The first case of Covid-19 was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019. Shortly thereafter, on January 30, 2020, WHO declares the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
In view of the numerous inquiries related to coverage issues in face of the Coronavirus outbreak, Allianz Global Benefits reacted fast by systematically collecting information on epidemic and pandemic exclusions around the world. In March 2020 we were the first network on the market to provide our clients and brokers with detailed information on how our network partners around the globe were dealing with the situation. Since then, the Covid-19 Coverages overview has been continually updated, providing helpful guidance in understanding how the Coronavirus is impacting the coverage across employee benefits plans within the network.
Relevant measures to protect the employees and their families were taken very early, including daily updates by a special task force of Allianz Group. On March 16, 2020 the offices were closed, moving all employees to working from home, while continuing to provide the best service possible to our customers.
Ten months into the pandemic, Allianz Global Benefits was able to identify early impacts of Covid-19 on employee benefits in general and on all business lines from concerns over life expectancy, delayed cancer treatment and the effects of Long Covid. The findings, based on data collected from the network, were published via the website and social media.
Around the first-year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic we noted a shift in priorities for employee benefits and identified 5 top priorities for the current year: Focus on disability plans and concern over Long Covid, health and wellbeing – in particular mental health, the emergence of vaccines and the role of employers in vaccine education, remote and flexible working to continue after the pandemic and a growing concern over delays in non-Covid related medical treatment.
Allianz supports the vaccination campaigns and has successfully started to vaccinate employees and their family members against Covid-19, e.g. in several vaccination centers on its premises in Germany in June and by using their own medical staff.