Coronavirus - ERS publishes broker Business Continuity Planning update

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Authored by ERS - 12th March 2020

Considering the recent global outbreak of Coronavirus, we want to provide you with a short update on the steps we are taking to ensure that we can continue to support you and your policyholders, whilst keeping ERS employees safe. The nature of this situation means that our approach can change at any time – you can stay up to date by signing up to receive emails or following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Business continuity plan and testing

We have a continuity plan in place which allows ERS to continue trading and supporting our brokers and policyholders in the event of a pandemic outbreak. Whilst we’re confident in our business continuity plan, the implications of a Coronavirus outbreak are wide and unprecedented, which has led us to continue to refine and test our business continuity processes. Specifically, this week we are testing our capabilities for large numbers of employees to work from home to ensure we’re fully prepared for any enforced office closures. These tests will run from the 12th to the 17th March.

Protecting our Swansea Operations centre and London office

All of ERS’ operations are UK based with our head office in London and Operations centre is in Swansea. We have restricted all face-to-face meetings between London and Swansea employees and are assessing all external visitors to understand their Coronavirus risk levels 24 hours before they are due to enter the office.

If we have a confirmed instance of Coronavirus, our business continuity plan will kick in to protect other employees whilst continuing to support service levels.

Increasing the use of technology

ERS has invested in technology that enables all employees to work securely from external locations. Laptops and computers can connect securely to the ERS network from any location as can desktop phones. Our teams will continue to stay in touch via Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, email and phone.

Optimising for policy holder claims notifications and updates

If we need to close a location, we expect business to function as normal. However, if large numbers of employees are unwell and unable to work from an external location, our service levels will be impacted.

If this happens, our commitment will be to ensure claims notifications and supporting policyholders if they’ve had a claim is our number one priority. We will optimise our resources to ensure that these calls and requests are dealt with first. Our IVRs will be updated should anything on this scale happen.

Working with our partners on their Business Continuity Plans

As with all insurers, we have a number of third-party service providers. They are contracted to have a Business Continuity Plan in place. We have approached all our material suppliers to review their plans.

Keeping up to date

For our brokers and suppliers, staying up to date with our plans is critical. All communications will be distributed through email, LinkedIn or Twitter. Please take a moment to sign up and follow.

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