Planning for the future

Child playing with parent

Planning for the future

If there was ever a year we will be glad to see the back of, it is 2020. The months since Covid-19 hit have been terribly challenging and, in some cases, heart-breaking for many businesses. The indoor play sector, with its focus on a tactile, social experience for large groups of children has been dealt a particularly harsh blow, and inevitably it will take time for settings to recover. However, before the pandemic, this was a sector going from strength to strength and, as the country discovers what normal looks like after Covid, there is no reason to believe that once this crisis finally abates, indoor play will bounce back.

At Morton Michel, we are working to ensure we are doing all we can to support our policyholders in the indoor play sector as it adapts to the new normal. Key to this has been our people. We know that in a complex sector, where every setting is different, there is often no substitute for a conversation with our expert team. Naturally, during a pandemic, insurance requirements change, even though potential liabilities remain, and we are doing all we can to ensure we are here to help. For example, we have removed extensions for events that cannot occur when premises are closed, and reviewed individual circumstances with customers where footfall or wage roll has fallen. We have also upgraded our telephony system to make it easier and quicker to talk to us when things are busy and our staff are regularly briefed on the latest developments and restrictions so they understand the new world our clients are dealing with.

The main goal for many of our policyholders in 2021 will be trying to get back to normal, or finding ways to operate in the new environment that prevails. For the indoor play sector that means developing an in-depth understanding of what restrictions and regulations are in place and, most importantly, when and where they are lifted. Throughout 2020 we have been keeping a close eye on developments and it is important to emphasise that Morton Michel insurance policies remain valid provided government guidance and regulations are followed. However, in a diverse sector, what that means for individual settings is always going to vary from site to site.

Kids jumping on grass

To help manage this, one important resource available to our policyholders is the legal advice line from ARAG. It is staffed by qualified solicitors who can advise on the current legal obligations affecting the sector and helping settings understand how new regulations will affect their business. Not only does this mean they can plan for the future, but it helps to ensure that, when restrictions are lifted, they can quickly get back on their feet.

We also understand that indoor play settings are not just bricks and mortar, or plastic and metal, but rely on their own teams of incredible staff. All our policyholders receive benefits they can pass along to their people. This includes access to a confidential counselling helpline. When times are this tough, everyone’s mental health is of paramount importance and studies have shown[1] how much of a difference access to counselling can make in the workplace. We also offer a suite of discounts and offers from retailers and attractions that can be passed on to staff, helping businesses say thank you to their people.

The indoor play industry is a fantastic, vibrant, innovative sector that plays a crucial role in children’s lives and local economies. 2020 has been an incredibly tough year for everyone to endure but, as we look ahead to 2021, we are confident it will bounce back, and we are working to support it every step of the way.

.[1]John McLeod (2010) The effectiveness of workplace counselling: A systematic review, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 10:4, 238-248