Aqueous Underwriting embraces “new normal” and adds lockdown unoccupancy cover as standard for hospitality and leisure sector.

Aqueous has permanently removed a raft of unoccupied premises exclusions for businesses forced to temporarily close their doors to comply with Government restrictions. These businesses will now remain covered for claims including material damage, theft and escape of water, with standard and enhanced options available. (As featured in Insurance Age 11th February 2021)

Aqueous Underwriting has moved to incorporate lockdown unoccupancy cover as standard for all of its non-essential retail and hospitality customers providing these policyholders with peace of mind that they will be automatically covered following any future government-driven regional or national lockdown as a result any existing or future Covid or SARS variant.

The specialist managing general agent was one of the first in the UK to respond to the original national lockdown last March, by providing temporary, unoccupied cover for customers forced to vacate their premises, including claims for material damage, theft and escape of water, at no additional cost. It has now gone a major step forward and permanently removed these exclusions for businesses forced to temporarily close their doors to comply with all and any future Government pandemic restrictions. The cover will be triggered automatically in the event of a new lockdown of any duration, without the need for the broker or insured to request it.

Tom Hill, Executive Director at Aqueous said; “The first lockdown caught customers, brokers and insurers unawares, but it is now a foreseeable event and it is only right, with a view to treating customers fairly, that such an eventuality should now be recognised as a foreseeable circumstance. Our new standard cover aims to future-proof our policy for our customers, as pandemics and the associated lockdowns may well be a more regular occurrence.”

“Some commentators have cast doubt on the value of commercial insurance in a pandemic, particularly in light of the business interruption confusion, and we believe that by taking this action we are taking a step to filling any perceived value void and helping to redress the balance in public opinion.”

The move also means that brokers will no longer have to apply for individual client extensions or scramble to check cover in the event of a lockdown and will be able to assure their customers that they are covered, saving time, and building trust with their clients.

Tom Hill added: “We hope that the measures we’re offering our brokers will help business owners as they try to weather the impact of a pandemic both now and in the future.”

As part of its coronavirus pandemic response, Aqueous is also providing free Employers, Public and Products Liability insurance to any existing SME customers, enabling them to switch to providing takeaway food and drink services in response to future lockdowns.


For more information about the lockdown unoccupancy extension and to download the factsheet click here 

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