At a glance
- In a crowded market, being efficient is critical for brokers
- Online trading platforms must be quick and easy to use, and allow brokers to service the full range of customer risks
- We explain how our ZTrade e-trading platform has been enhanced to meet broker needs
Online trading platforms have become essential for SME broking, but insurers need to ensure that these platforms are giving brokers what they want, and in the most practical and easy-to-use format.
We’ve recently made some significant improvements to our ZTrade e-trading platform, and added five new products – Commercial Car, Commercial Vehicle, Personal Accident and Business Travel, Trades and Professions, and Small Fleet – bringing the total number of products to 13.
We asked Jo Shaw, Head of SME Transformation at Zurich, to explain the importance of e-trading, and why brokers should give ZTrade a try.
Q: How important are online trading platforms for brokers in today’s marketplace, and why?
Jo: Today’s broker SME market is crowded and competitive, and it’s not an area where brokers typically make a huge amount from each customer, so efficiency gains have become critical. Brokers need e-trading platforms that are quick and easy to use. We have developed ZTrade to give brokers an easy way to access our proposition. It’s as much about broker efficiencies as it is about ours.
Q: How does ZTrade differ from other broker e-trading platforms?
Jo: The key differentiator is that it’s not a broker extranet – it’s a single system for our brokers and underwriters. This means they both see the same screen and can work with each other at every stage of the underwriting process.
Q: How does the platform work in practice, and how does it make life easier for brokers?
Jo: Some extranets are quite narrow in terms of their underwriting footprint, and brokers will often reach a point where they cannot continue a quote and are referred to an underwriter, losing all of the inputted data. Once you have started a quote on ZTrade, the data stays there. This means that if a quote becomes more complex and has to be referred, we can see the information you have entered and take over the process, preventing the data from being lost. At any point in the policy lifecycle you can interact with us in whichever way you want, whether it is self-service, via email or telephone.
Q: Could you explain what ZIP is?
Jo: The Zurich Indicative Price (ZIP) will provide you with a quick response to let you know upfront if we would quote, the premium range, and the likely security requirements, so that you save time when you do a full quote.
Q: For brokers who have used ZTrade sparingly in the past, how has it been enhanced/developed to respond to their needs and their feedback?
Jo: Since the initial launch of ZTrade, we have listened to broker feedback about their likes and dislikes regarding the platform. Our recent release incorporates improved functionality, including increased speed and greater ease of use. We have fine-tuned our postcode referrals for flood risks, making alternative quotes simpler and printing documents much easier. There is also a new renewal functionality. That makes any policy initially quoted for after 18 July 2016 eligible for renewal on ZTrade.
We have developed ZTrade to give brokers an easy way of accessing our proposition. It’s as much about broker efficiencies as it is about ours”
Jo Shaw, Head of SME Transformation, Zurich
Q: Have you had any feedback from brokers about the difference the improved functionality has made?
Jo: The feedback we’ve received so far has been very positive. Brokers have said they’ve noticed a significant improvement in speed, and they also appreciate having the new products on ZTrade. Others have said they are now seeing far fewer flood quotes referred to underwriters than before.
Q: What is the biggest advantage for brokers of having all 13 products in one place?
Jo: It means brokers can complete quotes and buy policies that will meet most of their customers’ needs. For example, we are able to protect the livelihood of an SME customer by meeting their needs for protection of their business premises, liability requirements, small fleet, personal accident and business travel, director responsibilities and professional livelihood with Professional Indemnity cover.
With the addition of the five new products, we are supporting our brokers further by allowing them to provide peace of mind to their customers. When we add our commercial combined product to ZTrade next year, the entire SME proposition will be available on ZTrade.
Q: What’s your stance on the Insurance Act and how does that apply to ZTrade business?
Jo: In light of the Insurance Act 2015 coming into force on 12 August 2016, we have undertaken a detailed review of our ZTrade question sets and processes to understand the main areas of risk and the key features that determine whether we write a risk and, if so, on what terms.
We are confident that our question sets and processes are comprehensive and capture the material facts and circumstances that we wish to know. We are also confident in the integrity and expertise of the brokers who complete the question sets on behalf of the insured.
We are therefore proud to announce our ZTrade FPOR (Fair Presentation of Risk) Commitment for ZTrade business in that: We will accept the presentation as a fair presentation of the risk where the broker, having consulted with the insured as required by the Insurance Act 2015, has provided correct and complete answers to our ZTrade questions.
Our ZTrade FPOR Commitment will apply across the entire ZTrade product range – Shop, Office & Surgery, Hair & Beauty, Pub & Restaurant, Commercial Property Owners, Residential Property Owners, Directors & Officers, Professional Indemnity, Commercial Car, Commercial Vehicle, Trades & Professions, Small Fleet
Q: For brokers who are yet to use ZTrade, what would you say is the biggest single reason they should test out the platform on their next risk?
Jo: The biggest reason is the access to all 13 products, including our package products, in one place. If you want to access our proposition, ZTrade is where you do it.