At LV=, we pride ourselves on always trying to do the right thing for our customers. Our people work tirelessly every day to ensure our customers are put at the heart of everything they do and never has that been more true than it is today, as we face the challenges presented to us by COVID-19.
However, it’s not just our people who help ensure we provide the right support to our customers. Our supplier partners also play a very important role in helping us protect what matters most to our customers, and you could almost argue that they’re the unsung heroes of LV=. Whether it’s the person who arrives to rescue you from the roadside late at night, the bodyshop who repairs your car, or the emergency repairers who swiftly come into your home to fix a burst pipe, standing behind LV= is a large network of suppliers who help us look after our customers. Given how important they are to our business and to our customers, I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know how we at LV= are helping them.
At these challenging times, our number one priority is to keep our suppliers and our customers safe, which is why we’re doing everything we can to ensure that social distances of at least two metres are being maintained. So if one of our agents needs to help recover a customer after a breakdown or if a contractor needs to go into someone’s home, it’s incredibly important that everyone respects and adheres to the social distancing. For our breakdown recovery agents, we’re also asking for all our customers who need help with a breakdown to let us know if somebody in their vehicle is showing symptoms of COVID-19. We can then let the recovery team know so they can get our customer up and running in the best way possible, while keeping themselves and our customers safe.
We rely on over 250 independent breakdown businesses, employing over 3,000 breakdown professionals to supply our recovery service to our customers. To support these businesses, many of which are small with often only a hand-full of employees, we’ve increased the amount we pay them to help them weather the financial hardship that COVID-19 will bring and ensure they can still be on hand to support NHS and essential workers if they breakdown.
Some bodyshops across the UK have been hit the hardest, with many seeing a significant drop in the work they would normally expect. Bodyshops are essential in helping cars get back on the road and to ensure we’re playing our part and doing everything we can to support them, we’ve increased the amount we pay them. We work with more than 150 bodyshops around the UK and we’re hopeful that this increase in the amount we pay will go some way in helping them through what is a difficult time. To make sure all the vehicles are safe for the them and our customers, we’ve also arranged for all vehicles to be extensively cleaned and are providing additional income for this to be done.
We’re also prioritising all key workers and vulnerable customers, as we recognise how important it is for them to remain mobile. In cases where the car is not fit to drive and can’t be repaired, we’re also providing replacement cars, even if it’s not part of the customer’s policy.
Similar to our breakdown agents and bodyshops, we have increased the amount we pay building contractors in our supplier network. We’re also putting all key workers and vulnerable customers first, so emergency repairs are being prioritised in an effort to help people feel safe and secure as they spend more time at home.
Following the recent storms, we also have many customers living in alternative accommodation and we’re constantly reviewing the situation with these customers to make sure their current arrangements are still safe and appropriate for them and their family’s needs. Where we find that’s not the case, we’re working with our suppliers to make alternative arrangements.
Without our suppliers, we frankly wouldn’t be able to deliver the service we provide to our customers, so it’s crucial that we step up and help them when they need us most. Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll continue to do what we can to help them and working together we will ensure that over the short, medium and long-term, you continue to benefit from the great products and services that you have come to expect from LV=.
CEO, LV= General Insurance