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We recognize that the developing situation regarding COVID-19 we find ourselves in today is unprecedented. We hope you and your teams are staying safe and healthy in the interim.

We remain open to serve our brokers and customers during this time. Our well-established work from home policy has allowed us to remain efficient and keep business operations as usual when it comes to servicing brokers, managing claims and providing underwriting updates as the industry and governments brace for the changes that lie ahead. We are committed to being there for our brokers and their customers when they need us most, so we are shifting what we offer to provide meaningful assistance during these uncertain times.

We have evaluated the situation extensively and today, I’m proud to share with you our commercial financial relief plans to help guide you and your customers through this unprecedented time. All of the changes that we have made are in an effort to provide your customers with the flexibility needed to work through this time. These additional measures will be in place until further notice and will continue to be reviewed as the situation develops.

Financial Relief for Commercial Customers:

  • We recognize the challenges faced by many business owners and as such, we will be adjusting our rating approach accordingly. In an effort to provide relief to business owners and your customers, RSA will reduce our planned rate application on renewals in the Mid-Market and Specialty Fleet, Property and Casualty portfolios. The impact of our reduced rate application on individual risks will be decided on a case by case basis.
  • RSA understands small businesses may be some of those that are hit the hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic; to alleviate premium concerns for SME policyholders, RSA will continue to demonstrate flexibility should your clients require changes to be made to coverage. Although we are limited in our ability to take quick rate actions for SME policies, we are committed to providing any updates as soon as they become available.
  • RSA will also continue to work with you to support your SME customers who have been critically impacted by the pandemic to ensure they are provided with continuous underwriting support during this difficult period.
  • Protecting your customer’s risk is the first step in ensuring your client can resume operations once the pandemic is over. Download and share our idle property and ceased fleet operation tip sheets to help mitigate risk and to keep your clients protected.
  • As many of our Individually Rated Commercial Auto clients will have parked their vehicles or changed operations as a result of COVID-19, RSA will now be making mid-term adjustments to policies as requested by brokers and will not mandate road coverages for vehicles.
  • We understand that this situation is evolving rapidly and that your customers’ coverage may need to adjust as well. For fleet policies on a 21B that now require mid-term adjustments, please contact your Fleet Underwriter as we will accommodate these request on a case by case basis.

Billing

  • We recognize that your customers may be affected through illness or job loss as a result of this pandemic. Please contact our billing team or one of our Underwriters as there may be flexible payment options available for those impacted.
  • As a reminder, effective April 1, 2020 (March 27, 2020 for Quebec), we waived Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fees until further notice for all Personal and Small Commercial policies. (Please note that financial institutions may still charge a separate fee for NSF, though many have announced their fees will be waived as well.)

For more information, please contact our billing team at 1-800-366-0646.

Business Interruption Coverage

An area of focus for a number of the enquiries we have received is business interruption coverage. We want to take this opportunity to clarify that standard business interruption policies require property damage to apply. As a result, even where a business is shut down due to a government order, mandate or declaration, there would be no cover. As with many other carriers, RSA’s Core Wordings require there be direct physical loss, destruction or damage to insured property at an insured premises caused by an insured peril in order to trigger coverage. As stated by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, commercial insurance policies and traditional business interruption policies generally do not offer coverage for business interruption or supply chain disruption due to a pandemic such as COVID-19.

Further Clarification

Our Commercial Insurance Property and Business Interruption wordings are clear when there is required to be a direct physical loss, destruction or damage to insured property at an insured premises caused by an insured peril in order to trigger the business interruption coverage. The exclusion is intended to eliminate any doubt and provide the utmost clarity for you and our customers.

For Mid-Market and Specialty policies, this exclusion will apply to New Business with an April 20, 2020 Quote Date and July 1, 2020 Effective Date for renewals. 

For SME policies, this will apply to new business with a June 21, 2020 Quote Date and August 21, 2020 for renewals. 

For more information on RSA’s virus, disease and pandemic exclusion click here.

Managing a Business Shutdown

We also want to clarify our position on vacant properties as a result of social distancing restrictions that workplaces are undertaking. RSA’s standard wording provides 30 days of coverage automatically; for those areas of the country where businesses are required to close down for more than 30 days due to government order, mandate or declaration, we will allow an additional 30 days (60 consecutive days in total), for vacant or unoccupied risks during this pandemic. Should coverage be required beyond 60 days, please contact us and we will review each circumstance on a case by case basis. Construction sites will be addressed separately.

There remains a requirement that customers take action to protect their idle property and construction sites as best they can. To this end, we recommend that you share these tip sheets on how a customer can protect their idle property and construction sites in order to protect their risks while operations are suspended.

Finally, we invite you to check out our COVID-19 resource hub at rsabroker.ca/coronavirus.

We are committed to being here for our broker partners. And while this is a tough situation, our motivation to stand by our brokers and customers has never been higher. If there is anything we can do to help you prepare for the conversations you are having with your commercial customers during this time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We want to remind you that we continue to be available to help you and your customers through phone and digital channels during this time of disruption.

Sincerely,

Paul Lucarelli
SVP, Commercial Insurance

RSA Canada continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and has updated information regarding services and coverage.

www.rsabroker.ca/coronavirus