Search

How AHI has adapted amid the COVID-19 pandemic

For Hugh Ross, chief operating officer at AHI, working throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic has been more or less “business as usual”.

However, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t facilitated large scale changes to enable the company’s ongoing success. Ross says AHI, like most other white collared companies, has been working remotely since mid-March.

“To date, operationally AHI has functioned at 100% efficiency during the pandemic and subsequent social distancing regulations and lockdowns,” he said. “Like most businesses and people in general, mental health and wellbeing of our staff has certainly been a big focus. Working remotely full time in isolation, without the normal day to day interactions with other staff, clients, brokers presents a new set of challenges.”

Ross says the company’s mantra is “protect what matters most” and, to paraphrase AHI’s CEO, Danny Byrnes, one of the things that matters most to AHI is its staff.

“All team leaders have kept in close contact with team members through online channels, and contact has been as frequent, if not more so, as normal in the office interaction,” he continued. “Senior management, such as I, have supported all staff during the transition and as the pandemic continued, and, where necessary, we have been reaching out to individual staff just to ask, ‘R U OK’.”

Additionally, Ross, who has served in his COO role since 2016 after working as a risk and compliance manager at AHI since 2011, says market facing personnel have also experienced change throughout the pandemic.

“Obviously, our market facing personnel have had to conduct broker ‘visitations’ and the like through online channels, and if anything, this has enabled us to be in closer contact with our broker family more than ever,” he explained. “Having a nationwide presence has meant that our general internal business meetings have always been run with remote staff, so again, it was very much business as usual at AHI.”

Helping AHI’s transition to remote working was the hard work that was done to digitise its workplace over the past two years, according to Ross. Both market-facing and internal company departments undertook this “digital transformation”, that ultimately enabled full-time remote working for all staff during the global pandemic.

Additionally, Ross says the company activated its business continuity plan alongside an increase in cyber security to accommodate all staff in a work from home environment.

Ross says the company also undertook additional efforts to support clients, by leveraging “many online channels and activities” to assist their broker network and clients during this “unprecedented time”.

Some of these measures included hosting webinars that provided “general information”, one-on-one online meetings to support specific needs and requirements, brokerage-wide or broker team sessions to address scheme specific enquiries and updating its website regularly.

This included, Ross said, providing updated claims position statements as COVID-19 escalated into a declared global pandemic.

“Via email and website channels, we have also released COVID-19 specific claims processes, checklists and fact sheets to assist brokers when talking to their clients about COVID-19 and its applicability to their cover,” Ross added.

“During these times when our claims volume exponentially grew to double what it was in the same period in 2019, AHI has continued to provide our multi-award-winning service, both in claims and underwriting.”