Canadian Underwriter

CEO Spotlight: Zurich Canada


February 16, 2018   by Greg Dalgetty, Editor


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david levinson zurichThis an edited excerpt from our December issue, where we talked to the CEOs of some of Canada’s largest insurers. Read the full story here.

Zurich underwent a huge transformation last year, combining its global corporate and commercial markets units into one commercial insurance entity.

The move was made to streamline the business and make it easier for brokers to work with the insurer. So far, brokers have responded favourably to the change, according to David Levinson, Zurich Canada’s president and chief agent.

Levinson says the big focus for Zurich in 2018 will be finishing what it started last year.

“It’s really easy to move people around and make changes on an org chart,” he says. “Now we want people to live it and breathe it. We want people to embrace the new change and the new culture.”

Brokers, he notes, have been eager to embrace the new structure.

“They’re thrilled that we’re one company now and we don’t have two access points,” Levinson says. “They didn’t know where to send their submissions in the past, so they’d send them to each unit.”

Under its new structure, Zurich has made underwriter empowerment a point of emphasis.

“We gave the underwriters a lot more empowerment to make decisions. We have products and services to support them, but we wanted them to make the decisions, which goes a long way with brokers. It’s much better—one line of accountability, you make the decision.”

The insurer also plans to trumpet its specialty products in the year ahead, such as cyber insurance. As part of its cyber offering, Zurich has partnered with Deloitte to review clients’ cyber exposures and help them understand the risks.

“What we’re trying to get customers to do is to start talking about [cyber security]. Are they talking about it in board meetings? Are they talking about it in executive meetings?”

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.