Can Bree Street businesses claim from insurance?
Business owners must ask their brokers if they're eligible for business interruption claims - insurance expert.
The City of Joburg is working hard to ensure that it prevents any further loss of life and disasters as a result of illegally occupied and hijacked buildings. Picture: Neil McCartney
Are Bree Street business owners prepared to ‘start over’ once the dust has settled?
Restricted access to the area has delayed some businesses from opening their doors after Wednesday’s explosion in the area that killed one and left at least 48 injured.
Ryan Woolley, CEO of Insurance Claims Africa (ICA), urged Bree Street business owners to immediately reach out to their brokers and insurance companies to see if they’re eligible for business interruption claims.
“These interruptions may impact a businesses’ ability to trade successfully, as fewer customers will be able to access their premises,” Woolley told The Citizen.
When it comes to unforeseen events like the Joburg explosion, Woolley said “a business would be able to claim against their insurance if they [included] the ‘Prevention of Access’ clause in their Business Interruption Policy.”
What is a ‘prevention of access’ clause?
Woolley said the clause covers any incident which blocks access to business premises leading to less customers and a loss of income.
The insurance expert said business interruption covers typically include damage from floods, fire and explosions. But there may be some extensions, which may come as part of the insurance package or added at the insurance holder’s discretion.
Even if there’s been no physical damage to business infrastructure, but “only the road” running past, some insurance plans could include extended cover for damage within a 10km radius from the premises.
As a real-life example, Woolley referred to infectious and contagious disease extensions to include business interruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic, when many business operations were stopped amid a nationwide lockdown.
Woolley also encouraged property owners in the area to conduct structural evaluations, which he said would be covered under their building insurance policy.