Everyone is being impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. First and foremost, please know that we are open for business and available to you. IMA’s team is equipped with remote work capabilities to ensure continuity in the support provided to our clients and partners. As the situation evolves, our priority remains to support the safety and wellness of our employees and clients. To do our part in preventing the spread of the virus, we will be conducting virtual meetings whenever possible over the upcoming weeks.
We understand that in addition to concerns about the health and wellness of your families, many of you have concerns regarding the implications of COVID-19 on your business.
Below please find some answers to frequently asked questions as well as resources to help you be prepared.
Coronavirus and Insurance
Many of you are experiencing a loss of revenue due to closures, cancellations, and supply chain interruption; others are experiencing a slowdown of sales volume as customers avoid public spaces. In response, we would like to provide feedback regarding the most commonly asked questions about insurance and the Coronavirus:
- Most property policies will not respond to the loss of business income related to Coronavirus. Business Interruption Insurance coverage including Civil Authority and Contingent Business Interruption are triggered by direct physical loss due to a covered peril such as fire or water damage.
- General Liability insurance is likely to provide you with protection related to your liability in spreading illness. If your business is accused of negligently contributing to the spreading the virus, your GL policy could respond if the sickened party could pinpoint their exposure to your premises. This is a plausible scenario when outbreaks are tied to a specific event.
- Workers Compensation policies are intended only for occupational injury and disease, and exposure must occur at work in order for WC to apply. Because people can spread the virus before they are diagnosed, it may be difficult to ascertain that the illness was contracted at work and not in the general population. Exposure will be easier to quantify for employees in occupations that put them at higher risk, such as healthcare workers caring for confirmed cases
Preparing a comprehensive disaster plan is one of the best ways to help reduce the spread of the virus and minimize the loss of business income. Disaster plans should be in writing and clearly outline communication and action plans for various scenarios. For example:
- What is your plan of action if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19?
- If you are forced to close, how will you communicate this to your employees, customers and business partners?
- How can you continue your operation, even at partial capacity, if you experience a closure?
- If you have a supply chain interruption, are there other places where you can temporarily source materials?
Safety and Preparedness
The best way to prevent the spread of Coronavirus is to avoid close contact with people who are sick, to clean and disinfect objects and surfaces, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. For information on COVID-19 including facts, symptoms, and what you can do to help reduce the spread of disease, visit www.cdc.gov/COVID19. If you feel unwell or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home except to seek appropriate medical care.
Health & HR
Employers are working diligently to prevent the spread of illness while operating business as usual.
Have a plan for sending home symptomatic employees, availability of a telecommuting option, and whether you will continue to pay employees if you are shut down. When communicating these plans, show empathy and kindness. Many of your employees may be anxious about the health of their loved ones and the uncertainty of the situation. Throughout the process, work with your HR team to make sure you are complying with employment laws. For more information visit: 10 Answers for Employers Navigating the Coronavirus
Healthcare providers are offering telehealth services where people with questions regarding exposure and symptoms can talk to a medical professional and be directed to specialized offices prepared to handle those exposed to the virus. Many health insurance carriers are waiving out-of-pocket costs for medically necessary Coronavirus testing and treatment. The offerings vary from carrier to carrier; consult your health insurance partners for details on their response plans. Many of them have websites and other communication available that you can forward to your employees.
The Massachusetts RMV is taking an important step following Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency the week of March 9th and to complement the work that has been underway for weeks across state government to keep residents safe and healthy.
Due to the recent activity surrounding COVID 19 (Corona Virus), the RMV is taking measures to reduce customer visits in our Service Centers and AAA offices. One of these actions includes extending the expiration date of certain credentials.
All Class D and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that have expired or are expiring between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have a 60-day extension applied to the current expiration date.
- This deadline extension will not apply to customers with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) or those whose end of stay in the United States is the same as the expiration date on their driver’s license, ID card, or Learner’s Permit.
- The RMV will implement this 60-day extension to the current expiration date for Class D, Class DMs, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits within the RMV system the week of 3/16 – all people with expired/expiring credentials physically dated between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have an active status within the RMV system with extended expiration date. For example, if the credential expires on April 15, 2020, the RMV system will extend the expiration to June 15, 2020 and display the same. The RMV is not providing updated credentials to reflect the extended date.
- This does not apply to vehicle registrations at this time. Most vehicle registrations can be renewed online at Mass.Gov/RMV.