accommodation cover offered. It is intended for home insurance customers who rent out their own home or a small number of holiday homes.

During April, we identified a discrepancy within the Holiday Accommodation section of our Home and Lifestyle, Home and Lifestyle Plus and Bespoke policy documents.

The discrepancy was between the policy wording, Insurance Product Information Document (IPID) and Schedule, under ‘Loss of Profit’.
 
The main policy wording states we will consider loss of profit claims affected by food or drink poisoning, or any ‘human disease’ at or within 25 miles of the holiday home. Human disease is defined and refers to a specific list of diseases. COVID-19 is not one of them, and this is an industry view.

In error, the supporting IPID and Schedule documents show ‘infectious disease’, which is not defined and is therefore able to be viewed in the widest sense. 

Acknowledging the discrepancy, and any confusion this may have caused customers at an already difficult time, we have made the decision to consider Covid-19 under this section for the benefit of these customers.

In addition, we have decided that it would be unreasonable to ask customers to prove the existence of Covid-19 within a 25-mile radius.

This enables us to specifically consider loss of profit claims of up to £10,000 during the Government lockdown period, for applicable customers with Home and Lifestyle, Home and Lifestyle Plus, and Bespoke policies with Holiday Accommodation cover.

We are proactively contacting policyholders who had claims repudiated prior to the discrepancy in order to progress their claims.

If you are a customer with a Home and Lifestyle, Home and Lifestyle Plus or Bespoke policy with Holiday Accommodation cover and would like to talk to us about a claim for loss of profits, please contact us.

We’re pleased to provide an update on our position for reviewing claims relating to Holiday Accommodation loss of profit on NFU Mutual Home and Lifestyle, Home and Lifestyle Plus or Bespoke policies.  

We’ve been working closely with the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to understand how government grants should be considered in relation to these claims. This is because as a mutual, we needed more information in order to consider the impact upon all our members. 

Following new information from the FCA on 20th November, we can now confirm that the claims settlement in relation to the above policies will not be impacted by the receipt of a government grant.   

If your claim is affected, we’ll be proactively contacting you to discuss the impact. If your claim has previously been closed, we’ll be in touch if you are eligible for a review of the settlement. 

This change relates specifically to the application of government grants to loss of profit claims for Home & Lifestyle, Home & Lifestyle Plus, and Bespoke policies with Holiday Accommodation cover. There is no change in our approach to any commercial policies.