Supporting our Members through COVID-19 – UPDATE 2
It is hard to believe that just a few days ago we were all going about our daily lives. What a difference a week makes!
AIM will be producing regular updates on the COVID-19 situation around the UK and how it is affecting our Members and focusing on the positives. In this second update we summarise the last 7 days; answer the question of what to do to protect your buildings while they are temporarily closed; Help from AIM and the Government.
After the weekend where everyone was advised to practice social distancing but to still get some exercise, on Monday, Boris Johnson announced that stricter measures would have to be rolled out because people weren’t taking COVID-19 Seriously. Images and videos were widely shared of large gatherings in parks and queues of people travelling to the Highlands and Snowdon like it was a Bank Holiday. Non-essential shops were closed and everyone was told to stay home except for essential travel to work, buying food and caring for vulnerable people.
On Thursday, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the long awaited support package for the self-employed and the Prince of Wales tested positive to COVID-19. In the evening people across the country came together to give a group round of applause from their doorsteps, gardens and balconies to NHS workers on the front line.
Today, Boris Johnson announced he was displaying mild symptoms and had tested positive.
AIM Members have been contacting us by email, phone and social media asking questions and sharing their experiences with us. We are so grateful for the words of support and the positive attitude from everyone. Despite the very difficult times you find yourselves in, there is a real feel of community. To repay your support AIM is working hard to respond to all the enquiries as quickly as possible as and when we have the answers as well as work on ways to ensure the cost of your cover isn’t an unnecessary drain on your finances.
Your Questions Answered
One of the common questions this week has been about property and what steps need to be taken to ensure cover is in place while your sites are closed.
To a certain degree, the usual rule book has to be thrown away because of the restrictions on your movement and how easily you can visit your premises. Furthermore, and to ensure you are not unfairly penalised, there will be no reduction in cover, no higher excesses or increased contribution as a result.
For premises that are temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak we recommend the following steps should be taken to protect against loss of damage.
Utilities and Protection Systems
If your site is closed and there is no need to re-enter during the period in which the government advises people to remain in isolation you should turn off electricity, gas and water supplies at the mains (and where reasonable to do so drain down water systems) other than those services required to maintain:
- critical business infrastructure to allow the operation of your business and support temporary home working arrangements
- burglar and fire alarms
- sprinkler systems
- Other risk protection systems or devices i.e. CCTV.
Where practicable, you must maintain these systems in working order
- locks and all other protective and security devices including gates and other perimeter security should be in use
- where water systems have not been drained down and/or where there is a sprinkler installation you must maintain the central heating system to prevent freezing
General good housekeeping
- You should try to remove all internal waste and position external bins as at least 5 metres from the buildings (or otherwise as far as possible where this is not possible) and secure the bins in position where this is possible
- Where possible and provided the travel to and from the premises is in line with the latest Government advice please try to undertake an internal and external inspection of your buildings at least every 7 days and rectify any defects in the fabric or security devices that may compromise the integrity or security of the building as soon as possible. It is advisable to keep a record of when the visits were carried out and what action you undertook to repair defects.
- Please remove post from the letterbox during each visit
- If you have an alarm that alerts you to either a break in or fire, it worth considering having a contingency plan in case the primary person(s) responsible for responding to alarm activations need to self-isolate or are ill.
- Please let us know soon as you become aware of any illegal entry to the premises whether or not any damage has occurred
- If we have made specific requirement of you with regards to security, and as a result of the ongoing situation you are unable to comply with these measures please contact your usual AIM contact and we will be happy to work with you to find a solution
Further help available from AIM
AIM has been working hard with the Board and our supporting insurers to identify what financial measures we can take to help our members. With such a diverse membership we need to explore lots of different scenarios which will help as many as possible. We are really close to being able to communicating these in the next couple of days. Please bear with us, we really appreciate your patience and understanding.
What help is available from the Government?
As well as keeping an eye on the televised updates from the Government the following link provides lots of valuable information on the help being provided by the Government. They have also updated this page to include the help available to the self-employed.
AIM will keep sending regular updates as and when more information is available to us as well as articles from around the sector which may be useful to you. We will send them via email and update our social media pages.
Please join our closed Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/798451153625523/
Or follow us on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/activitiesindustrymutual/
If you would like to share your experiences and how you are dealing with them with the wider Membership please feel free to email us. We will try and include them with future updates.