COVID-19 Business Insurance FAQs

Answers about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and business insurance

How does the current pandemic situation affect business insurance? We’ve compiled answers to some of the questions we’re receiving from customers. The situation is evolving, so we’ll keep this page up to date with new information as it is released.

COVID-19 Business Insurance FAQs

Is it too late to buy business insurance?

No, it’s not too late. You can still purchase many types of business insurance, should your application be accepted. Please keep in mind, you cannot be insured for events that have already taken place due to COVID-19 – only future events.

You can compare business insurance for free using our comparison service.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Does my business insurance cover me if the government forces my business to close temporarily?

In general, business insurance policies are designed to provide a financial safety net against different damages that may occur, or legal liabilities your business could face. If business interruption insurance forms part of your insurance policy, you’ll receive a replacement source of income lost in the event that normal operations are halted – usually due to damage from a fire or natural disaster.

However, you’ll need to check your exclusions and bear in mind that ‘pandemic’ related incidents may not be covered. What’s more, most policies do not cover civil authority (i.e. when the government forces a shutdown).

For further clarification, read your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or contact your insurer directly.

You can also reach out to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) website for guidance on accessing support from the Australian Government, as well as your local state or territory government.

Last update: 06/04/2020

What if I shut down my business as a preventative measure?

Most business insurance policies do not cover losses due to ‘preventative measures’ – whether it’s due to a government mandate or your choosing. You can contact your insurer to see if you can arrange an interim solution and discuss your options.

While you may be able to pause your cover temporarily, you must consider whether you want to maintain coverage for any business assets on the premises, even if the business is closed (i.e. to cover thefts and accidents) as you cannot claim on your business insurance while your policy is paused or suspended.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Will my policy cover loss of income from reduced foot traffic from COVID-19?

Most business insurance policies will not cover foot traffic reduction, as they usually only cover loss of income due to damage to the premises or legal liabilities. Even business interruption cover (if it’s included in your business insurance policy) may apply for a natural disaster like flooding or bushfires, but not pandemics.

Be sure to ask your insurer about the extent of your cover, and refer to your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for more information.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Can you claim business insurance on tax?

Yes, you can claim business insurance premiums as an operating expense on your business’ tax return in the same income year you incurred them, as noted by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).[i]

You should speak with an accountant to ascertain the best course of action for your situation.

[i] Claiming a tax deduction for other operating expenses. Australian Taxation Office, Australian Government. 2019.

Last update: 06/04/2020

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