Ecclesiastical Insurance Group signs C-19 Business Pledge

Photo shows: Ecclesiastical CEO Mark Hews celebrating the insurer's 130 years last year
Mark Hews and Caroline Taplin 2

Gloucester-headquartered Ecclesiastical Insurance has become the first insurer to sign the C-19 Business Pledge.

The financial services group, which offers specialist services in insurance, investment management, broking and advisory businesses in the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia, joins more than 250 firms globally in making the public commitment to tackle the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Launched by former Cabinet Minister Rt Hon Justine Greening and entrepreneur David Harrison, and working in conjunction with businesses across the UK, the pledge seeks to mobilise corporate efforts towards tackling the pandemic.

The C-19 Business Pledge has received the backing of more than 250 organisations representing more than 2.2 million employees and students. Other companies from across the region which have signed the pledge include Gloucester-based businesses EDF Energy, Mears Group and Moog Aircraft, West Midlands-based Severn Trent Water and law firm Shakespeare Martineau,  Swindon-based RWE Energy, Alongside these businesses, the pledge has received support from more than 30 cross-party MPs.

The aim is to encourage UK businesses to demonstrate that they are a force for good by making a commitment to help tackle Coronavirus in three areas: for their employees, their customers, and their communities. It is targeting not just the immediate challenges of COVID-19 but also the issues faced during recovery.

For customers, Ecclesiastical has introduced a number of measures, including updating cover to support businesses that have been forced to temporarily close as a result of COVID-19. This includes extending contents cover to employees working from home, and ensuring there are no changes to premium and policy cover for premises forced to temporarily close their doors. Ecclesiastical has also introduced an automatic extension in cover for 30 days beyond renewal to help brokers protect their clients from becoming unintentionally uninsured.

As one of the UK’s top five corporate givers, Ecclesiastical is responding to this crisis by providing funding aimed at supporting communities through the pandemic. Together Ecclesiastical Insurance Group will give over £1.5m to support charities and communities, including a donation to the National Emergencies Trust. This includes £1million through its Movement for Good giving campaign and through its owner Allchurches Trust, which is donating £250,000 to national organisations tackling food poverty all over the UK.

For employees, Ecclesiastical has introduced a range of measures to support the transition to home working, ensuring they are able to continue to serve customers brilliantly. These include ‘working and caring’ principles to ensure employees feel supported while balancing their home commitments with work, wellbeing advice and resources, a new ‘employee check-in’ survey to keep in touch and find out how people are doing and a special contact programme designed for vulnerable people within the organisation.

Mark Hews, CEO of Ecclesiastical, said: “As a business with a purpose to give all available profits to good causes, we wholeheartedly support the aims of the C-19 Business Pledge initiative in galvanising the business community to do the right thing at this challenging time.  It is vital that we support our customers, communities and employees so that we can come through this together.”

Ecclesiastical Insurance has also announced that it has retained its top spot in the Fairer Finance Home Insurance league table and remains the UK’s most trusted home insurance provider.

The specialist insurer topped the list of 50 insurers including household names such as Nationwide, NFU Mutual, John Lewis and Hiscox.

Fairer Finance, an independent consumer group, surveys around 20,000 UK banking and insurance customers throughout the year, asking them to rate how satisfied they are with their bank or insurance company. Customers are asked to rate the firms on happiness and trust, Fairer Finance then uses records from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to assess complaints handling and a combination of mystery shopping and policy document reviews to assess transparency.
Ecclesiastical has topped the table for the eleventh time and has seen improvements in its scores in all four key areas measured by Fairer Finance. The firm’s overall customer experience score increased by 5% to 84%, 10% higher than closest rival Nationwide.