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Business Start Up Costs Tax Audit Insurance

Covid – 19 Insurer’s Position

Dear Valued Client,

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic In the event that businesses are forced to shut down for a period of time we thought it would be best to explain to you the Insurer’s position in respect of coverage.

Business Interruption

We have already sent this to a number of clients that have asked the question and that is:

In regards to business interruption there is no cover for closure of sites due to the Coronavirus. Following the Avian Flu out-break in the late nineties the Insurers (worldwide) included the following endorsement:

HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS DISEASES EXCLUSION

Cover does not apply in respect of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Humans or other diseases declared to be quarantinable diseases under the Quarantine Act 1908 and subsequent amendments.

As the Coronavirus is a quarantinable disease it would fall under this exclusion.

Workers Compensation

A number of clients have asked us as to the situation of an employee working from home.

The answer is twofold;

  1. the employee is covered whilst undertaking work related activities
  2. the employer still owes a duty of care to provide a safe workplace.
If a claim does occur whilst working away from the employers premises insurers will investigate each case on its own merits.

Insurers have also provided some guidelines which will help manage the occupational risks associated with working from home:

Workers;

  • Be medically fit to work from home unsupervised and ability to notify their leader/supervisor if this changes.
  • Create and maintain a clearly defined home office space which is not accessed by other people or pets during working hours and is separate to other activities of the home.
  • Maintain all aspects of the immediate working environment to prevent incidents.
  • Review and understand emergency evacuation from the home office and ensure that exit routes are kept clear at all times.
  • Provide and maintain appropriate equipment for the home office in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and best practice.
  • Comply with guidance relating to ergonomic practices.
  • Report any safety or personal security incident to their supervisor/leader within 24 hours of an incident occurring.
  • Maintain regular communication with their leader/supervisor.
  • Make their home office available for an inspection by an appropriate delegate when required.

Employers;

  • Ensure a risk assessment of the intended workplace of each of their workers who are required to work from home is completed, to ensure a safe system of work can be completed and appropriate risk controls are applied.
  • Provide the appropriate training for workers to understand their duty of care requirements to ensure a home working environment has been appropriately setup. A guide for workers in setup the workstations can be found here – https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/guide-setting-your-workstation
  • Provide workers with appropriate emergency management information in the event of needing to lodge a hazard or incident.
  • Ability to regularly communicate with their workers who work from home.

These are recommended guidelines for all employers and any clients that wish to discuss their individual circumstances are encouraged to contact us for assistance.

Cyber Liability & Protection

For those clients that do not already have cover in place, we would suggest that you consider Cyber Liability Insurance if you intend to allow your employees to work from home.

A Cyber Liability policy includes coverage for;

  • Point of Sale Intrusions,
  • Physical Theft and Loss
  • Cyber Extortion,
  • Denial of Access to System,
  • Web App Attacks
  • Payment Card Skimming,
  • Malware Attack Extortion,

It is also possible to extend cover to include;

  • Business Interruption and Extra Costs Incurred,
  • Criminal Financial and Social Engineering Loss i.e. Phishing, Phreaking, Cryptojacking etc… .

In most cases security of a home computer environment would be inferior to that of your office and for that reason the potential for a breach of you system is increased when accessing remotely.

Naturally a Cyber Liability insurer would expect an audit of any remote locations to be conducted by your IT consultants, to ensure the integrity of the system and connection.

Let us know if you require further information please call us.

Regards
Tony Connolly

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