New technology leapfrogs competition as Zurich tackles underinsurance for New Zealand small business owners

Zurich Australian Insurance Limited (Zurich) has today announced it will be launching its small business (SME) insurance offering to the New Zealand market. The offering includes unrivalled technology for ease and speed of service, complemented by a team of experts that customers and insurance brokers can talk to.

The launch of Zurich’s SME offering is focussed on tackling high levels of underinsurance in a market where 95% of New Zealand businesses are SMEs, and 25% of these have no insurance at all - equating to around 125,000 small businesses. 

Research amongst Zurich’s Australian customer base has laid bare the precarious position that uninsured businesses can face.  Our data shows that the top five claims made by SMEs in volumes and average claim value are as follows:

  1. Theft and burglary ($5,329)
  2. Faulty products and faulty workmanship ($21,731)
  3. Impact ($6,339)
  4. Water damage ($11,209)
  5. Storm damage ($21,629). 
     

Although less common, the highest average payouts were for fire damage ($112,114), sprinkler leakage ($100,225) and flood damage ($81,534).

Businesses without insurance will take a direct hit to their bottom line if they encounter unexpected events as reflected in the most common SME claims Zurich has identified. Underinsurance or no insurance is not only about the direct cost of that event, but loss of income if operations are disrupted.

Available through select brokers, the new product offering uses Zurich’s innovative Z.stream technology, a platform that enables brokers to quote and bind new business, efficiently process renewals and have 24/7 access to mid-term-policy adjustments, endorsements whilst accessing claims data and reports in near real time. 

Brett Wainhouse, Regional Manager, New Zealand commented, “SMEs are doing it tough in New Zealand, so we are delighted to be giving brokers the tools and technology to offer small business customers a fast and efficient insurance cover with claims handling that is backed by Zurich’s global strength and local care.

“Our Z.stream technology is unrivalled in this market. This level of sophistication has never been available to New Zealand brokers before now and it’s a key reason why Zurich is a leader in commercial insurance in many global markets. The platform is a gamechanger, focused on speed and simplicity whilst removing legacy inefficiencies and creating a better customer experience.”

The SME offering will have strong appeal to the smaller end of the SME market with a particular focus on retail, property owners, trades and professional offices.

Mr Wainhouse concluded, “Our global expertise in the SME segment means we learn about emerging technologies across the world ahead of the market and we can pass on this intelligence to our commercial motor and property customers in New Zealand, giving them a competitive advantage.”

Zurich’s SME product is offered through insurance brokers only and will be rolled out in the first instance to Steadfast, NZ brokers, and Insurance Advisernet before launching to the rest of the market. For more information visit https://www.zurich.co.nz/products/small-business-insurance.html

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Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer serving more than 55 million customers – both people and businesses – in more than 210 countries and territories. Founded 150 years ago, Zurich is transforming insurance. In addition to providing insurance protection, Zurich is increasingly offering prevention services such as those that promote wellbeing and enhance climate resilience.

Reflecting its purpose to ‘create a brighter future together’, Zurich aspires to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. It is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050 and is one of the world’s most sustainable insurers, as shown by the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. In 2020, Zurich launched the Zurich Forest project to support reforestation and biodiversity restoration in Brazil.

The Group has about 56,000 employees and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information is available at www.zurich.com.
 

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