Enabling Flexibility Is Part of Pandemic Response

by Marc E. Schmittlein

In addition to these operational changes [for our customers], we shifted financial resources to support our community giving efforts, focusing on areas with the greatest need: foodbanks, seniors and frontline healthcare workers.

CopperPoint operates within the Property and Casualty insurance market, offering workers’ compensation and small commercial insurance products. Our core lines of business, which include workers’ compensation and general liability, are dependent on employer payroll. Depending on the state mix (e.g., California) and/or classes of business (leisure, construction or retail), payroll exposures have been reduced during the pandemic. We experienced most of these reductions in the March to May period with furloughs and business closures. However, we are confident that post-pandemic (mid to late 2021), there will be a resurgence of business and economic growth.

Early in the pandemic, CopperPoint’s ability to offer flexible payment plans to alleviate the stress of companies downsizing their payroll, as well as deferred cancellation of policies for non-payment, became a critical adjustment that offered economic relief to policyholders. We also made a commitment to introduce a new product called “Pay As You Go.” The offering will allow for accurate accounting of payrolls as they ebb and flow from month to month. An adjustment of premium and coverage will be made shortly after a payroll change is reported, versus having to wait until the policy’s annual renewal date. In addition to these operational changes, we shifted financial resources to support our community giving efforts, focusing on areas with the greatest need: foodbanks, seniors and frontline healthcare workers. Community giving is at the heart of the CopperPoint family, and during these extraordinary times we are proud to have contributed more than $1 million.

Prior to COVID-19, we as a company had no telecommuting strategy in place. The pandemic has afforded us the ability to test a nearly 100% remote work environment for the past nine months. The performance has been exceptional, which is now leading us to adopt a more flexible policy. We believe over the long haul this will greatly benefit the quality of life for our employees, increase employee retention, and enhance our ability to recruit superior talent across our core 10-state western footprint.

Marc Schmittlein serves as president and CEO of Phoenix-based CopperPoint Insurance Companies. He joined the company in 2016, bringing more than 30 years of commercial insurance experience. Under his leadership, CopperPoint has transformed from a monoline Workers’ Compensation insurer into a western-based super regional commercial insurance company and a leading provider of Workers’ Compensation and commercial insurance solutions.

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