2020 was a year like no other. We faced unprecedented challenges both from a business, and personal point of view. And while we faced lockdowns and restrictions, many of us tried to keep things moving with new and smarter ways of working.
At HETAS Insurance Services we continued to carefully monitor the situation and worked (from home) to continue supporting our clients. Here are some of our observations.
We couldn’t talk about 2020 without talking about COVID-19. The impact was felt across all industries, and often raised issues for those who carry out their work in client’s homes. Where this work can continue there are a number of steps that should be taken to protect yourself and your client. These include maintaining a two metre distance from others, wearing a mask, washing your hands often, and increasing ventilation where possible.
With many retail businesses forced to open and close their doors a number of times the pandemic brought new ways of working in order to keep both staff, and customers safe. The wearing of masks, social distancing, deep cleaning and sanitisation delivered new challenges as well as new risks for business owners, but were taken on-board for the safety of all.
The guidance continues to vary depending on your business and location, so make sure you stay on top of what you can and can’t do and continue to work as safely as possible. It is also important that you maintain your public liability insurance whilst you are visiting people’s homes to ensure you, and they are protected.
Contractors were in high demand
Last year, the HomeServe Foundation reported that UK homeowners spent £7.5 billion more on home improvements than in 2019, and they predicted that this high demand for skilled tradespeople would continue to rise in 2021 and 2022. In 2020 demand was often so high that 1 in 7 homeowners reported to have struggled to find a tradesperson for their job.
Remember that if the type of work you do changes, it is important to advise your insurer as soon as possible, to be sure that you are fully protected.
Developments in Brexit continued last year, with the UK leaving the EU at the end of January, and the end of the year brought the end of the transition period.
We know that the impact of Brexit will be felt differently depending on a number of factors. The effects on your business may be felt if you employ any EU citizens, if you buy equipment from Europe it may take longer to arrive, or you may be affected by the wider impact on the UK’s economy. You may have already found that Brexit has started to affect your business, so it is important that you are aware of any new regulations that could affect you. There is a lot of useful information for business owners available on the Gov.uk website.
As we look back at the challenges we have faced throughout 2020, it has become clear we need to do all we can to protect our income, thus protecting our families and finances.
We have always known that being unable to work can cause stress and worry, and last year unfortunately proved that for many. If you, or a member of your team, cannot work as a result of an accident at work, having personal accident insurance added to your policy could really help. Personal accident cover would pay a weekly benefit for up to a year if an injury prevented you from working. This cover is generally not included in a policy as standard, however can be arranged as an additional extra.
Finally, last year showed that even in times of uncertainty, the importance of having the right cover for your business remains. If you think your cover may need to change, or if you are considering additional cover, please speak to us. You can call us on 01905 886 462 or complete an enquiry form.
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HETAS Insurance Services is a trading name of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Not all products and services offered are regulated by the FCA (for details see marshcommercial.co.uk/info/regulation). Registered in England and Wales number 0837227. Registered Office: 1 Tower Place West, London EC3R 5BU.