March 20, 2020 by Adam Malik
Aviva Canada is ensuring that its efforts to keep employees safe will not impact service during the COVID-19 pandemic that is forcing companies from all industries to change the way they do business.
The country’s second-largest carrier has 97% of its more than 4,200 employees working remotely, Aviva’s CEO Jason Storah said in an email to Canadian Underwriter. Fewer than 100 employees are staying in the company’s offices around the country to handle tasks deemed essential; he assured that steps have been taken to make sure they are safe while there.
“Meetings and day-to-day work are now taking place online via Skype, teleconference and Microsoft Teams,” he explained. “We’ve been early adopters of these technologies, so it was easy for our people to move quickly to doing their work virtually.”
Storah also noted that Aviva has business continuity plans and it will be able to service the needs of customers and brokers going forward.
“We understand that these are extraordinary times and we’re keeping lines of communication open to every employee through daily emails, intranet updates, and all employee calls. All Aviva leaders, including myself, have made ourselves available to hear from staff and take their questions,” he said.
Aviva is also encouraging all employees to follow the advice of government leaders and health officials to wash their hands, social distance as much as possible, and monitor themselves for symptoms.
“At Aviva Canada, we’ve been monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Canada very closely and following instructions from all government health authorities,” Storah said. “At this time, our Number 1 priority is the health and safety of our customers, employees, brokers and partners.”
He added that the company has been in contact with its brokers, partners at RBC, and customers to keep them informed of issues. “Teams from across our business are working diligently to compile and disseminate information to all of our key stakeholders as this situation evolves,” he said.
“With calm heads and common sense, we’ll get through this. There are many people out there facing an uncertain future and we’ll do everything possible to support them.”