One Year Later - William Passolt, CPA - President & CEO, Director
"It was approximately one year ago that Fortress’ business was severely interrupted by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Thinking back only reminds me of how surreal things were. Dental practices in most states were closed, with no indication from health authorities how long that guideline would remain in place. Many of you were forced to furlough or lay off staff to contain costs. Fear and uncertainty were very high.
Meeting Policyholder’s Needs
Fortress responded in many ways to the pandemic crisis. Policyholders were moved to part-time status for ninety days, cutting premiums in half for that period. Dentists’ premium payments were deferred up to sixty days to provide cash flow relief to practices. While these actions were financially painful for Fortress, we took the actions without hesitation and before any regulatory bodies requested them in a show of support for our policyholders at a difficult time.
The pandemic demonstrated the Company could continue to effectively deliver its outstanding patient safety and risk management education even though it might not be via in-person seminars as we would have preferred. Moving forward, our policyholders’ acceptance of virtual meetings provides opportunities to deliver such education on a more frequent basis and to a broader audience.
Fortress also provided assistance by answering questions and offering new tools for educating and discussing treatments with patients as practices reopened. For example, some practices used the new Fortress teledentistry resources to work with patients while offices were closed. These Fortress resources and others are revised as the pandemic progresses and can be found on the Fortress website at www.dds4dds.com. I
want to show our appreciation to the excellent agents you work with on your insurance needs. They provided a great deal of assistance answering your questions and collaborating with the Company to meet your insurance needs.
It was a very busy time for agents and Fortress applauds the efforts they have made to meet your business and insurance needs. One year later, our policyholders are back in their practices. It is a tribute to dentists’ infection control expertise that they have treated patients safely despite the pandemic. While patient volumes have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, you have continued to adapt your practice to meet many changes. Fortress is also adapting. Our staff, working collaboratively with our agents, continue to develop new resources to better serve you during the pandemic. "