We use the term “reopening” with some disclaimers because as essential businesses, insurance agencies never shut down. Our members continue to provide a full spectrum of insurance services to their clients throughout the coronavirus crisis. To comply with national efforts to “flatten the curve,” most of our member agencies moved to full or partial remote operation over the last 6 to 8 weeks. Now, with many states in various stages of reopening, it’s time to plan for and assess the potential for reopening your primary office location.
Most states are reopening businesses in stages. In fact, many federal and state authorities say that resumption of public activities and businesses should be viewed as operating more like a dimmer than an on/off switch. The need to protect public safety must be balanced with the importance of resuming economic activity. This is a new situation. None of us have ever faced anything quite like the massive shutdown we’ve experienced, and the resumption of public activity and commerce while in the thick of grave public health concerns is also a new endeavor. Navigating this new territory and finding our way to a “new normal” could prove a bit tricky.
Every state – indeed every locality – is different in their situation and approach to reopening. And our member agencies are independent operations in every sense of the word, ranging from single offices with a handful of employees to multi-site agencies with dozens of staff members. Rather than a checklist of steps, we’re suggesting a list of issues and risk assessments that should be considered in your reopening process. We’re offering a variety of tools and resources to help you with your planning process, including links to state reopening guidance and regulations for the primary states in which we operate; federal resources; and a variety of other resources from experts on legal compliance, health, safety, and workforce management to help address any questions you may have.
There are many areas that you need to address before you open:
- Do you know your state’s guidance on reopening and are you compliant?
- Have you addressed logistics and space planning to comply with social distancing?
- Have you addressed safety and hygiene requirements to ensure the safety of your staff and your clients?
- Have you determined a staffing plan that complies with all federal and state laws?
- Do you have a communication plan for your staff?
- Do you have a communication plan for your clients?
We’ve compiled The Ultimate Guide for Insurance Agencies to answer these and other questions, and to provide resources to help in your planning:
Visit our COVID19 Insurance Agency Emergency Resources for frequently updated news and tools.