A Note from Nicholas Hatherly - 20 March 2020
Re Re COVID-19 Update 1 - AFRM service continuation:
We know you’ve been inundated with emails about the coronavirus (COVID-19). However, as a company dedicated to helping as many people as we can, we wanted to take a moment to let you know what steps AFRM is taking to ensure we continue to provide our clients, referral partners and other stakeholders with a seamless continuation of the outstanding levels of personal service you have come to expect from us.
We have adopted numerous internal and external protocols informed by the COVID-19 information and advice being provided by the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO). We believe it is crucially important for our response to by guided by facts provided by the relevant health authorities. Internally, we have already adopted a range of hygiene practices advocated by health authorities as best practice in how to protect ourselves and others, including:
using alcohol-based hand sanitisers. All employees are using hand sanitiser at reception upon every entry to our premises throughout each day.
covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
disposing of tissues properly
washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet
cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
any ill team members are staying home to avoid contact with others until cleared medically.
We are providing our team members with regular information updates and earlier this week provided advice to all clients about COVID-19’s potential impacts on life insurance in our Q1 Client Newsletter. We have also heeded recommendations to encourage remote working. At this point in time our entire Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra teams and the vast majority of our Newcastle team are working remotely to avoid potential exposure during public transport commutes. AFRM has robust information technology and document management systems accessible to all employees via remote access ensuring we can maintain high levels of service and support to our clients at all times. We also have an advanced Voice Over Internet telephone system that allows seamless connection from our front desk reception to your adviser no matter where they are based – including seamless voice transfer from reception to our advisers’ mobile phones. If you have an upcoming face-to-face meeting scheduled with one of AFRM’s advisers, we will contact you in advance to confirm with you the arrangements for how this meeting will progress. We are monitoring the market and actions by insurers daily to assess any potential impacts on your life insurance. As we advised in Wednesday's newsletter to clients, at this point in time we can confirm you are covered for death and illness as a result of COVID-19. However, your life insurance does not cover the broader circumstance of interruptions to income / employment caused by quarantine and industry shutdowns.
If the situation changes, we will provide you with that information as soon it becomes available in COVID-19 Updates such as this. We are, of course, happy to assist if you have any other queries in relation to COVID-19 and your insurance protection. The Federal Department of Health provides detailed information about COVID-19 here and also regular updates about the current status of the pandemic here. This week the Department of Health also posted this highly informative video which provides valuable insight into how we, as individuals, should address the current COVID-19 pandemic. We wish that all of our clients, referral partners, team members and other stakeholders stay well and urge you all to exercise common sense about COVID-19 and be compassionate towards others. Yours sincerely, Nicholas Hatherly. Managing Director