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Terrorism 03 Jun 2020

Insuring against the rising risk of Terrorism after lockdown


The UK faces a growing risk from Terrorism and Political Violence as it prepares to emerge from lockdown, experts warn. Geo Specialty offers one of the broadest covers available  making it easier to help brokers to mitigate the risk to their clients and their businesses, and with unambiguous non damage business interruption cover to boot.

Terrorism and Political Violence cover might not seem like a priority in the middle of the pandemic, but the socio-economic consequences of Coronavirus is exactly why it should be, according to Geo Specialty’s Marcus Meredith.

Experts are predicting and preparing for the rise in terrorist activity that historically follows a period of unrest and recession. And the particular circumstances around Covid-19 have created a perfect storm for the growth of extremism.

Marcus was an Army Officer who served in Afghanistan and has ten years’ experience in underwriting global Political Violence and Terrorism risks.

He explains: “The closure of schools and places of worship, rising unemployment, and political disillusion - combined with the extended lockdown measures - mean more people are isolated, spending more time online, and often struggling with their mental health. Without community touchpoints and support systems, it’s the ideal environment for extremist groups to exploit and groom vulnerable individuals.”

Last month Chief Superintendent Nik Adams, the national coordinator of Prevent, warned that referrals from the community were down by 50%, and there was evidence that jihads were looking to take advantage of stretched police forces.

He added: “What concerns me greatly is that the decline in the number of referrals doesn’t mean that there are fewer people that need our help, but that fewer people are able to access the support they need.”

“Isolation may exacerbate grievances that make people more vulnerable to radicalisation – such as financial insecurity or social alienation.

 “The extremists and radicalisers know this and, as ever, will look to exploit any opportunity to lead those people into harm, often using topical issues as hooks to lure them in.”

Geo Specialty’s cover has been developed to offer a broader cover and more competitive rates than Pool Re, the standard government backed scheme.

Crucially, that cover includes non-damage clauses as standard. This means that businesses which are indirectly affected by an Act of Terror through business interruption or subsequent loss of attraction can claim loss of income on their insurance. What’s more, the cover is instant, with no deductible – no matter how short the disruption and the deductible in the underlying property wording.

Marcus says: “We were the only market we know of to pay out after the London Bridge attack last November. Bars, Hotels and offices as well as critical infrastructure within a one mile radius were evacuated for at least six hours, and we paid out from the minute customers were asked to leave. Pool Re wouldn’t cover some clients because there wasn’t any Physical damage to trigger a claim, and even those with a non-damage extension couldn’t claim because they were closed for less than 24 hours and therefore had a waiting period as stipulated on the underlying property insurance.

“I’m really proud the work we’ve put in on our wording meant we could offer that support, and that we’re really leading the way for this market.”

Indeed, Non-Damage Denial of Access clauses have been at the heart of Coronavirus claim rejections, and it’s something most clients are likely to be hyper-conscious of when considering future cover.

“Across the board all companies now looking at Non Damage extensions with a microscope because the insurance market is not good enough at offering them historically and brokers need to very clear about how a policy reacts,” adds Marcus.

Another key difference between Geo Specialty’s cover and Pool Re is its broader definition of Terrorism. Pool Re will only pay for claims that have been designated as a Terrorist attack by the government, by a recognised Terrorist group.

“Our wording is unambiguous and has a much broader definition of Terrorism. Whether it’s an attack by an animal right activist or self-radicalised individual, clients are covered for any act designed to induce fear,” Marcus explains.

As the risk horizon changes, it is now easier than ever to talk to customers about Geo Specialty’s Terrorism superior cover. Visit the Geo Specialty Terrorism page for more details and to access our quick and easy Quote & Bind system or contact Marcus directly.

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