16 Mar COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE
Dear Valued Clients:
UPDATE: MARCH 30, 2020
Based on the yesterday’s decision at the federal level to extend social distancing guidelines through April 30th and ongoing state and local mandates, Lee & Mason wanted to update you on our ongoing COVID-19 response. Please see below and feel free to contact anyone here for additional information:
- While insurance is currently exempt from most orders as an essential service, Lee & Mason feels that telecommuting remains the best solution for employee safety and customer service moving forward. As of today, Monday March 30th, over 80% of our employees are working remotely. All offices remain minimally staffed to safely perform necessary functions. Making this change proactively enhanced our ability to offer continuity through all offices and product lines.
- Our IT department has made ongoing upgrades to accessibility as part of our Disaster Recovery Response, expanding bandwidth and increasing access for additional remote workers. These changes ensure compliant handling of sensitive borrower data, regardless of the logistical specifics.
- Lee & Mason’s tracking department has adapted to our clients’ current working environment and altered the communication lines used to help the process moving forward. While we have primarily moved to a telecommute model, our workflow and deliverables have been minimally affected. We are considering mild modifications with the best interests of the consumer, lender and community at large in mind and will provide updates to customers as these are implemented. Our goal (as always) remains to balance coverage needs with minimal disruption for all in the process.
- We are in ongoing discussions with all of our ‘A’ rated carrier partners regarding COVID-19’s impact on our programs in general but specifically tracking/placement processes as well as claim settlement procedures. Lee & Mason is at the forefront of these discussions within the industry, pushing for clarity and direction where possible.
- At the same time, we are monitoring all state Departments of Insurance for orders that may impact our scope of service.
Never has it been more challenging to balance coverage and compliance needs with consumer protection and do so with minimal interruption for the lender. At the same time, Lee & Mason is committed to making collateral protection insurance one less thing for our clients to worry about as you focus on your own employee families. Thank you again for your loyalty and please don’t hesitate to reach out.
PREVIOUS ANNOUNCEMENT: MARCH 16, 2020
Lee & Mason wanted to involve you in our ongoing response to COVID-19 and how Coronavirus will impact our company moving forward. Much like your institution, we’ve been closely monitoring the news and updates from CDC, WHO, federal, state and local authorities to ensure Lee & Mason provides the safest environment for our work family. Thankfully, based on proactive planning, we are confident that our team can continue providing the timely, quality service that you have come to expect from Lee & Mason. We are sharing to give you a feel for what’s been done so far and what to expect moving forward:
- In the past few weeks, increased cleaning processes were implemented by both the company and employees with hand sanitization stations set up throughout each office. Employees who displayed symptoms or have family members ill were encouraged not to report to work (this remains our policy per CDC recommendation).
- At the same time, Lee & Mason has been testing and fine-tuning our Pandemic Response Plan to ensure both a safe work environment for employees and business continuity for our clients.
- Last week, business travel was suspended to ensure the safety of our customers, prospects and marketing team while also providing additional office support where necessary. Our sales team remains available as always to address any coverage, compliance or claims questions your institution may have and we encourage you to reach out to them as always.
- At this point, Lee & Mason’s offices remain open with staff available during normal business hours. This staff will continue to practice increased cleaning protocols as well as newly implemented social distancing practices.
- Effective Monday, March 16th, we have empowered certain employees to temporarily work from home based on management’s direction. Telecommuting was already part of Lee & Mason’s business model and as such, we do not anticipate any disruptions in service.
- At this time, this is a regionally-based decision that will continue to evolve based on COVID-19’s local impact and health authority recommendations. Again, all employees remain available as usual and as needed.
- Throughout this evolving process, we remain committed to providing service that is compliant with the standards established by our SSAE16/SOC 2 certification.
While no one can predict COVID-19’s impact in the coming days and weeks, Lee & Mason is committed to maintaining the service standard you’ve come to expect. We cannot thank you enough for your valuable business and look forward to helping as usual through these uncertain times.
Management Team of Lee & Mason Financial Services, Inc.