Creating sustainable value

We aim to create sustainable value for all our stakeholders: our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities in which we live and work.

The resources we use

Financial

Our shareholders and bondholders provide the financial capital that sustains our business. We maintain a strong balance sheet. Standard & Poor’s financial strength rating of Zurich Insurance Company Ltd was AA- as of December 31, 2017.

Intellectual

Zurich’s competitive advantage rests on our knowledge, skills and expertise. This includes critical components of our business model, such as customer service and claims, underwriting, risk engineering and investment management.

Human

Our approximately 53,000 employees include some of the most talented people in the insurance industry. A merit-based approach, and diversity and inclusion, are key to ensuring we have the right mix of talent to succeed.

Social

Our business relies on the relationships we have built with our stakeholders. These include our customers and suppliers; the agents, banks, brokers and others that make up our distribution network; as well as financial markets, regulators, government agencies and civil society organizations.

Natural

We recognize the risk that issues such as climate change pose to all our stakeholders, as well as our business performance. Zurich’s policy is to manage environmental risks and opportunities through the progressive integration of environmental considerations into our core business processes, investment decisions and operations.

What We do

Helping our retail and commercial customers to understand and protect themselves from risk

The role of insurance

Zurich provides property and casualty insurance, life insurance products and savings and investment solutions in more than 210 countries and territories.

We help our personal and business customers to protect themselves from risks. Freed from these risks, individuals and families can flourish and businesses can grow and prosper. Our customers transfer risks to us, and in return pay us premiums, policy fees and deposits. We are also increasingly generating revenue from activities and services that aim to mitigate customers’ risks.

We invest their payments in high-quality assets so that we can pay claims and financial returns on savings and investment plans. We also provide risk advice, particularly to our commercial customers, to help them anticipate risks and take action to protect themselves.

Property & Casualty

Insurance, services and risk insights

Life

Protection, savings and investments

Serve customers and distribute through multiple channels

We access our customers through a wide range of channels, both directly and through distribution partners such as agents, banks, brokers, independent financial advisers, retailers, automobile dealers and employee benefit consultants. We have seen steadily increasing demand for digital distribution – a channel that is set to transform our industry. We focus our efforts on delivering great customer service, whatever the channel.

Underwrite and manage risk

Our core competencies are insuring and managing risk. With investment returns at an historic low, the core skill underwriting is an ever more important part of our business model. Our ability to understand, measure and model risk enables us to price risk fairly and accurately, resulting in competitive premiums that represent value for our customers.

Reserves

Zurich bases the calculation of its insurance liabilities on the ‘Zurich Way of Reserving,’ a group-wide policy with well-defined and prudent standards applied by the Group’s actuaries in all regions. The reserving process is supported by strong governance including extensive peer reviews and regular external reviews.

Invest and deliver returns to our stakeholders

We invest premiums, policy fees and deposits received from customers in a range of high-quality assets, including government and corporate bonds, equities and real estate assets. We manage our assets relative to liabilities, thereby securing our obligations to policyholders. We then focus on delivering consistent and sustainable excess returns to our policyholders and shareholders.

Manage claims

At Zurich, we believe that sales, service and claims – the key touch points at which we meet our customers – are our greatest opportunity to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. For us, the most valuable form of innovation is finding new and better ways to serve our customers at these ‘moments of truth.’

And this is how we help our retail and commercial customers to understand and protect themselves from risk

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The resources we use How our stakeholders benefit

How our stakeholders benefit

We create value for our customers

by helping them understand and protect themselves from risk.

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We create value for our people

by investing in their skills and expertise so that each may fulfill his or her potential.

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We create value for communities and society

both through our core insurance business, which supports economic growth and has a positive social impact, and by acting responsibly in everything we do.

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We create value for our investors

by paying an attractive and sustainable dividend, and seeking to increase the value of the company by carrying out our strategy.

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Throughout our business review we have highlighted how we are creating value for our stakeholders.

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What we do The resources we use