Across Australia, COVID-19 continues to cause havoc. NSW has recorded more than 1,000 new cases a day since the end of August, and other states still have some restrictions in place. More than 1,000 Australians have now died from the disease.
Brokers are among the growing numbers of Australians getting vaccinated. Insurance Business caught up with Trident Insurance account director Dan McCallum (pictured) hours before he submitted to a second jab.
McCallum thinks brokers should get fully vaccinated, partly because of possible liability issues.
“I think mandatory is a bit strong, but I think certainly encouraging the staff members to obtain their vaccinations is the way to go,” he said. “Otherwise, we’re exposing ourselves as a business if we don’t offer or recommend them to take these precautions. If we didn’t and a claim arose, we could be potentially liable.”
McCallum’s state of Western Australia currently has only very limited COVID-19 restrictions. The last snap lockdown ended more than two months ago. He’s very grateful, that, unlike colleagues in other states, he can go to work and physically meet fellow staff.
“We operate as teams, so teamwork is key and collaborating and physically seeing each other,” he said.
McCallum said, without COVID restrictions, it’s also easier to meet client expectations.
“Clients expect a high level of service and when something goes wrong you need to go out there and hold their hand. So, we’re feeling very grateful that we’ve got the opportunity to do that.”
However, with last year’s WA lockdowns, this year’s snap versions and the dire story on the east coast, McCallum is mindful his situation could change at any time. He said Trident has become good at adapting.
“As a layer of comfort, if we do go into lockdown, we do have our precautions in place to be able to quickly shift gears and work from home and then provide a service framework to our clients. Even though we can’t go see them, we can stay in touch and make them aware that we’re here for them,” he said.
He added that remote working during lockdowns is more of a problem for bigger insurance companies.
“I think it would be an issue for a medium to large sized broker where they work in teams,” he said. “They’ve got a legal department and a compliance department and they quickly need to bounce things off each other all day,”
McCallum said holding those large-scale meetings via Zoom or Teams would be dysfunctional.