Griffiths & Armour Statement on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to dominate the news, with major implications for public health and the NHS.
It is also causing economic disruption across the globe and turbulence on the financial markets, with many insurers restricting travel and meeting commitments to ‘essential business only’.
As you would expect, we are monitoring developments closely, but we have also put in place sensible measures to ensure that Griffiths & Armour is well prepared.
We can reassure you that in respect of the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak we are focused on three things: the health and welfare of both our clients and staff; our ability to continue to support clients; and, of course, the sound management of insurance programmes. Some of the specific actions that we have taken include:
A robust approach to risk management and operational effectiveness is integral to our business and so we have been prepared for abnormal events for some time through a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
Our BCP plan identifies the requirements that would be needed for each area of the business to function under a wide range of scenarios and it is kept under constant review. These scenarios include natural disasters, acts of terrorism, data breaches, power and transport failures and major sickness outbreaks such as pandemics. Thankfully real scenarios have been exceptionally rare, and our processes have performed well in simulations to date.
We have invested in technology and infrastructure to ensure that the business is both robust and adaptable to be able to cope with significant and potentially disruptive events:
The majority of our staff have the ability to work from home if required and can remotely access our systems within a secure IT environment. A programme to rollout access to other relevant staff is well underway. We are also able to redirect work phone lines to employee mobile phones where necessary.
We operate from 3 locations across the UK and importantly have a multi-site approach to our main insurance functions. This gives us the flexibility to temporarily relocate activities or teams to other sites, if necessary.
Employee and client safety
The health, safety and well-being of our staff and clients is of paramount importance to us. We are therefore closely monitoring and implementing official guidelines from the Government and health organisations in respect of COVID-19. Specific actions taken include:
We have asked staff to follow the Government’s advice in relation travel to and from higher risk destinations for themselves and family members. We have put in place our own internal reporting processes to manage this, advising staff to self-isolate as required.
Signs of Sickness
We are asking staff to stay at home and self-isolate in line with current guidance.
Continuity in event of Personal Containment
In the event Government advice recommends all workplace closures, or we feel that this is necessary, then we are ready to respond immediately.
Hand washing facilities/hand sanitisers are available throughout our offices for both staff and clients and we have reinforced our existing clear desk policy.
We have asked staff to consider business and personal travel. We recognise that many clients will also want to minimise their travel and face-to-face contact during this period and therefore we can facilitate meetings by telephone, video conferencing and Teams/Skype. In the current circumstances, we believe that facilitating meetings by video conference or telephone is best practice but we remain responsive to client needs in reasonable and appropriate circumstances.
The coronavirus outbreak is clearly a constantly evolving situation both in terms of infection rates and the impact on our clients and insurers alike. While we cannot predict when the outbreak will peak and/or start to subside, we hope that the market disruption will ultimately be short-lived.
In the meantime, we want to reassure you that we are taking sensible precautions to minimise the potential impact of coronavirus on our clients, staff and operations while ensuring it is business as usual during this busy insurance period.
If you have further questions please contact your usual contact at Griffiths & Armour.
Griffiths & Armour Insurance Brokers