Have The Changes To Your Business Affected Your Insurance Cover?

At Church Side Insurance we have been so proud of how our Commercial Customers have adapted and re-invented their businesses to survive, and in a lot of cases thrive in these uncertain times.

The people of Mansfield and the surrounding areas have shown true grit in the face of adversity and found new ways to trade and look after their customers.

Has the fundamental day to day operation of your business changed in order to adapt?  If so, does your Insurance cover still protect you in the way it should?

Here are a few things to take into consideration which may affect your current Insurance:

  • Are your Business Premises unoccupied for lengths of time greater than your policy will allow?
  • If you are working from home, is your current Home Insurance provider aware and happy to continue cover? Is your Business Equipment and or Stock covered whilst at home?
  • Are you employing more/less people than you did before? Are you or your staff carrying out different duties than before?
  • Has the Health and Safety needs of your Business changed? If so, are your staff aware of the new risks?
  • Are you importing from or selling to different countries, or have the volumes you are importing or selling changed?
  • Are you selling different items or providing completely different services than you did before?
  • Are all your vehicles still in use? Have you employed new drivers who might not meet policy criteria?
  • Have your opening hours changed? Are you open less days of the week than before?

The answers to these and other questions could deem your insurance invalid or could result in an additional or even return premium.

We would advise you to discuss any changes to your business with your Insurance provider, just to be on the safe side.

If you need to find alternative Insurance, or if you would like a second opinion on your current cover, please get in touch.  We would be happy to help:

info@onyx.email or 01623 650232


First Time Landlords on The Rise

From accidental landlords to those wanting to embark on buy-to-let as a business, renting out property can be extremely rewarding, and that may be why new figures suggest that an increasing number of first-time buyers are looking to invest in the buy-to-let market.

Fresh data provided by Legal & General shows that searches for its SmartrCriteria tool designed for first-time buyer, first-time landlord, and non-owner occupier have increased by 18% since the start of September.

There has also been a notable increase in searches for holiday lets.

Demand from expat and foreign investors also remains strong, according to Legal & General.

Legal & General Mortgage Club director Kevin Roberts commented: “Despite the impact of coronavirus, we are seeing rising demand across the housing market with buy to let in particular enjoying a mini-boom.

“Our latest findings from SmartrCriteria suggest a growing number of first-time buyers are searching for mortgages for buy-to-let ventures, including those engaging with the growing trend towards staycations this year.

“Amidst this continued high demand we are seeing in the mortgage market, borrowers are turning to independent advisers to help them with their plans and these experts are playing a vital role for consumers.

“There have been thousands of criteria changes since the lockdown and mortgage advisers are supporting seasoned property investors, first-time landlords and other buyers to find lenders and products that meet their needs.”

If you are a Newbie Landlord or a Seasoned Property Owner with a large portfolio, making sure you have the right  Insurance in place is just as important. 

At Church Side Insurance we can help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of Landlords Insurance.

Call or email us on 01623 65023 or info@onyx.email, we will be happy to help compare your current covers or give you your first  Landlords quote.

We can also introduce you to trusted Mortgage Advisors and Letting agents that we have used ourselves

report found at ladlordtoday.co.uk


Coronavirus: A Guide To Returning Your Staff To Work

Returning to the workplace

It’s important that employers talk to staff as early as possible about when they can return to the workplace.

Staff should continue to work from home if they can.

Planning to return to work

Employers should ‘consult’ with staff (ask for and consider their views to try and reach an agreement) about returning to work. This includes:

  • trade union representatives
  • employee representatives
  • health and safety representatives

Employers should also check any agreements they have with a trade union or employee representatives to see if they must formally consult.

Employees and workers should be ready to return to work at short notice, but employers should be flexible where possible.

Making the workplace safe

Employers must make the workplace as safe as possible for staff, customers and anyone else who visits. To do this employers must:

  • encourage staff to work from home, wherever possible
  • do a ‘risk assessment’ to identify what might cause harm and take reasonable steps to prevent it
  • follow the government guidelines on working safely during coronavirus on GOV.UK

To get advice on working safely during coronavirus from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) you can:

Discussing plans with staff

Employers, employees and workers should talk as early as possible about any plans to return to work.

It’s a good idea to talk about:

  • when staff might return to the workplace
  • how staff will travel to and from work
  • how health and safety is being reviewed and managed – you should share the latest risk assessment
  • any planned adjustments to the workplace, for example additional hand washing facilities, staggering start and finish times to avoid overcrowding or floor markings to help people stay apart
  • if there might be a phased return of the workforce, for example some staff returning before others
  • working from home arrangements

Wherever possible, employers should speak to staff before making a decision or putting plans in writing. This can help staff understand, and feel included in, decisions.

Changes that might affect someone’s employment contract

If there are any proposed changes that affect the written terms of someone’s contract, the employer must consult with the employee, worker or their representative, for example their trade union representative.

Find out more about changing an employment contract.

If staff are worried

Some people might be anxious about safety and returning to the workplace. Employers should encourage staff to talk to them about any concerns they have, and try to resolve them together.

If someone does not want to return

Some people might feel they do not want to go back to work, or be unable to return yet.

For example, this might be because they’re:

An employer should listen to any concerns staff may have and should take steps to protect everyone.

For example, they could:

  • offer extra car parking where possible so that people can avoid using public transport
  • keep someone onfurlough (temporary leave) if they’re temporarily unable to work
  • arrange for someone to work different hours temporarily to avoid peak time travel

If someone still does not want to go back to work, they may be able to arrange with their employer to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave. The employer does not have to agree to this.

If someone refuses to attend work without a valid reason, it could result in disciplinary action.

Find out more about:

Raising an issue

If an employee or worker has an issue about going back to work, they should raise it with their employer or manager. Employers and managers should take any issues raised by staff seriously.

Read about:

Information taken from Acas.org.uk


Coronavirus: Health - Private Medical Insurance

Aviva have put together some Q+A’s to help People and Business’ who have, or are interested in Health – Private Medical Insurance during the Pandemic

Coronavirus latest

The government has announced that the NHS will cancel all elective and non-emergency procedures in NHS hospitals. Any procedures or consultations for conditions which are not life-threatening, or time-critical, will be cancelled.

The government has also recently announced an agreement between the NHS and private facilities which will see them reallocate much of their national capacity to support the NHS and help to meet the unprecedented demand for clinical care anticipated over the coming weeks and months.

We understand that you’ll be concerned about how this might affect your health insurance policy, and we’ve provided clarification in the Your questions answered section below.

In addition to the continuation of urgent care pathways as outlined above, you’ll be able to access the majority of other services and benefits (subject to your particular policy coverage).

These services include:

  • Physiotherapy through Back2Better- our supplier is operational, and they are setting up additional virtual consultation capability
  • Mental health support through Mental Health Pathway and outpatient mental health treatment – our supplier is operational, and they are setting up additional virtual consultation capability
  • NHS cash benefit – this existing benefit will be available for any customers hospitalised as a result of COVID-19
  • Aviva Digital GP
  • Stress Counselling Helpline
  • Dental & Optical
  • GP minor surgery
  • Baby bonus

Your questions answered:

Policy cover and benefits

What cover is available for testing, screening or treatment for COVID-19?

Given COVID-19 is a public health emergency, it’s appropriate that diagnostics and treatment of COVID-19 are conducted by or at the direction of the NHS.

Testing and screening are therefore not covered under your health insurance policy, and any treatment would only be covered to the extent it’s eligible treatment provided to you as a private patient in a private facility.

In the current circumstances, it’s unlikely that this would be the case and COVID-19 patients would be treated under NHS care, whether at NHS or private facilities. If you have NHS cash benefit on your policy, then this would be payable in line with the policy terms and conditions.

What if COVID-19 exacerbates an underlying condition?

This is a novel virus, but with each passing day, we’re learning more about its potential impact on individuals.

Care for anyone who has underlying conditions which are exacerbated by COVID-19 will be managed in line with policy terms and conditions in the usual way, including subject to the satisfaction of applicable policy underwriting.

In the same way, this means that if COVID-19 impacts a chronic condition, then it wouldn’t be covered under the terms of your policy.

I know that the NHS’s decision to cancel elective, non-emergency and non-time-critical procedures in private hospitals will affect my access to some of the benefits I’m covered for. What can I still claim for?

The terms and conditions of our policies haven’t changed, so your cover will still apply – although under the present circumstances it’ll be harder to get access to certain care.

Would my policy cover me for any treatment abroad?

The terms and conditions of your policy haven’t changed so if you have access to emergency overseas cover, this will remain in place, although under the present circumstances it’ll be harder to get access to certain care.

I’m due to renew my policy. Will the terms remain the same?

At present when you renew, the current terms will still apply. We will monitor the situation and update our position in light of any relevant developments. If you’d like to discuss anything regarding your policy, please contact Aviva on 0800 092 4590. Or Church Side Insurance on 01623 650232

If I’m having care for COVID-19 under the NHS, but at a private hospital, can I still claim NHS Cash Benefit?

Yes, absolutely. If you’re under NHS care, any valid claims for NHS cash benefit will still be paid, no matter whether you’re attending an NHS hospital or a private one.

If I cancel my policy now and take out a new one after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, how might this affect my claims or premium in the future?

If you’re thinking of cancelling your policy, please contact us and we’ll discuss the best solution for you and your future ability to make claims. You can get in touch with Aviva on 0800 092 4590. Or Church Side Insurance on 01623 650232

I want to cancel my policy, how do I do it?

If you’re thinking of cancelling your policy, please contact us and we’ll discuss the best solution for you and your future ability to make claims. You can get in touch with Aviva on 0800 092 4590. Or Church Side Insurance on 01623 650232

Accessing treatment

Will I be able to claim without a GP referral during the current crisis?

The terms and conditions in your policy for claims won’t be changing as a result of the NHS’s new measures, so GP referrals will still be required in most cases.

The easiest way to access a GP referral would be through Aviva Digital GP if you have access to this app. Otherwise, you should contact the NHS via your usual methods.

Remember you don’t need a GP referral for some benefits, including our BacktoBetter service for musculoskeletal conditions and the Mental Health Pathway.

If people suffering from COVID-19 are admitted to private hospitals, will they be admitted as NHS patients?

Yes, that’s right. If you’re admitted to a private hospital under these circumstances, you’ll be under NHS care.

Can I bring my treatment forward if the hospital I’m going to is still accepting patients for my condition?

This is something you’d need to check by contacting your specialist or hospital directly, however, this announcement means that it’s unlikely any specialists or hospitals will be accepting non-critical cases.

I don’t yet have a diagnosis for a condition I’m suffering from. Would I still be covered to have investigations carried out privately?

If your policy terms provide cover for the investigations you need, and you can arrange these privately, then these would be covered as usual. However, under the present circumstances, it’ll be harder to get access to certain care.

I am feeling stressed about this situation can I speak to someone?

Absolutely, if you have a policy with us and are feeling stressed then you can call our Stress Counselling Helpline on 0800 158 3349.  The service is available to policyholders and members aged 16 or over. Or you can contact a GP through Aviva Digital GP, or your local NHS GP.

Current claims

I’m currently receiving care in a private hospital; will you continue to cover me?

The terms and conditions of our policies haven’t changed; however, the availability of private treatment has been restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If your treatment is available privately, your cover will still apply.

I have a claim in progress. Will I still be covered?

The terms and conditions of our policies haven’t changed; however, the availability of private treatment has been restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If your treatment is available privately, your cover will still apply.

I have a treatment booked today or this week, should I go?

The best thing to do is to contact your consultant and/or treatment provider who’ll make this decision and determine what happens next.

I have a treatment booked but I am being redirected to a different specialists and/or treatment unit, will I be covered?

Yes, provided the specialist and/or facility is recognised by us. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact us to discuss further.

I have had treatment cancelled – what should I do?

You need to contact your consultant for further advice, there may, of course, be a delay whilst they make the right decisions for all of their patients. If you have a concern about treatment you need that has not yet started, you can contact your consultant, private hospital or your GP for further advice.

Premiums and payments

Do I still need to pay my premiums?

Yes, to make sure there are no gaps in your cover, you do need to continue to pay premiums. If you don’t maintain your premiums in line with the terms and conditions of your policy, you or your insured members may not be covered for any previous condition that you may have claimed for.

I’m having financial difficulties due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I can’t afford to pay my premiums. What should I do?

If you’ve been affected in this way, contact us on 0800 092 4590. Or Church Side Insurance on 01623 650232

I’m concerned that I might become ill and unable to contact you. If this happens and my policy is automatically renewed, can I contact you later to cancel it?

Your policy will be renewed on the due date, but if you do want to cancel it please try to get in touch and we’ll do that for you.

Business health insurance questions

What would happen if my employer cancels my private health insurance? Is there any way to keep my cover?

Yes, you can continue cover by switching to an individual policy and arranging to pay your premiums as an individual. However please note that terms, conditions and levels of cover may be different from those you were used to previously.

You can discuss this further by contacting our Customer Management Team on 0800 092 4590. Or Church Side Insurance on 01623 650232. You will need to ensure you do this within 45 days of your employer’s cancellation to maintain current underwriting.

I’ve found out that I am being made redundant. Can I continue my private medical insurance policy as an individual?

Yes, you can continue cover by switching to an individual policy and arranging to pay your premiums as an individual. However please note that terms, conditions and levels of cover may be different from those you were used to previously.

You can discuss this further by contacting our Customer Management Team on 0800 092 4590. Or Church Side Insurance on 01623 650232. You will need to ensure you do this within 45 days of your employer’s cancellation to maintain current underwriting.

If you have any concerns about the effect of Covid-19 to your health, your Polices or your Business. Please get in touch with us at Church Side Insurance… We will be happy to help where we can