Offer to buy RSA

You might have seen that an offer has been made by a consortium of two companies to buy RSA. This does not change the way you deal with us at the moment. All policies, claims and other interactions with us will continue the same as before.

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We are asking that all customers contact their brokers for support and advice in the first instance. The contacts and FAQs below are intended to support you to manage these enquiries.

  • To register a claim, brokers should email us.  All of our contact information can be found on our Claims page.
  • If you’re unable to find what you need below and still need to discuss a customer’s policy where you think a relevant extension may apply, please email our new dedicated mailbox at COVID.brokerqueries@uk.rsagroup.com.

Please note that we are operating at a reduced capacity as a result of employee absence and are handling a significant number of inquiries. You can find an update on service below. 

Frequently asked questions

We understand that during this period of disruption caused by COVID-19, having clarity about your insurance cover is important to you and your customers. The following FAQs should be read alongside applicable policy terms and conditions and are intended to provide helpful guidance, but we acknowledge that there will continue to be circumstances or unique facts that individual customers will be facing which you will still need to contact us about.

FCA test case

On Tuesday 15th September 2020, the court posted its judgment in relation to the test case on business interruption claims led by the FCA on behalf of policyholders. RSA was a party to these proceedings. You can read the judgment here or visit the FCA’s business interruption hub for more information. The Supreme Court has granted permission for certain parties to appeal particular aspects of the test case judgment.  The hearing will start on 16th November. Whether or not certain policy wordings provide cover in respect of Covid-19 BI losses will depend on the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing.

  • An initial hearing to determine whether the ‘leapfrog’ certificate would be granted took place on 2 October. Permission was granted, and parties will now prepare applications to the Supreme Court to request that they hear the case. If they agree, a date will then be agreed for the appeal.

    RSA is committed to paying claims as quickly as possible as and when legal processes relevant to them are concluded, including making interim payments.

    We will write to policyholders affected by the case to keep them informed of developments. In the meantime, policyholders do not need to take any further action.

  • Until any appeals are complete, the legal process is ongoing, so our position on outstanding claims and cover available under RSA policies does not change. We are committed to continuing to keep our customers informed on the status of their individual claims, and processing them as well as interim payments as quickly as possible once a final legal position is reached.

  • No, if you have already sent us a claim we will review it once the relevant legal processes are concluded. We will keep you updated on the status of your claim throughout.

  • If a customer has already made a claim then you do not need to do anything further at this stage and we will keep them updated as the next steps in the legal process progress. If they have not made a claim please support them to do so through the email address Promise.Propertyclaims@uk.rsagroup.com. You can also use this address if you have any other queries.

  • FOS rights are not changed by this test case. Customers will first need to direct complaints to RSA at crt.halifax@uk.rsagroup.com.RSA then have eight weeks in which to provide a Final Response Letter. If, having received that, a customer remains dissatisfied then they can refer their complaint to the FOS free of charge.

Queries relating to Business Interruption

  • In the majority of cases, standard Business Interruption policies will not cover losses arising from Covid-19, whether as a result of the presence of the disease on your Premises, or the Government enforced closure of businesses. 

    If a customer has purchased a Notifiable Disease extension, then this may provide cover for some losses, if the closure or restriction of the customer’s Premises is as a result of the discovery of Covid-19 at or, in some cases, within the vicinity of the Premises. The policy wording will outline this. If this applies to your customer, you should get in touch to discuss a claim. 

    In some instances, whether or not a policy provides cover will depend on the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing of the FCA’s test case into how certain BI policies respond to Covid-19 BI claims. The hearing will begin on the 16th November.

  • The Government’s announcement in March related specifically to policies with specific pandemic cover or specific pandemic extensions. If policies do include pandemic cover, insurers are not requiring an “enforced” lockdown to trigger business interruption terms. The government “guidance” that businesses should close is sufficient, so long as other terms and conditions are met. However there are very few pandemic policies or policies with pandemic extensions.

    Pandemic cover is different from infectious disease cover, which is more common and is covered in the next question.

  • Neither standard Business Interruption policies nor the majority of those with a Notifiable Disease extension would cover losses incurred by non-essential businesses at any time when such business is subject to wider Government restrictions, as those losses are not incurred as a result of an insured risk under the policy.   

    In some instances, whether or not a policy provides cover will depend on the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing of the FCA’s test case into how certain BI policies respond to Covid-19 BI claims. The hearing will begin on the 16th November. 

  • Most policies will not respond to this as a trigger for business interruption cover, unless specific extensions relating to pandemic have been added. See the previous questions for how Business Interruption policies with RSA may cover certain losses as a result of Covid-19. 

  • If a business remained open because it was not required to close as part of the Government’s measures, but is or has been closed as a result of the discovery of Covid-19 at or in the vicinity of the Premises, the customer may also be able to claim for certain losses suffered.    

  • If premises have been closed on the order of the government and, for example, subsequently a theft occurs, we would regard the theft (by another party) as a new and intervening cause and the claim would be handled in accordance with the circumstances of the claim and the policy terms and conditions (including any risk management restrictions for unoccupied premises as described in subsequent FAQs). 

  • We will do this only in very exceptional cases, and recommend that these renewals are prioritised in resource planning.

Queries relating to unoccupied premises

  • For 120 days, RSA did not make any change to the premium charged as a result of unoccupancy for buildings that are temporary closed. This period expired on 21st July 2020. RSA now regards any building that still remain closed within any territory within the United Kingdom as an unoccupied building. All terms and conditions of your policy will apply as usual and Risk Management guidance provided by RSA on securing the premises must be followed.

    An additional premium may be required. 

    If your customer’s premises remain closed, you are required to notify RSA of this – please email your usual Underwriting contact or COVID.brokerqueries@uk.rsagroup.com.

  • RSA would consider such business premises to be temporarily unoccupied.

    For 120 days after the commencement of the original national lockdown, RSA did not apply certain standard restrictions in RSA policies for unoccupied properties. This period expired on 21st July 2020. RSA is now treating buildings that still remain closed outside of any national lockdown in line with its normal approach to unoccupied buildings.  All terms and conditions of your policy will apply as usual and any applicable Risk Management guidance provided by RSA on securing the premises must be followed.

    There will be a number of circumstances where concessions will be considered:

    • Where Government guidance states that premises must remain closed e.g. theatres – we will consider waiving the requirement that combustibles be removed from the buildings
    • Single owner businesses that are closed for two weeks whilst the owner self-isolates – the premises will not be treated as empty or not in use for the period of this short term closure
    • Building shut for cleaning because a person present at that building has been reported as having COVID-19 symptoms – such buildings will be expected to reopen as soon as the cleaning has completed, so the closure for cleaning will be considered as a short term closure and the building will not be treated as empty or not in use for this period
    • Local area lockdowns or a national lockdown within any territory of the UK, including the Wales lockdown commencing 24th October 2020 and the English lockdown commencing 5th November 2020 - the original concession by RSA on buildings closed as a consequence of the UK-wide lockdown will once again apply to any buildings that are required to be closed solely in consequence of being situated within an area that is locked down as a consequence of the requirement to control a local spike in coronavirus infections or any subsequent territorial or national lockdown. However, the concession will only apply for a period of 30 days or until the date upon which the local, territorial or national lockdown restrictions end, whichever is the earlier.

    An additional premium may be required.

    If your customer’s property remains closed whether as a consequence of one of the above or for other reasons, you are required to notify RSA of this – please email your usual Underwriting contact or COVID.brokerqueries@uk.rsagroup.com.

  • RSA understands that after the end of a lockdown some buildings will remain closed because of the individual circumstances of the business or owner. There cannot be a presumption that RSA knows that a building continues to be closed once a lockdown has ended.  If your customer’s property remains closed, you are required to notify RSA of this – please email your usual Underwriting contact or COVID.brokerqueries@uk.rsagroup.com

  • For buildings or business premises that were already vacant prior to the imposition of the applicable UK Government restrictions, there will be no change to the cover restrictions, policy conditions or specific requirements that would have already been applied to maintain policy cover.

    If any of the imposed conditions or requirements, including those involving the regular inspection of premises, now present an issue as a consequence of the UK Government restrictions, please refer to your usual RSA underwriter.

Queries relating to other policy cover

  • RSA expects that such equipment will be predominantly computer equipment. Customers who buy RSA Computer Insurance cover will already have cover provided anywhere in the world. In addition, RSA Computer cover will now allow up to a 20% increase in sum insured (up to a maximum of £250,000) to cater for any additional computer equipment that has to be purchased to allow for home working.

    The following additional terms will be applicable:

    • Theft from unattended vehicles will be covered but will be limited to £5,000 in respect of any one loss
    • When such items are left in unattended vehicles, they must be locked in a separate boot area or otherwise be obscured from view

    RSA Property Damage covers do not automatically provide cover for business equipment removed from the business premises. For the period that the original national lockdown within the UK remained in force, RSA automatically provided additional cover for items temporarily removed to the home of an employee to enable working from home for a Sum Insured of £5,000 per home and a single article limit of £2,500.  Other relevant policy terms and conditions continued to apply.

    Following the end of the original UK national lockdown, RSA is now asking customers to confirm whether or not they still wish to retain some cover on business equipment to enable working from home. For periods of insurance commencing on or after 1st October 2020 customers will be offered the opportunity to continue the cover in return for an additional premium.

  • In these instances we will of course as always do our best to support, offering limited extensions on a case by case basis.

  • Customers retain the right to cancel their policy in line with the relevant policy wording.  We will continue to ensure no barriers to customers needing to take this course of action. 

  • We will look to support our customers with any changes although will need to be notified by their broker on the specific changes in line with their business needs.

  • If employees are undertaking NO activity at all for the business, their wageroll does not need to be included in the renewal estimates. If the employer is also making the up the 20% shortfall, this does not need to be included either.  The renewal premium will be based on these estimates, but may be subject to adjustment at the end of the period of insurance based on declared wageroll values.

  • The standard liability policy wording contains a Premium Adjustment Condition and is adjustable at the end of the period of insurance based on declared wageroll and turnover values.

  • You should tell us about these changes now. RSA will need to re-assess the risk based on the revised information provided.  This may affect the premium charged and any terms applied but these will be discussed with you. Should the situation change again before the next renewal date of your liability policy, you should tell us again about those changes.

  • We will accommodate customer requests to reduce policy cover to Laid Up Fire and Theft for vehicles which are officially SORN and your policy premium will be adjusted accordingly.

  • Extension to MOT's have no impact on policy cover although it is important to note that the presence of a valid MOT (including an extended MOT) and vehicle roadworthiness are two separate matters.  Fleet customers should continue to ensure vehicles are roadworthy regardless of the presence of a valid MOT.

  • Consistent with usual practice, RSA would prefer to provide renewal offers based upon values declared by customers at the commencement of the period of insurance which reflect what the customer expects to be their forthcoming turnover, wageroll and business interruption values. Nonetheless RSA recognises that the exceptional circumstances that arise from the UK restrictions now in place to slow the spread of coronavirus mean that there could be some customers who may not be able to calculate the expected changes to their turnover, wageroll and business interruption values that may arise before their policy is due for renewal.

    Packages policies will include lines of business that are not usually adjustable, but where a customer is not certain what the impact of the restrictions are going to be on their business, RSA may agree to renew the policy for twelve months using the existing estimates but allow a reduction of 20% in the premium. At the end of the period of insurance, RSA will require a declaration of the actual turnover, wageroll and business interruption values acheived for that period of insurance. A revised premium will then be calculated based upon the values being declared. If the revised premium calculated is less than the 80% premium that was originally charged, no return or refund of premium will be allowed. If the revised premium calculated exceeds the premium that was charged by RSA at the commencement of the period of insurance, the difference between the premium charged and the revised premium calculated will be due and payable by the customer.

    These terms will be available to customers whose periods of insurance commence between 1st May 2020 and 31st July 2020 only. RSA may extend this period at its discretion.

Queries relating to claims

  • Due to the impact of COVID19 and our need to ensure that customers no longer need to venture out to bank cheques we are now issuing all payments via BACS or EFT where there is no BACS capability.

    We will request bank account details at the earliest opportunity as we deal with the claim so that payments can be easily facilitated. As an additional security precaution you or your customer can call us back on the number provided on claims documentation.

  • From a Major Damage perspective we continue to have a team of experts with full IT capability to handle large losses.  This team is maintaining contact with loss adjusters and other experts to ensure we provide an uninterrupted service to our customers.  This is constantly under review given the speed at which the situation is developing and we will continue to update on any changes.

  • We recognise that we are operating in a hugely unusual set of circumstances, and consideration will be given where customers or brokers are not physically able to report issues. These will be considered on a case by case basis.

Queries relating to risk management

  • Up-to-date best practice guidance, including measures businesses need to take to ensure their workplaces are COVID-secure, is available via the following:

    • Government guidance on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19).  E.g. in England
    • The government agency responsible for encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety & welfare.  Guidance is both general (e.g. risk assessments) and specific to coronavirus (COVID-19).  E.g. in the UK (ex.NI) the Health & Safety Executive [HSE]
    • A relevant trade or industry body, many of which have online resources specific to coronavirus (COVID-19)

    This guidance should be incorporated into and maintained within an organisation’s existing health & safety management framework.  This should include recording the measures taken and ensuring there is a regular review process to verify that up-to-date guidance is being used and that assessments and policies are maintained.

    Further risk management guidance can be found here

  • We continue to keep in touch with customers and issue our bulletins to support them to keep their businesses safe. We have resumed fieldwork including site surveys in line with a new set of operating procedures. These are designed to ensure we minimise the risk of spreading the virus, and maintain the safety of our customers, employees and partners. We keep our work pipeline under active review and prioritise visits or make alternative arrangements where practical.

  • We’ll review on a case by case basis based on the nature of the risk improvement and a customers’ ability to implement the change in the circumstances. We will need to take a balanced approach to this, taking into account whether or not the customer remains subject to any local or national restrictions which might reasonably cause delay.

  • Customers should be advised to take reasonable steps to protect their unoccupied premises in accordance with their policy terms and conditions (subject to any concessions as described in previous FAQs).  We have put together some detailed general property guidance during periods of reduced staffing or restricted access to help you support your customers. We are also committed to following the ABI customer pledge “Supporting unoccupied businesses when temporarily closed”.  We encourage you to visit the dedicated COVID-19 page on the ABI website for further guidance on protecting your premises as well as additional advice for your customers during this difficult time.

  • We would expect that the majority of construction sites can remain open in accordance with government guidelines.  However, if this is not possible, review our best practice advice and guidance for contractors and employers on the precautions that need to be taken if a construction site is temporarily closed.

  • This could expose your customer to a much higher risk of loss. Review our best practice advice and guidance to help businesses put the right controls in place to help tackle this.

  • We will expect customers to do what they can to service these, but we recognise the challenges in doing so given the developing situation. We are regularly reviewing our position and will keep you updated.

Queries relating to service

  • We have robust business continuity plans in place but inevitably with higher employee absence there will be prioritisation. We are actively working to move resource around the organisation to support frontline teams.

  • We are following government guidance closely to protect our employees and as of 17th March all RSA employees who can work from home are doing so. In our operational sites we have implemented new ways of working to enable social distancing. We are also taking into account the impact of school closures and supporting our employees to work more flexibly so they can balance their responsibilities more easily.

  • We are doing everything we can to maintain service levels but as the situation develops we do expect to be operating at a reduced capacity. Therefore, we will be temporarily closing our phone lines but Live Chat is open for Non-Motor for our Glasgow E-Trade operation to manage reduced staffing levels. 

    We’ll aim to respond to your queries as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

    We understand that during this period of disruption caused by COVID-19, having clarity about your insurance cover is important to you and your customers. The FAQs should be read alongside applicable policy terms and conditions and are intended to provide helpful guidance, but we acknowledge that there will continue to be circumstances or unique facts that individual customers will be facing which you will still need to contact us about. Please use our dedicated mailbox at COVID.brokerqueries@uk.rsagroup.com

     

    We understand that in these extraordinary times your customers may experience financial difficulties, we have put together some guidance to help you support your customers here.