Updated 21 July 2020
As nurseries continue to re-open across the UK, please find below answers to the common questions we are currently being asked in relation to insurance cover:
Does my Ecclesiastical nursery insurance policy provide me with cover for my lost income as a result of Covid-19?
Please see our statement which is available here.
What is the FCA Test Case and will it change the cover position under my Ecclesiastical nursery policy?
Please see our statement on the FCA Test Case which is available here.
Will my insurance cover continue to operate as normal if I re-open in line with published government advice for my particular location, and will I be covered for Employers’ and/or Public Liability claims relating to Covid-19?
Yes. Your insurance cover will continue to operate as normal on the existing terms and conditions if you are re-opening your nursery, or expanding to look after more children (i.e. not just vulnerable children or children of key workers), in line with the published government advice for your location.
Your policy will continue to protect your legal liability to your employees (under your Employers’ Liability cover) and to the public, including the children in your care (under the Public Liability cover), if it is alleged that you have breached your duty of care towards staff or the public.
As with any Employers’ or Public Liability claim your insurers will always begin by looking to defend your position. To assist with this your insurers would ask you to provide documentary evidence of the steps you have taken to keep people safe, including showing where you have followed government or regulatory guidance. Please therefore ensure you keep a full record of documents including risk assessments, checklists, training documents and communications to relevant parties.
More information to assist you in managing risks and completing risk assessments can be found under the following questions.
What steps should I take in planning to re-open my nursery?
As set out in the published government guidance (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) you should carry out a risk assessment at the setting before opening. The assessment should directly address risks associated with coronavirus, so that sensible measures can be put in place to control those risks for children and staff. Remember that all employers have a duty to consult employees on health and safety and they are often best placed to understand the risks in individual settings.
Please keep a record of your risk assessments and ensure that these are regularly reviewed to ensure they remain current and that adequate measure are in place at all times.
What help is available to assist me in completing risk assessments?
Please see the links in the previous question for the respective government guidance for your location on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings.
Your insurer, Ecclesiastical, has also published guidance to help your business return to work. This can be accessed here.
Help is also available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website here. Available resources include risk assessment templates you can use, examples of completed risk assessments and general guidance.
You can also contact our free legal helpline for advice on matters affecting your business, including employment or contract issues. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0333 000 7920. Remember to have your policy number to hand when calling.
I am worried about being able to pay my insurance premiums. Can you help?
If, as a direct result of Covid-19, you are experiencing temporary financial difficulties and/or may have difficulty with future premium payments please get in touch with your usual contact or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
My nursery currently remains closed due to Covid-19. How will my insurance cover be affected?
Where premises are being temporarily closed solely to the Covid-19 outbreak your insurers, Ecclesiastical, will maintain full cover on the basis of your current policy terms and conditions, at no extra cost to you, and with no increased terms or excesses until 30 August 2020.
The extension of cover is detailed within the Temporarily Closed Premises Condition which also sets out appropriate risk management practices that should be followed as far as is possible in the current circumstances. Just to be clear, the suggested risk management measures are not provisos to your insurance cover, they are suggested practices only. Full details of the Temporarily Closed Premises Condition (and Ecclesiastical’s full statement on the temporary cover enhancements to your insurance policy) can be found here.
The extension of cover does not apply to premises that:
- Were unoccupied before the outbreak or
- That close down permanently
These premises will be deemed unoccupied as defined in the policy and be subject to the normal unoccupied premises terms and conditions as set out in your policy.
Am I covered if my staff bring their children to the nursery so staff can continue to work?
Your policy will continue to cover you in this situation provided this is acceptable to Ofsted and you are working within their rules/guidance. Please ensure you complete a risk assessment before agreeing to allow children of staff on site. Find our guidance on risk assessments here.
Am I covered if I offer other types of services (nanny/babysitting etc.)?
Our policy is only designed to cover your activities as a day care nursery. We are not able to extend cover to allow you to provide any other services such as nanny/babysitting in parents’ homes or other locations.
Am I covered under my policy if my employees conduct administration work from home?
Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, both Employers’ and Public Liability covers provide an indemnity to the policyholder if they are held legally liable for accidental bodily injury or illness arising in connection with their business. The policy will therefore extend to protect employees working in connection with the business whilst anywhere within the stated geographical limits (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), including whilst working from home.
Liability: health and safety – resources for employers are signposted by the Health and Safety Executive on their latest information and advice page. As organisations look to different working models for continuity, they also have useful guidance on homeworking and working alone.
Contents at employees homes – with regards to any business equipment taken home, cover will be provided for business equipment away from the premises – as per cover extension 16 to the Property Damage cover (page 31 of the policy wording). Please bear in mind that there is a limit of £2,500 for any one item and £5,000 for any one claim.
What support are you offering nurseries?
Support from Pound Gates and our partners
- Legal advice – if you need legal advice on matters affecting your business, including employment or contract issues, you can access free professional legal advice through our legal helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information call the helpline on 0333 000 7920.
- Counselling assistance – our qualified counsellors will provide free confidential support and advice by phone to your employees or their family members who are suffering from emotional upset or feeling worried and anxious about a personal or work-related problem. The helpline can be contacted on 0333 000 2082.
- Crisis communication – under the legal expenses section of your policy, we can provide ‘crisis communications/PR’ support should your nursery be subjected to negative media coverage. This service is subject to you having sought and followed advice from our crisis communications helpline and to the cover provided by the policy wording (refer to page 116 of the policy wording). You can contact the helpline by calling 01344 571 7964.
- Risk management guidance – to help you prepare for a disease outbreak, we have developed a simple 10 minute business continuity self-assessment tool to highlight the issues you need to consider, which you can access here.
The government has outlined a package of support available to businesses, including a business interruption loan scheme, tax help and a commitment to refund up to 14 days of statutory sick pay. For full details of the support available please click here.