Zurich UK to retain focus on technical discipline, says Naidu

Zurich’s UK general insurance business paid out £1.5bn in claims in 2019 and recorded a 97% rise in operating profit to £271m compared with £137m in 2018. The results, which also saw the company’s combined operating ratio improve by 3.9% to 91%, came against a background of relatively flat growth in GWP of only 4% to £2.48bn from £2.4bn.

Zurich UK CEO, Tulsi Naidu, said the results reflected its focus on technical excellence across the business but added that the insurer still had work to do. “Looking forward, we are clear there is more we can do to drive performance, and we are focused on this. Customer service and technical discipline will remain key priorities during 2020.”

Naidu added: “This result is a product of the improvements we have made across every aspect of our general insurance business over the last few years – combining a real emphasis on technical excellence with improvements in customer service, simplified processes and digital capabilities."

Zurich said 2019 had seen a number of major developments for the insurer, including the rolling out of new digital portals for motor and property claims and wider use of fast-track claims to speed-up payments for customers. It also invested in technology for detecting bogus claims involving identity manipulation and fraud rings.

Naidu added that Zurich UK was developing innovative new ‘preventative’ digital solutions to help customers manage their risks having already piloted leak detection devices with Housing Associations last year. It also continued to roll out its child safeguarding app, Safer Schools, which is now live in 4,200 schools.

The insurer also pointed to other major developments in its commercial lines business, including the securing of a license to write US ‘surplus lines’ business in London from 1st January this year, and the launch of Zurich Online, an Acturis-based SME platform for brokers.

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