At a glance
- Zurich has become the first UK insurer to receive Chartered status.
When it comes to skills and training, Zurich has pinned its colours to the mast and in 2012 became the first insurer to attain Chartered status for the whole of its UK general insurance business.
However, Zurich’s commitment to skills and training is not only internal – it is focused on using its large resource base to give you access to tailored leadership, management and technical training.
In 2011 Zurich revised its strategy towards market segmentation and overall value proposition and, as part of that, reconfigured the training that was on offer to you, its broking partners.
A consistent approach to skills and training
In the past, what Zurich offered was not as consistent and structured as it could have been. It has addressed that and put a real focus on working with and developing the next generation of leaders in both Zurich’s own business and that of its brokers.
Of course, you cannot and should not rely solely on insurers to provide you with all of the skills and training you need. Equally, it is wrong for insurers to assume that brokers are incapable of running their own very successful training and development programmes.
However, Zurich does believe that given its resources, as a global insurer with in-house technical expertise, it is right to offer a well-structured skills and training proposition that you can use to supplement what you do internally.
Zurich has a range of Master Classes and Breakfast Bites available, and these cover everything from complex legislation for health and safety to using social media more effectively in your business
Where brokers and insurers work on this basis, it serves a number of purposes. It strengthens the relationships that exist and it allows insurers to clearly outline their risk appetite.
The better you understand exactly what business Zurich wants to write and the information it needs to quote on a risk, the more detailed your submissions will be. This allows Zurich to better understand the risk in question and price it more keenly.
It really is a virtuous circle in which you, your clients and the underwriters all benefit.
What is on offer?
To cover training for technical issues, Zurich has a range of Master Classes and Breakfast Bites available, and these cover everything from complex legislation for health and safety to using social media more effectively in your business.
The Elite Academy was established in 2011 and the management and leadership training it provides creates strength in depth for the future, and it can be tailored to the specific requirements of each firm.
An industry-wide focus on improving standards
Since 2010, the industry has really begun to refocus on the importance of skills and training.
There has been growing momentum in the broking sector to achieve Chartered status, and this is something that will differentiate firms and help them demonstrate their professionalism to clients.
The Aldermanbury Declaration also lit a fire under the industry and challenged it to really put its money where its mouth was when it came to professional standards and qualifications.
On top of the work Zurich has done to become Chartered and the training proposition it has put together for you, it is also doing a lot of work internally to maintain and improve overall capabilities.
A mid-market review is ongoing and on the back of this, underwriters are going through training to improve their trading skills and understanding of overarching market dynamics.
Similarly, the sales teams are being put through their paces with training that will improve their leadership and key account management skills.
Towards the end of the year, Zurich will be announcing details of how it is going to expand and improve what is available for you through its Broker Alliance Programme in 2013.
What is for certain, though, is that Zurich wants to work as closely as possible with you and make as much of its internal resource available to help you improve and grow your business.