Zurich holds broker roadshows

"Grow your brokerage" was the theme

Zurich holds broker roadshows

Insurance News

By Daniel Wood

This week, a team from Zurich (pictured above at the Sydney roadshow) wrapped up their series of General Insurance Marketplace Roadshows for brokers. After a three year COVID-19 enforced break, the events were taken on the road for the first time since 2019 and visited Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne.

“The theme for the 2023 Zurich Marketplace Roadshow was ‘grow your brokerage’ and we had many engaging conversations with brokers on how they can reinforce their value and improve the services they provide to customers,” said Giles Crowley (pictured immediatley below), Zurich’s chief distribution and deal management officer, general insurance, for Australia and New Zealand.

He said the events are “a unique opportunity” for brokers to meet with his firm’s leaders and experts to explore industry trends, opportunities and challenges and discuss customer solutions.

One of the leaders, Dom Brandon (pictured immediately below with his team) travelled with the roadshow and brainstormed with brokers. Brandon is head of marketing, general insurance, for Zurich Financial Services Australia.

Crowley estimated that about 500 brokers attended the events across the country.

In Sydney, brokers engaged in what a Zurich LinkedIn post called an interactive line of business “speed-dating” session. Brokers could meet and learn, presumably very quickly, from the firm’s leaders and underwriters about products and their capabilities.

Is Zurich “even easier” to deal with?

One focus of the sessions, said Crowley, was “making Zurich even easier to deal with.” One common complaint from brokers is how the legacy systems and outdated work methods of some insurers make them very hard to deal with.

Crowley suggested that his firm is tackling this issue.

“We’ve had many conversations about how Zurich can make digital investments to give brokers time back in their day,” he said.

Roadshow focus: dealing with complex risks

The increasingly complex risk environment and how best to protect customers and build their resilience was another key topic at the roadshows.

“Alongside risks like extreme weather and cyber, a common concern has been inflation and the impact this is having on customers themselves as well as supply chains and claims costs,” said Matthew O’Sullivan, Zurich’s chief underwriting officer, general insurance, for Australia and New Zealand. “These themes are consistent with findings in the recent Global Risks Report.”

The report, released earlier this year, involved interviews with thousands of executives across more than 100 countries. The data from those interviews showed that rapid inflation, debt and the cost-of-living crisis were regarded as the biggest threats to doing business over the next two years across East Asia and the Pacific region.

“This year’s global findings are in sharp contrast to the 2021 data which saw ‘failure of cybersecurity measures’ identified as the top perceived risk, followed by ‘extreme weather events’,” said a Zurich Insurance Group representative.

“Seeing inflation rise to the top reflects the sharp and sudden nature of inflationary pressures, and the impact those pressures have on business and the economy,” said, Alex Morgan, chief risk officer (CRO) for Zurich Asia-Pacific, in an interview with Insurance Business.

In the same survey one year ago, the cost-of-living and rapid inflation didn’t feature as a Top 10 global risk.

Morgan said that while natural disasters did not make the top 5 in the survey released this month, they are on executives’ radar. “Climate change risks also featured at the top of the list for long-term risks,” he said.

O’Sullivan concurred and said there are “so many issues” facing brokers and customers, including inflation and geopolitical impacts on the supply chain, increased regulation and climate volatility.

He said Zurich’s aim, “as the only fully intermediated insurer in the commercial insurance market” is to work together with brokers to mitigate them.

“That’s what the Marketplace Roadshow is all about – listening, discussing and working together with brokers on solutions,” said O’Sullivan.

Brokers who attend these roadshows are eligible for NIBA CPD and ANZIIF CIP accreditation points.

Roadshows and expos

Another insurance industry sector is also enjoying the opportunity to engage in its full complement of roadshow style events for brokers.

The Underwriting Agencies Council (UAC) has expos coming up in March and April on the Gold Coast, in Wagga Wagga and in Canberra.

UAC’s expos went into full swing again last year. In October, Hobart experienced its biggest expo ever, according to a UAC news release, with 61 agencies and other firms exhibiting and more than 130 brokers in attendance.

Are you a broker who attended one of the Zurich roadshows? What did you think? Please tell us below.

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