Business Insurance - COVID-19: Broker Frequently Asked Questions

As we manage through the uncertainties surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), we continue to draw upon our financial strength, expertise and culture of caring to support your needs and the needs of your customers.  Below are some of the steps we’re taking to help ease the financial burden that many businesses face due to COVID-19. We’ll continue to monitor ongoing developments and adjust our policies are needed.  

Thanks to our strong relationship with you, we will get through these difficult times the same way we get through everything: together.

General Inquiries

Q: Will Travelers Canada be adopting the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) Declaration of Emergency endorsement communicated by some other companies?

A: We did not adopt the formal IBC Declaration of Emergency endorsement in our personal and business insurance property wordings. We will consider extensions on a case-by-case basis due to COVID-19. 

Q:  Is Travelers Canada offering billing support for personal and commercial customers?

A: To ease the financial burden that many individuals and businesses are facing due to COVID-19, we have suspended cancellation and nonrenewal of coverage due to nonpayment through June 15, 2020 for all customers. We will not charge non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees during this period, providing policyholders with extra time to pay their premiums without risking cancellation.

To help, we have created a detailed FAQ and encourage you to direct customers to our Customer Service Department which is equipped to answer any questions that may arise at 1-800-268-4543.

Business Insurance - Select, Middle Market and Large Accounts & Specialty

Q: How will customer service be impacted?

A:  Travelers Canada has a robust approach to business resiliency so that we can continue to provide exceptional, uninterrupted service to all our brokers and customers. We remain committed to the high level of service that you have come to expect from us and are sensitive and empathetic to the current situation and the challenges facing our brokers and customers as a result of COVID-19. 

Q:  Will your underwriting approach change?

A:  We will maintain our usual level of underwriting discipline for both new business and renewals. This means we will continue to write new business within our underwriting appetite.  

We reserve the right to make appropriate changes in renewal terms with proper notice to the customer.

Our position regarding broker of record has not changed in this environment and we reserve the right to decline such requests. 

Q:  Will your risk control approach change?

A:  We are focused on the safety of our customers, employees and vendors.  We remain committed to providing risk control guidance on issues that are of real value to our brokers and customers to secure their business during this difficult time. As such, we have resources on our Travelers Canada website through Loss Prevention in Response to the Coronavirus that can help you and your clients understand and control these exposures. We can also be contacted for specific account support at ContactUsRC@travelers.com.

We are adjusting our inspection process by leveraging third-party data and virtual tools to conduct risk control assessments where we can. We’re also providing our expertise to help customers understand and manage the full spectrum of risks related to COVID-19, including temporary shut-downs, vacant buildings and return-to-work.

Q:  What is our approach for midterm requests?

A:  We understand that businesses across Canada have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and we want to help. We’ve been working with our business insurance customers and their brokers to address specific needs based on underwriting and regulatory requirements, including:

  • Adjusting premium for property and casualty policies where there’s a significant change in operations or revenue.

  • Providing midterm adjustments for commercial auto policyholders who are driving their vehicles less frequently. Additionally, if your customer has a scheduled fleet or IRCA policy that no longer requires coverage, we’re happy to remove coverage and provide a premium rebate.

Q:  What is the definition of vacancy and unoccupied?

A:  Travelers recognizes that many of our customers have been forced to close or conduct only limited operations due to the unprecedented government orders issued in response to COVID-19.

For the purpose of applying vacancy, unoccupancy or shut down limitations in our commercial property policies, Travelers has decided not to count the days that a building is vacant, unoccupied, or shut down solely because of a governmental order due to COVID-19. This direction will continue until the earlier of the following:

  • The date on which the government order affecting the use or occupancy of the described premises or the area immediately surrounding the described premises is lifted; or

  • June 15, 2020.

Please note that whether a building is vacant, unoccupied or shut down and the application of coverage depends on the facts and circumstances of each claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, including how the applicable policy defines “vacant” or similar terms, and any applicable law. It should also be noted that the decision to provide temporary relief from the application of vacancy, unoccupancy or shut down restrictions does not extend to any other term or condition, and this direction does not amend, or otherwise affect, any other provisions or coverages of any insurance policy issued by Travelers. Nor is it a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy.
As of right now this direction remains in place until June 15, 2020. Travelers will continue to monitor the situation and communicate any decisions to extend this direction beyond June 15, 2020.

Q:  Is Business Interruption covered?

A: Business Interruption coverage is triggered when a policy holder suffers a loss of income due to direct physical loss, or damage to covered property at its location or another location. It does not cover: loss of income due to market conditions; a slowdown of economic activity; or a general fear of contamination. Nor does the policy provide coverage for cancellations, suspensions and shutdowns that are implemented to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

If there has been direct physical loss or damage to property, the policy may contain exclusions. A common exclusion is for losses resulting from a virus or bacteria, which would include coronavirus.

From all of us to all of you, stay healthy and safe.