COVID-19 Information

As the pandemic continues to evolve, check here for resources and information on who to contact with questions.

A message from our President

Canadians are being challenged in ways we’ve never experienced, and we know this is a very difficult time for many of our customers. As your insurance partner, I wanted to reassure you that we’re working closely with our broker partners and together we’re here and ready to support you in any way that we can. We continue to monitor this situation closely and want to share some of the things that we’re doing to help you:

  • We know that many of our customers have had to temporarily close locations, so we’re automatically extending coverage for unoccupied buildings. Please let your broker know if any of your locations are closed for longer than 90 days.
  • To further support you, we’ve created a guide outlining steps that you can take to keep your business safe if you’ve had to close.
  • If you’ve parked your business vehicles temporarily due to reduced operations, please contact your broker and we’ll work with them to suspend liability and collision coverage until your vehicles are back on the road again.
  • If you’ve initiated delivery services to keep your business up and running, contact your broker and we’ll work with them to make sure that you’re protected.
  • We know that many of our customers are using their personal automobiles less during the pandemic, so we’re offering an automatic 15% premium rebate for three months or other options to reduce premiums if they’re not driving at all.

We’ve also built this COVID-19 resource centre to share information that will help you mitigate risk, plan your business continuity and pandemic response efforts, and access government resources. We’ll be updating this page with new resources as they become available. In addition, many of you have had questions about your insurance coverage, so we’ve also included a list of frequently asked questions as a starting point to help you get the answers you need. If you have more specific questions about your policy, please contact your broker.

These are unprecedented and challenging times for all of us, and as the situation continues to evolve, so will our support. Working together is needed now, more than ever.

Thank you for placing your trust in Northbridge and please stay safe.

Silvy Wright
President, Northbridge Insurance

Tools

General FAQs

Are your offices still open?

At Northbridge, the health and wellness of our employees, brokers, and customers is our utmost priority. As a proactive measure to help curb the spread of COVID-19, all of our employees are now working remotely. We remain open for business and are here to serve you.

How can I contact you?

Customers and brokers can continue to contact us through our regular methods of communication. As the situation evolves, we’ll also continue to monitor developments, provide updates and offer additional resources on this page, as well as through our social media channels:

My business has been impacted by COVID-19. Will you be offering flexibility for premium payments?

If you’re in a heavily impacted industry and in need of some flexibility with premium payments, please contact your broker and we will work with them to find a solution.

Can I still submit a claim?

Yes. Click here for more information on how to report a claim.

Are my business premises covered if they’re unoccupied for a period of time during the pandemic?

Yes, your policy will continue to cover your premises. Please contact your broker for more details about the coverage within your policy.

Is there any coverage for legal actions against me resulting from the pandemic?

Depending on the terms and conditions of your policy, your business may be covered for allegations related to the pandemic. Please contact your broker for details.

If my business closes, experiences a loss of revenue, or has increased expenses through the period of the pandemic, will I be covered by business interruption or business income insurance?

Most Canadian commercial insurance policies don’t cover business interruption due to pandemic outbreaks like COVID-19. However, we recommend that you speak to your broker to understand what coverage may be available under the terms of your policy.

Who to contact

If you have questions about coverage related to the pandemic outbreak, please contact your insurance broker.

Reporting claims

Please report any non-emergency claims online here:
Submit your claim here

If you have a question about a claim already in process, contact your regional claims team, at one of the following e-mails: Western region: [email protected] Ontario: [email protected] Atlantic region: [email protected] Québec: [email protected]

If your claim is urgent, please call 1.855.621.6262.

Business Support FAQs

What should I do if I’m concerned about rent payments?

Federal

The Federal government has announced an emergency aid package that will directly support Canadians and businesses facing financial hardship. For more details on the program and information on eligibility, please visit this site.

Provincial

For details on rent payment plans from the Government of Alberta, please visit this site.

Support for rental housing support for renters and clients of BC Housing Rental Assistance Programs, Shelter Aid for Elderly Residents (SAFER) and Rental Assistance Program (RAP) is now available. For more details on the program and information on eligibility, please visit this link.

The Government of New Brunswick has announced support for businesses and employers, including working capital loans. Visit this website for details.

The Government of Nova Scotia is encouraging landlords to defer rent payments for their commercial tenants for three months, spreading the deferred rent amount over the rest of the lease term. For more details on the program and information on eligibility, please visit this website.

I am struggling to meet some of my obligations (utilities, suppliers, etc.), can I postpone these payments?

Federal

Information on Federal support for businesses can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.

Provincial

According to the Government of Alberta website, Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic can work with their utility company to defer electricity and natural gas bills until June 19, 2020 without any late fees or added interest payments. For more details, please visit this site.

If you own a small business that needed to close due to COVID-19 measures, you may be eligible to have your business’ electricity use charges waived for up to three months. For more information, please visit this site.

As an immediate measure, and on a case-by-case basis, the Government of New Brunswick may defer loan and interest repayments for up to six months on existing provincial loans. This support will enable businesses to have immediate relief if they are experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19. For more information, please visit this site.

Newfoundland Labrador Hydro has reported that customers will not be disconnected for non-payment. For more details, please visit this link.

Nova Scotia Power has reported that for 90-days starting March 23rd , there will be no disconnections due to non-payment and penalties will be waived. Contact your service providers customer care team to discuss options. For more details, please visit this website.

The government has announced Emergency Working Capital Financing to help small businesses maintain normal business operations. Each qualified company is eligible to receive up $100,000. For more details, please visit this site.

Hydro-Québec has reported that customers will not be disconnected for non-payment. Contact your service provider’s customer service team to discuss payment arrangements. For more details, please visit this link.

Has any relief been announced with respect to the payment of WSIB premiums?

Provincial

Ontario

WSIB is offering a financial relief package to all Ontario businesses to help reduce the financial burden of the COVID-19 situation. Visit this link to learn more.

What are the details for the temporary wage subsidy?

The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). For more information, please visit this site.

What guidance has governments provided to employers where one of their staff has to take leave because they’re ill, self-isolating, or in quarantine?

The Government of Canada has asked that employers consider relaxing sick leave policies for employees who are ill. This includes suspending the need for medical notes to return to work, as it reduces the burden on an already stressed health care system. If employees are required to take unpaid leave, the Government of Canada recommends that individuals who are sick or quarantined because of COVID-19 should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, whether or not are eligible for Employment Insurance. The Benefit is available for the period from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020. Learn more here.

My business provides an essential service. How can I reduce risk to employees?

The Government of Canada has provided decision-making guidelines for workplaces and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic on this website.

What guidance has governments provided to employers who have to temporarily lay off employees because of COVID-19?

Consultation with legal counsel is recommended if you plan to undertake any such measures. Employment and Social Development Canada has provided the following guidelines on termination of employment on this website.

Business is slow and I don’t have enough work for my employees. Are there any resources available to help deal with this?

Unfortunately, this is likely to be the case for many businesses. The Government of Canada’s Work-Sharing (WS) program helps employers and employees to avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Learn more.

My staff are working remotely. What are some best practices?

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, many companies are working to support employees who are working from home. A few things that you as an employer could do to help facilitate Work From Home effectively are listed here.

Where can I find more information about qualification for EI benefits?

To review the eligibility requirements for EI, visit this site for more details.

I need access to cash flow, where can I apply for support?

To access a list of government Economic Response Plans, visit this site.

Is my business considered to be an essential service?

Federal

The definition of an essential service can vary from one province to another. To see if your business has been defined as an essential service, click this link for an online guide.

Provincial

Nova Scotia

The Government of Nova Scotia has developed an online tool to quickly help employers determine if they may remain open, in compliance with current workplace safety requirements. Visit this site for more details.

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