Freisenbruch-Meyer targets return to offices in September after fire
The chief executive of Freisenbruch-Meyer Insurance Services, whose headquarters was gutted by fire in July, has said he hopes to open the company’s office on Front Street by early September.
A fire broke out on Front Street, Hamilton, on July 21 resulting in a number of businesses being affected including Bermudian insurer Freisenbruch-Meyer Insurance Services.
The company enacted a Disaster Recovery Plan, which meant it moved all operations to temporary off-site offices located at Chubb.
Michael Freisenbruch, the company’s president, said the whole experience was “surreal" but praised the way the staff responded both at the time and since the blaze and the fact that disaster recovery plan worked as expected.
“It was a surreal moment when we realised The Freisenbruch-Meyer Building had been impacted by the fire,” Friesenbruch said.
“But our team has rallied in exceptional fashion. They dealt with the relocation of all operations within 24 hours quite seamlessly. We thank our partners at Chubb, who have been first class in supporting us during this challenging time.”
"Once cleared to re-enter the building, the company’s claims team and senior management conducted a safety and structural survey of our three-story building. “A project manager was appointed and we began sourcing service providers for remediation and structural repairs,” Freisenbruch said.
“The completion of these temporary works was critical before allowing anyone else into the building. The main damage consisted of a portion of our roof burnt away, as well as extensive water and smoke damage throughout.”
Since the blaze, the company has been focused on trying to maintain high levels of customer service and get back to its own premises as soon as possible. It now looks as if this will happen in early September.
Freisenbruch said: “At the moment our plan is to move back into the ground and middle floors of our Front Street building by early September. Until that time, we will continue to be fully operational at our temporary location at Chubb.
“Another obstacle has been getting our clients to understand the importance of our move. While we are very aware of the inconvenience to our clients, having to travel to another location, the safety of our staff and clients has remained our top priority.
“It is important to reiterate that while from the outside it looks as though we were relatively unscathed by the recent fire, being on the inside tells a completely different story. In the grand scheme of things our damage was minor compared to the destruction experienced by some of our neighbours. That’s why our hearts remain with them at this time, as we quietly and diligently work to rebuild our offices.”
According to Feisenbruch, Applied Computer Technologies was also very efficient in the way they responded, which enabled Freisenbruch-Meyer to have all systems fully operational and ensure all client records and data were safe.
He added: “We have always been strong advocates of Disaster Recovery Planning and this tragedy is yet another reminder of why such a blueprint is needed. In this case, we had invested a lot of time and effort into our DR plan beforehand – and it gave us a clear road map to follow as the tragedy unfolded on July 21.
“We would urge any organization to spend time crafting their own DR plan and reinforce the need to practice periodically with their staff. Tragedy can strike at any time – and the best way any of us can protect ourselves is by being prepared.”