Aviva and AXA have already confirmed meeting cancellations as a ‘precautionary measure’

Commercial insurer NIG is the latest firm to advise staff to cancel all non-essential external visits due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

A spokesperson at Direct Line Group, which owns NIG, said: ”The position from both a commercial and group perspective is attendance of events is something we keep under review, taking into account the latest information from public health authorities.”

A number of London-based insurers are asking employees to refrain from attending non-essential external events and meetings in a bid to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus.

Last week, Aviva was among the first to call a halt to external meetings.

It said: “We are taking a prudent approach to protecting our employees and business, so have a number of precautionary measures in place, in line with general advice, to limit the potential spread of the virus.”

This includes “avoiding large team meetings” and “trying to minimise face-to-face contact between employees from different Aviva sites”.

Market-wide concerns

Many insurers have jumped on the precautionary bandwagon.

A RSA spokesperson, for example, told Insurance Times: “We are following government advice as well as putting safeguards in place around international travel to help our employees stay safe.

“We have robust business continuity plans in place to ensure we can continue to support our customers should employees be required to adopt a different way of working for a period of time.

“We will be watching the situation closely and will evolve our guidance as required.”

AXA is concurring with Aviva’s stance. Its spokesperson told Insurance Times: “We are minimising non-essential business meetings as a precautionary measure.”

Zurich, on the other hand, is telling employees to “use their discretion” around third-party meetings.

A spokesperson said: “As the safety and wellbeing of our employees is a top priority, we are asking staff scheduled to attend events organised by third parties to use their discretion.

“We continue to fully adhere to the latest Public Health Guidance and are taking all necessary precautions to protect our employees and ensure the continuity of operations.”

Meanwhile Allianz isn’t imposing any additional rules for staff on attending meetings or events, but the organisation is constantly reviewing the coronavirus risk status.

The firm told Insurance Times: “Allianz Insurance does not currently have any additional restrictions on UK domestic travel. This situation is under constant review in line with government and Allianz Group guidelines, as the welfare of our colleagues is our primary concern.”