Morning Briefing: New CEO for Zurich?

New CEO for Zurich?... Google cars are safer reports Virginia Tech… Geico embraces content marketing…

Insurance News


A Swiss newspaper is reporting that Mario Greco will be announced as the new chief executive officer of global insurance firm Zurich. SonntagsZeitung has not revealed its sources but claims that Greco is the only candidate on the shortlist. He is currently head of Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali SpA but was previously at Zurich heading up its general insurance division for two years until 2012 and was head of its global life insurance business prior to that. No confirmation has been received from Zurich or Assicurazioni Generali.
Google cars are safer reports Virginia Tech
A study from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, commissioned by Google, has found that the firm’s driverless cars are safer than normal autos. In the report, Automated Vehicle Crash Rate Comparison Using Naturalistic Data, the data is adjusted for unreported crashes involving conventional cars and for crash severity. It found that the national crash rate estimate for conventional cars is 4.2 per million miles compared to 3.2 per million miles for the driverless car operating in autonomous mode. The driverless cars were also found not to be at fault in the crashes studied.

While the report is a step forward in terms of its methodology, there is still much to be determined about driverless cars’ safety. The study had limited access to information on severe accidents involving driverless cars due to a lack of data and the report is also contrary to a recent report by University of Michigan which found that the driverless cars are more likely to be involved in accidents.
Geico embraces content marketing
In the highly competitive insurance market it can be a significant achievement to even get your name out there let alone have people talking about you on social media. However, Maryland-based insurer Geico has been giving customers (and potential customers) a reason to do that based on their recent commercial spot.

The 30-second ad features two guys pumping iron and talking about how Geico can save you money on your insurance (like you do!).  It’s not the main ad that is unusual though, it’s the spin-offs. Geico’s creative agency has developed a whole range of shareables and even wearables based around the concept of a “brocabulary”. Taking familiar phrases and people, such as potato chips (which become Brotato Chips) and Edgar Allan Poe (surname switched to Bro) the plan is to create marketing that keeps on giving. There are even a range of T-shirts for sale featuring the phrases.

Crucially, apart from a subtle mention of Greico at the start of each short YouTube video, these are not hard-sells and do not mention insurance at all, relying on a connection with the original commercial spot. The insurer has also released more videos of its “Momversations” series.

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