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19 March 2021
Not all businesses plan for the loss of groups of staff, but for many employers this is actually one of the most significant risks their business could face.
“The Covid-19 crisis has brought home to many employers the fact that wellness of staff is crucial to their company’s ability to adapt and continue to trade,” says Crombie Lockwood’s National Manager Life & Health, Austin Fisher.
“In those very uncertain times back in March 2020, the first thing we did was to contact our clients to reassure them that Covid-19 was not an exclusion for life insurance or medical insurance, and that we were on hand to help. We received some very warm feedback for providing this reassurance so quickly.
“Many business owners will have experienced the setbacks brought about by a staff member being injured. While the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) process looks after accidents and injuries, it doesn’t cover illnesses or degenerative conditions. That’s where medical insurance plays a part. People are able to have their operations quickly and return to work earlier. We have done a lot of work to simplify medical insurance in a business setting.”
Covid-19 has brought home to employers that the wellness of staff is crucial to their company’s ability to adapt and continue to trade. Austin Fisher.
Austin has more than 30 years’ experience in the life and health insurance sector, and has been instrumental in developing innovative solutions for clients. He's spent the past few years simplifying Crombie Lockwood’s Employee Benefits offer.
Crombie Lockwood helps employers and employees alike; designing group cover which can generally be put in place for every employee immediately and without any need for medicals or lengthy forms for staff to fill out.
Austin says insuring employees as a group is much easier and quicker than insuring employees individually.
“The cost of the cover is controlled by the employer. We design and build the right kind of cover within a budget that best suits their specific staff numbers and requirements,” he says.
“We now look after over 150 different employee benefits schemes and that number is steadily rising.”
Austin’s team is constantly advocating on behalf of businesses.
An example of this occurred during the first lockdown. Austin's team organised one insurer to realign their criteria for group health insurance cover. This meant that SMEs with just five employees would now qualify for the same medical insurance policy benefits as bigger companies through the same insurer.
The workplace is a community, and this is a tremendous way to look after the people that make your business thrive. Austin Fisher.
Austin also says that Crombie Lockwood’s team received an increased number of calls from company leaders during the first lockdown, looking to diversify how they might reward or look after the interests of their staff.
“They were asking ‘What other options do we have besides remuneration?’ Comprehensive group health insurance for their employees is a tangible benefit.”
Austin says increasing life insurance and income protection are also good alternatives for any organisation seeking to focus more care and attention on their employees’ health interests.
“The ‘attitudinal loyalty’ of staff is very important. If staff are able to access the best medical treatment thanks to your group scheme, they will remember that,” he says.
“There is strength in numbers. Being part of a group means that you can get a better deal than going it alone. To my mind, the workplace is a community, and this is a tremendous way to look after the people that make your business thrive.”
Gallagher offers a range of health insurance solutions to cover you, your family. and your business, should the unexpected happen.
Our brokers arrange and manage group life and health insurance plans for all sizes of corporate and commercial clients, as well as membership organisations.
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Life and health insurance for your staff as an employee benefit.