April 08, 2020

April 08, 2020 | General Insurance News


How we are supporting you and your Customers during COVID-19

At Zurich, we are continuing to work with you and your Customers, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA), and after listening carefully to the broad range of issues raised we have introduced some practical measures to support you during the challenges presented by COVID-19.

We also remain committed to the Broker advice model and the measures outlined below reflect a nuanced approach to ensure that we can address your individual Customer needs, which can be vastly different depending on the complexity of the Customer.

How we will support you

Our practical support measures include SME Business Package; Commercial Motor Customers transacted via Z.stream and All Other Business.

SME Business Package and Commercial Motor Customers transacted on Z.stream

For SME Customers, we allow flexibility within our Z.stream system so you can support Customers  under the existing package product wordings.  This flexibility is available to you and all Broker partners who do business with us.

Flexibility within Z.stream includes:

  • More than 90% of renewals are offered, on expiring information, without the need for a Zurich underwriter’s intervention. This means:
    • The renewal will automatically have property sum insureds indexed
    • A Competitive Business Insurance capping will apply with the exception being where there have been multiple claims or a large claim.
  • A Broker can adjust renewal terms in Z.stream themselves within their delegation, most often without referral to a Zurich underwriter. Changes could include:
    • Changes to sums insured
    • Changes in turnover
    • Amendments to the number of employees
    • The removal of specific covers
    • Reducing commission or nett rating
    • Adjusting premium
    • Selecting a higher excess
  • A Broker can manually refer to a Zurich underwriter in Z.stream for a review of the renewal terms provided if required. Changes could include:
    • Review of the premium
    • Review of imposed excesses
    • Review of sums insured or turnover
  • Less than 10% of renewals may require underwriter intervention prior to the issue of terms
  • Zurich offers Brokers a 60-day grace period for binding post expiry
  • Zurich SME mid-term cancellations do not attract a cancellation or administration fee.

COVID-19 Related Actions for Z.stream SME Business Package Customers

In response to the changing work environment and economic disruption caused by COVID-19, we will provide instructions to our claims team to assess SME Business Package Customer claims based on the following variations to our standard cover. Whilst not reflected in the policy wordings or amended by endorsement, these variations are:

  • An increase in the percentage allowable for the temporary removal of contents from the insured premises as a reflection of company assets being removed and used at employees’ homes. The benefit will be increased from 20% to 50%
  • Zurich will apply flexibility in recognising financial hardship and the inability of Customers to meet their premium payments. The specifics of the extensions allowable are to be negotiated with the Broker on a case by case basis
  • In the event of a premises being unoccupied as a result of COVID-19, Zurich will extend the 90-day unoccupancy clause to 180 days with no increase to premium or excess
  • Recognition of Gross Profit and Business Interruption complexity. We will adjust for normal trading activities in recognising the complexity of Business Interruption Indemnity period and co-insurance clauses

These COVID-19 Related Actions will apply to claims occurring on and after 11 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Whilst we understand that businesses will be required to amend their practices in order to operate in these changing times, fundamental changes in business activities must be disclosed and discussed with Zurich e.g. restaurants now running solely as takeaways would not need to be disclosed. However, manufacturers now conducting deliveries or retailing, or insureds beginning to operate in an entirely different activity or industry must be disclosed and discussed with us.

All Other Businesses

We are committed to applying flexibility to all Customers and Brokers in need during this challenging time. Given the variation in needs and the often complex coverage and exposure considerations for Mid-Market and Corporate Customers, we will consider on a case by case basis recognising the often unique circumstances to address.

We are also working to simplify the renewal process in certain classes, and we will be advising you around the benefits of these changes in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your continued support - we will continue to listen to you and the needs of your Customers to ensure that we adapt our response appropriately as the environment changes.

Please contact your Regional Distribution or Underwriting manager to discuss any specific requests – contact details are listed on our Zurich web site.