What COVID-19 lockdown restrictions mean for your café, bar, or restaurant insurance

Shutting down your venue due to COVID-19

Strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) have affected all cafés, bars, and restaurants with mandatory shutdowns at the height of the restrictions and altered operating conditions as conditions ease. While this may constitute a significant blow for your business, the lockdown is non-negotiable and failing to comply can result in serious ramifications. The unpredictable nature of COVID-19 also means that lockdown conditions may tighten and ease on an ongoing basis for many months to come.

Strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) have affected all cafés, bars, and restaurants with mandatory shutdowns at the height of the restrictions and altered operating conditions as conditions ease. While this may constitute a significant blow for your business, the lockdown is non-negotiable and failing to comply can result in serious ramifications. The unpredictable nature of COVID-19 also means that lockdown conditions may tighten and ease on an ongoing basis for many months to come.

However, the easing of these restrictions presents an opportunity for your hospitality business to reopen, albeit with a different operating model. For example, under Alert Level 3, some cafés, restaurants, and bars are allowed to reopen and offer takeaway services with contactless procedures including delivery.

This will be a lifeline for many businesses. If your business is one of the many restaurants, cafés, and bars that can operate with a contactless model, it’s important for you to understand exactly what you’re allowed to do and how to maintain safe working practices.

Why you should review your insurance

With any change of business model environments, it’s advisable for you to review your existing insurance policies to make sure you’re adequately covered. For example, if your staff members who previously worked only at your premises are going to become delivery drivers, this may have ramifications for their vehicle insurance.

If you’re going to provide them with a vehicle, likewise, it’s important to insure that vehicle for the purposes of delivery and to ensure that the employees driving the vehicle are licensed and responsible. You’ll need to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy and that your staff members don’t break the law such as by driving under the influence of alcohol.

If your business remains closed and you’re stuck at home, this could mean your premises and contents are at risk of vandalism and theft. While your business interruption insurance won’t cover you for losses you incur as a result of being closed due to COVID-19, your regular business insurance policies should still apply for things like vandalism, fire, and theft. This means that, if your business experiences an insurable event, you could still be covered.

If you experience an event that you think you might be covered for, contact your insurance broker as soon as possible. They will be able to walk you through the process of submitting a claim and assist in presenting your claim for the best chance of success.

What’s next

When the lockdown is eventually lifted altogether, business will, ideally, return to normal. In fact, cafés, bars, and restaurants may even experience a surge in demand as people relish the opportunity to order from their favourite place.

When that happens, it will be more important than ever to make sure your insurance policies are appropriate for your business as well as current. Having some time on your hands now means you have an opportunity to review your insurance policies with your broker to ensure you’re getting the best deals and the most appropriate coverage for your risk profile. It’s worth contacting your broker to talk through your existing policies and determine whether you should consider any changes.

To find an experienced insurance broker in your area, contact NZbrokers today.