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Zurich Insurance is one of Ireland’s leading general insurance companies and offers a range of products including home, private motor, commercial property, business and professional indemnity insurance. It employs over 400 people across its locations in Dublin and Wexford. Farm insurance was one gap in its portfolio that it was working hard to fill. In 2012, the company launched a farm insurance proposition into a segment dominated by two competitors. Within two years Zurich had significantly grown its share of the broker market.
"Insurance is all about protecting what customers’ value and providing an excellent, effortless service. Our product is fantastic and the price competitive, so we achieved a great footing in a short space of time, but we were convinced there was a better way for brokers to meet the insurance and risk management needs of farmers," says Michael Doyle, Managing Director, Zurich.
The rural nature of the farming sector means brokers were traveling long distances to meet their customers. They would survey the property, have a look at the farmer’s current pricing structure, take down the details, return to their office and submit the forms to the insurer before being able to offer a quote. This was a cumbersome industry process for insurers, brokers and farm customers.
Three has helped bring Zurich from being an unknown to delivering state of the art insurance and risk management services to the farm insurance sector.
The farmer’s signature can also be captured along with a visual record of the site. Using the camera that is a standard feature on tablets, the broker can photograph outbuildings and send the pictures in with the quote application.
This information helps the underwriter better assess the risks and provide a more accurate, as well as timely, quote. It’s also very important if there is a claim to have a visual record of a building to easily assess how much is has been damaged. The online application process is accessed in two ways. The broker can either work from a downloaded app on their tablet, Apple iPad or Android, or log into the system through a browser. The app is currently limited to Zurich’s leading brokers who are experienced in selling farm insurance to farmers, providing them with a fast-track service that helps differentiate them in a highly competitive market. Another 150 brokers use the browser-based version.
The Zurich app, delivered by Three mobile, has delivered a solution making it easier for farmers to buy insurance and save them time and allows them to make an informed decision in the presence of an underwriter or broker. It enables Zurich’s partner brokers to bind a quote in a single meeting, which means the cover can be in place at the end of the appointment with the farmer’s policy printed within an hour. One meeting delivering peace of mind. Zurich has already seen a significant increase in farm business since the app was launched. It has been so successful that Zurich has already recouped the development costs in additional profitable business.
"Three shared our vision and saw the opportunity to build something revolutionary in the market and it was tremendously successful from the moment we launched,” says Doyle. “It saves time for us and our brokers, but most importantly it saves time for our farm customers."
Doyle confirmed that farmers – like any other business people – are operating in an increasingly complex and pressurised world and, as a result, are becoming more interested in the risk management and insurance propositions available to them. He said, “This innovation is helping us meet the needs of farmers so they can access quality cover and risk management services more efficiently and get great value for money. No other company in farming insurance has anything like it."
Three is helping companies like Zurich uncover new efficiencies with powerful mobile devices, streamlining processes and taking paperwork out of the business. And there’s more to come. Down the line there are plans to add analytics and deliver reports that help identify emerging market trends.
Michael Doyle sums up the impact the partnership has had on the business: “Three has helped bring Zurich from being an unknown to delivering state of the art insurance and risk management services to the farm insurance sector.