As we approach the end of our second month in lockdown, Sharon Straughan, Risk & Compliance Director at Coplus has reflected on our learnings from the last few weeks and how we continue to manage our risks going forward.

In the last three months our business continuity plan has been tested to the max. Like lots of other companies within the insurance sector and across the UK we’ve quickly adapted to life outside the office, continuing to run our 24 hour contact centre with staff  working from home.

What stands out for you most about this period at Coplus?

The resilience of individuals and the company as a whole. It’s been a real learning experience and the commitment from the whole team, adaptability and attitude of our people has shone through.

We’ve always been an agile business, good at moving quickly and being decisive and that’s come to the fore in dealing with the impacts of Covid-19.

It has been a team effort and everyone has pulled together getting involved in tasks that they might not usually do, but it works.

My team monitor quality and track performance of customer service and that’s continued throughout this period. The results have been excellent. Not only are we maintaining our SLAs we are exceeding our quality scores.

How has Coplus managed the risks from Covid-19?

An effective business continuity plan and being proactive are the key elements of our success in ensuring that at no stage was there any interruption to service delivery.  In early March we had a core team working from home which meant we had put ourselves into a position straightaway that the business could continue even if we couldn’t access the office. This also allowed us the flexibility to change the office layout to create social distancing, whilst moving the remaining staff to home working.  Currently everything is home based and working effectively.

From a management perspective we have resilience through our senior management structure meaning that if any one or few individuals were unable to work the operation can still continue. This is also a requirement of the FCA to ensure the prescribed responsibilities of our directors can be delegated to another person if necessary.

We have an ongoing responsibility to assess the insurance products we provide to ensure that we can still deliver the cover promised and to be confident that it represents value in the current circumstances.  By maintaining our 24/7 claims handling provision and working closely with our supplier partners we can operate without impact to the customer journey.

Having the support of the Handl Group is another way we’ve mitigated business risks. This gives us financial backing which is a reassurance at this time. The businesses within the group have been affected by the pandemic in different ways and at different times. Overall we are stronger together and are benefiting from shared experiences and new opportunities.

How is Coplus preparing for the next phase of the pandemic?

As the lockdown is easing we are already seeing a slight increase in motor accidents and more FNOL calls. We can be very flexible in how we resource teams and this is working well. We are planning to gradually put teams back into the office and due to the success of homeworking we can do this slowly starting with small groups.  Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff. It’s going to be a long process, nothing will return to normal overnight. Home working has been a real success for us, so I think this will positively change the shape of our business forever. We are certainly all experts at video meetings!