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At a glance

  • Zurich’s Richard Coleman explains why Zurich aims to become one of the UK’s major SME insurers following the launch of its revolutionary new SME trading platform
  • ZTrade offers real-time quotes in 60 seconds, as well as a wider product range and appetite
  • Zurich now has more experts on hand to help brokers and their SME customers

After three years of investment, Zurich has unveiled ZTrade, its brand new trading proposition that is designed to cement its position as a leading provider of insurance for Britain’s SMEs.

Zurich Insider caught up with Richard Coleman, interim Managing Director and Director of SME at Zurich, to talk about how the new proposition, which includes an innovative digital trading platform that can produce real-time quotes in just 60 seconds, will change how brokers can get the best cover for their customers.

What are the key features of ZTrade?

  • One of the best trading platforms on the market, which can quote in 60 seconds
  • Broad product range and underwriting appetite
  • All of Zurich’s SME business is traded on it. So brokers see what we see meaning decisions are made quickly and policies created straight away
  • Transact via any channel, any time, on any case – phone, email, or self-serve
  • 30% more experts on hand to write business and guide brokers through the process

Q: So why has Zurich launched this new product for SMEs?

A: We have significant ambitions in the SME insurance market and have completely transformed our SME capability. We can now launch an entirely broker-focused proposition, which we believe is a quantum leap forward and puts us way ahead of the competition.

Q: What is the reason for transforming Zurich’s SME offering?

A: We intend to become one of the major SME insurers in the UK. We’ve replaced a collection of legacy systems with one all-singing and all-dancing interface through which brokers can engage directly with our experts, getting pricing indications for a fantastically wide range of products and covers in as little as 60 seconds. I think the market will find our pricing surprisingly competitive – and the added flexibility of a built-in commission slider puts brokers in control.

ZTrade isn’t just another insurer website, it’s a brand new state-of-the-art digital trading platform that’s been three years in the making. We’ve invested heavily in systems, people, training, products and pricing so we can offer something different from the competition.

Q: Has the new ZTrade system had a good response from brokers?

A: We trialled the system with a number of brokers and the reaction blew us away. Although, given that we built the entire thing based on listening to what brokers want and expect we shouldn’t be surprised. We knew we were bringing something to the market, which had the wow factor, but the feedback to ZTrade has been fantastic.

Zurich’s new family of SME products

Zurich has launched ZTrade with a suite of new SME products with easy-to-understand wordings, which will be enhanced in the coming months to ultimately provide the widest range in the market. From launch, the covers are available:

  • Shop
  • Pubs and restaurants
  • Hair and beauty
  • Directors and officers
  • Professional indemnity
  • Residential property owners
  • Commercial property owners

And those set to be introduced either later this year, or in 2015 include:

  • Office and surgery
  • Commercial vehicle
  • Commercial car
  • Trades and professions
  • Small fleet
  • Personal accident and business travel
  • SME combined
  • Excess of loss
  • CSO combined
  • Construction combined

Q: What are ZTrade’s main features?

A: We’ve listened carefully to what brokers have told us they want from an SME insurer and how we can work with them to serve their clients better. One example is ZIP – Zurich Indicative Price – where brokers can get an accurate indication of price in just 60 seconds. This makes it quick and simple to make sure Zurich is right for their client with full quotes, smart question sets and pre-answered questions all reducing the amount of information brokers need to enter by hand. In addition, referrals and declines are flagged up front, meaning no surprises. There’s also a dynamic commission slider, giving brokers more control over the end price.

Q: How else does ZTrade benefit brokers and its customers?

A: As our underwriters use ZTrade too, brokers can submit queries or ask for help at any point in the process. With everyone on the same screens, we can discuss, trade and deal with referrals in real time – it’s innovative stuff.

Q: The SME transformation isn’t all about the new trading platform. Can you expand on the new products that are launching, too?

A: We have brand new products, based on up-to-date market and customer research – and they’ve been written together as a family so if brokers become familiar with one, they are familiar with them all. Over the next few months, we’ll be rolling out further additions to the range that will see us have the most comprehensive set of products on the market.

Q: Finally, how is Zurich coping with the increased interest brought about by the new ZTrade proposition?

A: The challenge ahead is a good one. Demand for access to ZTrade is very high and we have a full schedule of roll out planned with brokers over the coming weeks to get everyone set up and trading.

We’ve also invested in our people – we’ve increased the number of dedicated SME underwriters and invested in expertise, rolling out over 10,000 hours of training to our teams so far this year, with more to come.

Image © Getty

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