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The coronavirus pandemic has impacted all levels of Canada’s social and economic landscape, including the real estate and construction sector. To help transition through this evolving crisis, here are some guidelines to help you create strategies, respond quickly and secure business continuity for your company.
Key Considerations and Strategies
In an ever-changing environment, it is never too late to establish both a response plan and a business continuity plan. You also need to designate a team to guide and respond to your business disruption. Your response should consider (at a high level):
Establishing a Response Team (representing key business functions and jurisdictions) to assess potential disruptions, as well as develop and implement response strategies. This team will also be responsible for monitoring daily COVID-19 updates, meeting regularly (e.g. daily) and adapting response strategies as new information emerges.
Develop a Response Plan for classifying and responding to the disruption caused by COVID-19 that is aligned with the potential impact to the business. Actions taken should be contingent on the level of COVID-19 infection and spread within office(s) and surrounding communities and should establish escalation levels with commensurate action plans.
For example, a level one response may be triggered by an employee having come into contact with someone having the virus and result in that individual’s self-quarantine with limited impact to the broader business. In contrast, a level five response (of a five-point scale) would occur where there is rampant infection of multiple employees across one or many business units and locations resulting in self-quarantine or hospitalization of greater 30 percent of the workforce.
Develop a Business Continuity Plan to manage the broader business disruption. This involves thinking through what could go wrong and developing strategies to address disruptions and associated impacts. Disruptions and potential response strategies may include:
Insurance Coverage During Pandemics
An increasingly critical question is if business interruption insurance cover pandemics. The answer depends on your policy and the circumstances of the loss. Businesses should be proactively reviewing their policies, including any endorsements and exclusions, with their brokers and claims consultants to discuss anticipated loss exposures and relevant coverages.
For example, policies may contain contamination exclusions, but may also include extensions that can cover losses or costs related to decontamination. There are likely specific conditions related to coverage triggers.
Possible areas of coverage could include:
There continue to be many uncertainties as the COVID-19 situation develops, from government to consumer responses. We are here to help you navigate through them. If you have any questions or concerns about what to do next, please reach out to your local Real Estate and Construction Advisor or visit our COVID-19 Business Advice Centre.
Related Topics:Business Resilience; COVID-19
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