September 25, 2017
September 25, 2017 | Risk Pulse
A Reality Check
Taking a break from your everyday routines can be invaluable. Once the demands of work and daily life fall away, you can take stock. This is something that I was fortunate enough to be able to do recently while in New York. As often happens when you travel, the trip was an eye opening experience – not just in that it coincided with September 11, with the visual tributes to those that lost their life piercing the New York skyline. Whilst I was there, another catastrophe was unfolding in the shape of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded over the Atlantic. And all of this taking place against the backdrop of the disastrous flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Seeing the impact of these events on thousands of people first-hand really makes you take stock and prioritise what’s important in life – both personally and professionally. As a global insurer, these events play a significant part in what we do. We’re proud at Zurich to be at the forefront of flood resilience research in our collaboration with Wharton University. This involves a partnership with the International Red Cross, a contribution of over 21 million Swiss francs and a volunteer contingent equivalent to around 500 working days per year. floodresilience.net
Of course, the response to natural disasters is much wider than one company, and witnessing the way that people came together once Irma made land was truly incredible. What was particularly interesting was how news is now spread, communities are created, and resources are mobilised through the power of social media. Twitter gave moment by moment updates to those in its path, and these virtual communities supporting victims through crowdfunding and volunteering, all while helping them through the darkest times with messages of love and support.
It’s clear that information consumption is no longer passive – most of us now partake in one or more online communities, coming together almost like a tribe. And it’s not just for times of extreme hardship. Businesses are now building their own online tribes to promote their messages, build loyalty and find new ways of reaching out to customers. Understanding this shift, and the strategies behind it, is particularly important to help you grow your own customer base and futureproof your business as we head towards the LIF reforms on 1 January. That’s why we’ve included real-life adviser examples in this edition of Risk Pulse in the second instalment of our Intergenerational Advice series.
To help you get ready for the LIF changes, we’re also proud to launch our brand new suite of adviser resources, called the Zurich DIET that you can leverage to develop demand generation, and drive innovation and efficiency in your practice. These tools can assist you in modelling the impacts of these commission changes on your business and identify opportunities to help you buffer these changes. You can read more about them here.
On another positive note, it was fantastic to see the work we do at Zurich – for both our advisers and customers – recognised by Canstar this month, as we were awarded five stars for our term life, TPD and packaged insurance covers, as well as being voted the best value life insurance in Australia. I was in the city that never sleeps when I heard the news, and couldn’t be more proud.
Next I will have the privilege of judging the six finalists in the AFA Adviser and Practice of the Year Awards. The winners will be unveiled at the AFA National Conference, which this year is returning to its traditional venue on the Gold Coast. No doubt I will bump into many of you there!