NZ businesses, workers take a hit from coronavirus

Many businesses may not be covered by business interruption insurance

NZ businesses, workers take a hit from coronavirus

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

Health officials have confirmed that New Zealand now has four coronavirus cases, with the outbreak resulting in job losses and poor business, especially for those catering to tourists from affected areas – reports.

NZ Business Roundtable’s survey in China last month predicted that 81% of businesses in New Zealand with exposure to China would take a hit to export revenue.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) told that many businesses might not be covered by business interruption insurance as it covers physical damage rather than losses due to epidemic or pandemic.

On the bright side, various banks and organisations have decided to help the affected businesses and their staff.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD), for example, has offered 38 hardship grants related to the impacts of the outbreak – totalling $6,227. It has also got rid of the benefit stand-down period for those who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Westpac NZ announced that it would also help those affected by the outbreak by offering a temporary overdraft facility, deferred payment on business credit cards for up to three months, and suspension of principal loan payments, also for up to three months.

Meanwhile, the government provided $11 million to Tourism NZ and $4 million to Regional Business Partners. Finance Minister Grant Robertson commented that they have been focusing on the possibility of temporary global demand shock that could severely affect the economy, longer lasting shock to the domestic economy, and a global downturn if the situation gets worse.

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