From: Michael Cashmore <Michael.Cashmore@endsleigh.co.uk>
Subject: RE: Conona virus and insurance
…. Corona Virus / Covid 19.
Liability insurance protects you if claims are made that as a result of negligence, nuisance or trespass you caused injury or property damage. So if a claim was made that the coaches negligence caused injury via the corona virus then that would be covered in theory. However it would be very difficult you’d assume to pinpoint that transmission occurred and it was attributable to the coach, as it could have been picked up anywhere. So I don’t think you’d likely see a claim. The participant is also in some way choosing to attend the class against advice, so there would certainly be some contributory negligence on the part of the individual.
Behind all of this is the fact that insurance policies require you to act reasonably and mitigate loses where possible so clubs and coaches should considering the guidance that is being provided and if they cannot reasonably keep people safe they shouldn’t be holding their classes. Close contact in particular has been advised against.
They may well find that their venues start closing down shortly and not allowing them in anyway. If a mandatory quarantine is imposed yes, almost certainly the insurers would likely look to deny liability for any Corona based claim that it is alleged occurred during the shutdown.
At the moment I think people just need to act sensibly. Consider the demographic of people who may come and ask people who feel unwell or have a cough to stay away like the government has advised. It is incredibly hard to see how someone in months could reasonably attribute them catching the virus to a short period and short space and time where they were in an aikido class, but it doesn’t mean they won’t try and we just don’t know.
Sorry it’s a bit grey but unfortunately it is unprecedented. On balance until they are told to shut down completely insurance will cover them providing it cannot be said they are being reckless or deliberately endangering / placing people at risk.