In place since July, Melbourne’s second lockdown has been like a long trip through a tunnel – pandemic-impacted businesses are eagerly awaiting the light at the end. Richmond-based CP Insurance Services, which is providing broking support and continual access to coverage for all its clients in this difficult time, is just as keen to emerge unscathed from the crisis.
When asked what his biggest goal is for 2020, director Scott O’Neill (pictured) told Insurance Business: “To survive it and get through to the end of the year, with a healthy as possible operation that includes retaining all our staff and supporting our clients as best we can. Hopefully one that can enter 2021 as positive as it can, preparing to assist our clients into a more prosperous set of years to come.”
A corporate authorised representative of McLardy McShane Partners, CP Insurance Services assembles insurance programmes for retail-based associations and their members. With retailers among the hardest hit by the lockdown, O’Neill said the challenge for these businesses has been to find a way that they can continue to operate, either through their physical store presence or by shifting to online sales or selling different products.
To help clients amid the current environment, O’Neill’s camp enables flexible solutions that are designed to ensure that policyholders maintain their required levels of coverage. CP Insurance Services provides reliable advice as businesses navigate through the complexities brought about by the existing restrictions and reduced operations.
Sharing his observations, O’Neill noted: “Retailers that had good business plans have fared the best. Those that have kept to the traditional form of operating, without adopting modern practices, have struggled the most.” The insurance executive, however, added that the outcome and ability to survive the second wave will be determined by how long it lasts.
As for now, O’Neill believes that the core of the difficulties is a great level of uncertainty. While acknowledging the ever-changing nature of the unprecedented situation, he highlighted the importance of clear messages and directions on the changes being implemented.
“Businesses can prepare, have good planning, and adjust their operations,” explained O’Neill, “however, if the lockdowns are going to extend for months upon months without ending, that will present a completely different level of challenges. For now businesses are just getting through day to day, week to week, dealing with what presents itself.
“My role hasn’t changed much from the first lockdown – which has been to clarify coverage, adjust, and provide accurate advice toward the impact of those adjustments. For those deciding to cancel their policy, the focus is toward supporting them through those decisions and helping set them up for hopefully a return to when they can recommence operations.”
Earlier this month, the Victorian government released its reopening roadmap. Regional Victoria and Melbourne Metro have their respective roadmaps, though, based on the active COVID-19 cases in the community.