Accident & Health - is your policy due a check up?

As part of our focus on expanding our Specialty Lines capability, we have recently appointed a new Head of Accident & Health - Davina Southwell – who shared this blog with her network on Linkedin earlier this week.

I’m Davina Southwell and have recently been appointed as Head of Accident & Health (A&H) at Aviva. I’ve spent over 20 years in insurance, working for a mix of small and large insurers before going on to specialise in A&H. 

It’s been an interesting old time for an A&H underwriter over the last few years. If you had told me that the hardening market would have had no impact to my line of business three years ago, I would have scoffed and, very smugly, said outright you were wrong. 

But then we entered the world of Covid-19 and a global pandemic, and things very quickly changed for the A&H market. Whilst colleagues in other lines have seen growth bolstered by hardening premiums, in A&H it’s been a different story. 

At the ‘S’ end of SME we have seen clients;

a) cancel cover that is no longer needed or

b) where a business has had to make decisions on their programme structure, cancel cover due to their need to survive and save money.

At the larger end, cover may have been maintained but with travel patterns greatly reduced, premium has been impacted or with a reduced workforce, reduced cover was needed. So why am I telling you this now, and giving you a peek behind the curtain into my world of A&H? It’s because now we’re entering into a post-Covid way of working, A&H programmes need to be fully reviewed from the ground up, to make sure they are still fit for purpose.

So, what should you be asking your clients?

To me, the key questions that brokers and clients should be considering are:

  • What sort of business travel is going to be taking place, and is it adequately insured now? 
  • Can I get any advice and guidance from my insurer to give me support on navigating travelling abroad?
  • Have I even got the Travel cover still insured on my A&H policy?
  • Have I updated my Insurer on whether my workforce footprint has changed now staff are returning to work?
  • Have we had to alter the work we do, and does my insurer know about any changes?

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Having gone through a period of reduction and cancellation over the last 18 months, it’s now the perfect time to review what is in place, and give the wheels a good kick! To me, A&H should be at the heart of a business’s insurance programme, not simply a peripheral cover. We provide protection to their most important assets - their people - and if/when something catastrophic occurs, our policy provides support to both the business and the insured.