Allianz’s long lasting relationship with schools all over Ireland has been an enormous source of pride for our company. The achievement of schools and school management bodies in recent months in the midst of a global pandemic has been nothing short of fantastic. If we take a moment to sit back and think what our world was like less than a year ago it’s surreal and truly breath-taking to grasp the depths to which the effects of this pandemic have infiltrated our everyday lives. It’s fair to say everyone was longing for some form of normality to return, and the re-opening of schools was front and centre of that. No matter what the nay-sayers will voice, the education sector must be congratulated on all you have all done to get to this point.
So if Allianz were proud of our relationship and association with schools before this, it’s safe to say that feeling has been strongly re-enforced. As such we have always wanted to serve our school customers as best we can and be known as a trusted partner and source of real support rather than simply an insurance provider. Central to this has been our School Support Team’s accessibility and expertise along with the local personal service we provide to our direct schools across Ireland.
It’s with a heavy heart that our physical visits to schools have been paused temporarily in the vast majority of cases. However, where the need to visit is of critical importance, then a visit may be arranged albeit under the tightest of restrictions. Rest assured we are fully committed to resuming school visits when the time is right. However we have been extremely keen to ensure our valued services, that schools have grown to rely on, are still available to you.
You may have been asked to partake in an Allianz survey recently regarding alternative means by which we could provide a service to schools. Ranked in order of preference, based on the survey results, these are the ways in which you can continue to connect with your local Allianz Rep:
1. Ad-Hoc Email & Phone Calls
Top of the pile as we expected, to be honest. From previous independent third party research, we know how important and how highly you value the direct contact you have with your local Allianz Rep and our School Support team. This continues to be the case and, as always, we strongly encourage you to contact us with any insurance related queries. Please visit Local Allianz Reps page to view their contact details.
2. One to One Video Conference
Strange to think that the almost alien concept of Zoom & Team apps became our social outlets earlier in the year. However it’s an ill wind that blows no good, so at least the phenomena that was has helped us all to become more confident and trusting of the video conferencing concept. I think we are all seeing that, while it has its drawbacks, video conferencing can really work and break some of the barriers compared to phone calls. We are more than happy to meet you virtually. Simply request a conference call with your local Allianz Rep and they will facilitate and organise same. Likewise, we are also looking to develop a “booking” system for our website, which we will advise on in due course.
3. Video/Image Sharing Risk Review
Completing risk reviews with schools has always been such a valued service by schools. The restrictions have had a significant impact on this; however we can and have adjusted and adapted. We have engaged with schools who have had areas of concerns and they have simply sent their local Allianz Rep a video or image, via email or WhatsApp, of the area and we have duly reviewed and responded. Simply liaise with your local Allianz Rep regarding the area of concern.
4. Walk, Talk & Video Review Service
A slight tweak on the approach above, and probably more applicable to a general concern rather than a specific area. Connectivity will have an impact here, but if your mobile service is good, then it is very straight forward to have a WhatsApp video call. Contact your local Allianz Rep for a suitable time and we will get a feel for the layout of the school as you walk around, and we will be able to discuss general areas of concern.
5. Weekly Open Forum
We had proposed the idea of a weekly open forum where school principals can log on and ask us questions. The idea being if you have a question, you know your local Allianz Rep will be online and available at a specific time slot each week to answer all questions. The feedback we received on this was clear – people have no interest in this concept at this moment in time, so we will not proceed with this option. We may look at a variation of this in the future to complement our other services but for the moment, this concept will not be brought into operation.
All of these options, with the exception of the Open Forum, are live and ready to go as we speak. We are determined to continue to service our schools in a professional manner that adds value to you, and we will strive to do what we can to facilitate any requests you have. We strongly encourage you to continue to engage with your local Allianz Rep and our School Support Team. You will find our details on the Local Allianz Reps page.