Many owners of landed estates and historic properties are facing a number of concerns as they go into what should be their busiest time of the year, particularly with the wonderful weather over half term. Many estates are furloughing staff to reduce costs and are taking government financial support to protect cash flow as their normal sources of income (from visitors, events, weddings, even tenants etc) dry up.
One underused but potentially valuable source of funds is insurance. This may have been taken out to cover not just cancelled events but also business interruption. An initial view may have been taken that claims caused by this pandemic were not covered. However, our insurance team have found that on closer inspection this may not be correct. Holders of insurance should take specialist advice on this as soon as possible and ensure protective claims notifications are made.
Another consequence of lockdown is the inability to make certain assets (such as paintings), which have been exempted from tax in the past subject to certain conditions including public access, available to the public to view. We have written an interesting article on this.
With the anticipated loosening of social and business restrictions, visitors will soon be able to enjoy again the grounds of these unique properties. It may, though, be some time before the treasures inside can be seen by the public.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a test case on a representative sample of policies in a bid to get legal clarity on business interruption cover.