Following prime minister Boris Johnson’s advice to the public of avoiding gatherings, the Association of British Insurers has moved to clarify where some venues may stand on claims. In a statement released on its website, 17 March, the association noted that standard business interruption coverage does not cover forced closure by the government.

The statement read: “Irrespective of whether or not the Government orders closure of a business, a vast majority of firms won’t have purchased cover that will enable them to claim on their insurance, to compensate for their business being closed by the coronavirus.

“Standard business interruption cover – the type the majority of business purchase – does not include forced closure by authorities. It is intended to respond to physical damage at the property, which results in the business being unable to continue to trade

“A small minority of typically larger firms might have purchased an extension of cover for closure due to any infectious disease. In this instance, an enforced closure could help them make a claim, but this will depend on the precise nature of the cover they have purchased. They should check with their insurer or broker to see if they’re covered.”