During these challenging times for us all we want to reassure you that we are continuing to operate our business to provide you with ongoing service and will be available to provide insurance advice and support to you. However obviously we will be unable to meet with you in person while the government has the country at Alert Level 4 but we are available via phone, email and other forms of digital communication.
Insurance – an Essential Business
The Government has said essential businesses and those that support them will continue during the lockdown period.
Essential businesses are entities and their workers carrying out services that are considered essential. This also includes entities in their supply chains.
Financial services are listed as essential businesses and included in these is insurance. The definition, therefore, applies to insurers and any entity that contracts or provides services to them. Insurance brokers would fall within this definition.
Essential businesses will continue working but will put in place alternative ways of working to keep employees safe. Methods such as shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing are suggested as ways to achieve this.
However, the best approach would appear to be arranging for staff to work from home, avoiding face to face contact other staff and clients.
The Government is setting up a call centre and free 0800 number to help answer questions. Their Covid19 web site will be updated with details as soon as this is set up.
Government Assistance for Wage Subsidies
The government has announced a wage subsidy package for businesses affected by Covid-19 and details can be found here.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has resulted in major disruptions to most businesses and highlighted the need for having adequate Business Continuity Plans in place. This article from KPMG highlights some issues to consider.
Talk to your advisor about accessing various BCP tools for your business.
Tips for getting through the Coronovirus Pandemic
Some of these useful tips from the Weekend Herald are being enforced as a result of the introduction of Alert Level 4 but still some helpful tips for coping over the next 4 weeks and beyond.
How to stay in touch
It can get lonely, so keep in touch, even if only by phone or online. Arrange virtual lunches or dinners with friends and family, using video apps such as WhatsApp or FaceTime.
Or make plans to chat over the phone after work with a friend. Check your community Facebook for support and camaraderie. Local communities are using other online tools to stay in touch and support the most vulnerable.
Among groups set up is one by broadcaster Hilary Barry, called “Don’t feel isolated while you’re self-isolating” and is for housebound residents.
How to set up a home office
Make it a real office. Working from bed in your jammies might sound appealing. But your mental health and productivity will thank you if you set up the best mock-office you can and try to stick to your usual workday routines as much as possible.
You can be creative – ironing boards, laundry baskets and even stacked toilet rolls have been used to make that home office just a little bit more comfortable.
And to cope best with that new world, structure your day just as before – go to bed and get up at the same time as before, and use the time you save from the lack of commute not to sleep in but to give yourself a healthy start to the day by getting outside for a walk or other exercise.
Things to do you’re bored
Get outside. Go for a walk. Go to the beach or the park. Enjoy nature – we have plenty of room in New Zealand, so no trouble keeping 1.5 metres apart.
If the weather’s bad, dig out the board games or cards. Go really old school and have a go at charades.
At night, discover the stars with the SkyView app. Or see what planes are overhead (those which are still flying) on Flightradar24.
Try new recipes. Listen to those podcasts you downloaded a year ago. Libraries are closed for the next two weeks at least, but the app Libby lets you download e-books.
If that’s too much work, stretch out on the couch at listen to an audiobook (there’s an app for that too – Overdrive).
There’s also TV, if all else fails, but keep the content light if you can. Don’t download pandemic movie Outbreak, stick to comedies.
Covid19.govt.nz: The Government’s official Covid-19 advisory website
Don’t panic buy. Just get a bit extra on each shop. Imagine you’re taking a two week holiday from the supermarket.
And if you really don’t want to venture out, Meal kit delivery service My Food Bag has launched a $139.99 My Back-Up meal option designed to take the hassle of stocking up the pantry with long-life items.
And tempting as it is, try to stick to three, healthy meals a day. Good food will boost your immune system, and your spirits.
It’s okay to feel afraid. But be gentle on yourself and others.
Help yourself get through by relying on information from the Ministry of Health and setting rules about how often you read or watch updates on the virus.
We can’t go on big overseas adventures or to big events, but we can enjoy the simple things in life – playing with our children or animals, watching funny TV shows, enjoying a good home-cooked meal and laughing at the endless supply of meme take-downs of the virus.
The Mental Health Foundation has designed a resource on mentalhealth.org.nz on looking after your mental health during the pandemic. Their posts and stories on Instagram are also worth following – one of the best this week: “It’s all right to feel a bit all over the place”.
Self-distancing and good hygiene are your friends. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If you need to cough or sneeze cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the inside of your elbow.
Avoid hugs, hongi, and handshakes.
Make sure you have essential medicines to last two weeks. Stay away from elderly or otherwise medically vulnerable people if you’re sick.
Take care, be kind to one another and Kia Kaha