Like no other time in our world’s history, when we need more than ever to come together, we are being asked to keep our distance. And while so many of us continue to work from home and take personal actions to safeguard our health, family and communities during the COVID-19 global pandemic -- we are still together. Our shared experiences, fears, adaptations and inspirations around our evolving new normal bring us closer and help us to navigate during an extraordinary time.
Our purpose as a global organization is what unite us with a collective global spirit – ensuring our minds, our thoughts and our actions are aligned. Our values are our true north in everyday business and decision making, but during this time of global crisis, our values have taken on added meaning:
- Common sense in doing our part within society to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus;
- Common decency in how we support our more than 14,000 employees and each other during the pandemic;
- Uncommon thinking in supporting our customers who need us more than ever as we navigate through this unprecedented time; and,
- Uncommon results in quickly and consistently activating our business continuity plans to safeguard our employees and protect our operations.
Together: We’re doing our part
Since the onset of this crisis, we’ve taken actions to do our part within society to stem the spread of the virus as we:
- Implemented restrictions on non-essential business travel that remain in place.
- Quickly moved more than 12,000 of our 14,000 employees to work remotely. This included 6,100 U.S.-based customer contact and call center employees in eight states who were equipped with technology to continue to provide uninterrupted service to our customers remotely rather than onsite in one of our Assurant office locations.
- Within certain facilities that remained open to perform essential, onsite services for our more than 300 million customers who rely on Assurant, we have adopted strict social distancing guidelines, provided PPE provisions, and are practicing enhanced cleaning and sanitization in strict adherence to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and local government and public health authorities.
- Through July 2020, the Assurant Foundation also has upheld all of our 2020 charitable commitments and distributed more than $2.7 million in grants -- often redirecting funds to support immediate community needs in the wake of the pandemic.
- This is in addition to $257,500 in special one-time COVID19 grants to help our local charitable partners in the frontline pandemic battle in the communities we serve.
- Our 41 global employee Engagement Champion Teams have organized “Acts of Gratitude” in their hometown communities to recognize and support the heroic efforts of first responders and essential workers during the pandemic.
Together: We’re supporting our employees
We continue to do all that we can to support our employees through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including regularly communicating with our employees about what we’re doing to address their safety, health and wellbeing. Our unwavering goal is to always treat our Assurant employees with respect and dignity and providing comfort, wherever possible, given all they and their families are dealing with given the impact of the pandemic, including the following:
- We allayed near-term job security concerns and offered financial support where it was most needed.
- Essential workers at key locations received additional incentive pay and support to ensure they could continue to perform their work safely.
- One-time COVID-19 relief payments of $300 were distributed to all U.S.-based employees working from home below the vice president level to help offset additional pandemic-related expenses and needs. Comparable programs were implemented in other countries.
- In the unprecedented pandemic period, we encourage employees to take additional breaks and create balance for their emotional health. In that spirit, three additional “floating holidays” were provided to all employees to provide additional support and flexibility.
- Our Assurant Cares Employee Support (ACES) Fund launched a special COVID-19 Emergency Relief program to help employees experiencing severe financial hardships triggered by the pandemic, providing 2,225 charitable grants totaling more than $1.1 million through contributions from the Assurant Foundation, Board of Directors, Management Committee and employees.
Together: We’re serving our customers
Our purpose drives us to “protect what matters most.” Throughout the COVID-19 crisis in partnership with our clients, we’ve delivered continuous support for the millions of customers we serve. The essential services we provide, like keeping people connected through mobile phones and ensuring continuous coverage on their homes, matter today more than ever.
It’s not – nor has it ever been – one person or one team that gets it done. We have rallied across our global organization to support each other as we quickly activated our business continuity plans to safeguard our employees and protect our operations. And despite the challenges this pandemic has wrought, we are continuing to deliver.
Regardless of the market volatility, our business fundamentals remain strong - so that we will be there for our customers, employees, and communities for the long-run, while delivering value for our shareholders.
This current uncertainty only underscores how much we rely on each other. How important it is to stay connected. And how responsible we are to the communities where we live and work. Together, we’re united with a common resolve that no physical distance can weaken.
And, while we’re all so far apart right now because of social distancing, isolation or working remotely – more than ever, we need to value what it means to be ‘together.’
Alan B. Colberg
President & CEO