Insitute of Swimming Member guidance: COVID-19 and your business interruption cover

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting our society as a whole. Just like you, our current ways of life are changing every day and we are working hard to adapt in the best interests of our members.

We’re in this together and we are committed as ever, and will do everything in our power to take care of one another. The wellbeing of our swimming community is our priority.

We appreciate you have questions in relation to your insurance cover and we have been working with our Insurance partner, Howden, to provide further clarity and guidance. When the insurance policy was written, a global pandemic of this size was never anticipated but there are elements of the cover we believe can be used to issue a claim.

Statement from Howden

At this difficult time, we appreciate how important it is to have transparency with regard to your insurance cover and we would like to provide as much clarity as possible with regard to the business interruption cover arranged as part of your membership.

The business interruption cover for members was created primarily to provide cover for swim teachers in the event that the pool was closed as a result of a fire or breakdown of the pool plant. There are, however, various extensions to the cover included within the policy wording, one of which relates to infectious diseases.

The specific extension to the policy wording relating to infectious diseases is as follows:

Infectious Diseases – Extension

This clause applies to the Business Interruption Insurance section of the Policy.

The word Damage is extended to include closure of the Premises or part thereof on the order or advice of any local or government authority as a result of an outbreak or occurrence at the premises of:

  1. Any human contagious of infectious disease other than Acquired Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or any AIDS related condition an outbreak of which is required by law or stipulated by the government authority to be notified.
  2. Food or drink poisoning
  3. Vermin or pests
  4. Defective sanitation

This section of the policy was created to respond to an outbreak of disease at an individual location, such as legionnaires disease. When it was written, there was no expectation we would face a global pandemic on the scale we are currently experiencing. That said, the policy cover is in force and insurers will consider a claim where there is an outbreak of the disease at the insured Premises.

This raises the further question of how to confirm that there has been an outbreak at the Premises at a time, when tests are not being carried out for all those infected.

If you consider the legionnaires disease example, what would usually happen is the club/school/centre/pool would have notified the local authority that there had been an occurrence of the disease at their premises, as per the statutory requirement for notifiable human diseases, and they would then be told by the local authority to close. This, in theory, is the process that should be followed with regard to all notifiable human diseases, including Covid-19, but we understand this process may not be quite the same under current circumstances.

We can advise that cover will not apply if your premises were closed as a precaution or in response to wider guidance, but we would ask that any member who believes their Premises have been closed as a result of an outbreak of the virus at the Premises should contact Howden on 0121 698 8040 and we will discuss with you how to proceed with presenting a claim to insurers for their consideration. We will act on your behalf, as brokers to the Institute of Swimming, to reach the most favourable outcome we can with regard to your claim.

We will continue to work with Howden to make sure you get all the support you need to submit a claim.

In partnership with Swim England and other bodies in the sport and leisure sector, we are pressing the government for more financial support for self-employed individuals working in the sector who will be impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19). You can keep up-to-date with Government updates for employers and businesses on the UK Government website.