Working together to stay safe and keep our business moving

By Peter Huber, CEO, Zurich International

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic our priority has been to support our customers and local communities, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues. We acted in a socially responsible way by closing our offices early to work remotely, keeping our business fully operational. In this environment, our investment in the digitalization of our business is paying off and a quick and smooth transition to home working meant we have been able to serve our customers efficiently during this time.

We launched a ‘Wellbeing Toolkit’ - a one stop shop with a wealth of information specifically designed to help Isle of Man residents during the pandemic.  The toolkit contains lots of information to help everyone on the Island look after their own mental health and wellbeing, and in supporting their families, friends, and work colleagues. There are resources for Zurich International’s customers, plus practical advice for both employers and employees. The site includes content from a number of registered local charities that work with Zurich International, including Isle Listen and Cruse Bereavement Care Isle of Man.

We also offered financial support to local charities and donated £30,000 to the Manx Solidary Fund and the Z Zurich Foundation, Zurich Insurance Group’s charitable foundation donated £30,000 to the Isle of Man Food bank.  We have always recognized the importance of supporting the community and we will continue to support local charities, who in turn support the causes and individuals on the Island who need it most.

Zurich International is financially sound with strong capitalization and this has enabled us to endure this health crisis. Our strategy remains unchanged. Customer retention and the drive towards digitization has further increased our focus on putting our customers first.  Our ability to act quickly and adapt to the new environment continues to ease the financial burden of our customers through actions such as prompt payments and extended coverage. This has earned us greater trust and demonstrates Zurich’s commitment to social responsibility.  

In an effort to continue to support our customers, colleagues and communities, we are partnering with leading institutions to generate new thought leadership insights with the aim of identify the emerging concerns and fallouts from COVID-19 over the next 18 months, analyze the pandemic's implications and effects beyond the immediate crisis response, and provide cross-cutting insights on the current risks landscape that would not otherwise be available. On 19 May we launched a new report in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF): COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A preliminary mapping and its implications, which aims to raise awareness and trigger timely debate as governments and businesses design post-lockdown measures. This goes beyond the immediate crisis response, providing insights on the current and future global risk landscape.

I have been so impressed with the ways in which the company has adapted to remote working, demonstrating great resilience in what continues to be a fluid and unstable time for everyone. We are making plans to return to work, but we will go slow and make sure it is safe to do so.  I’m sure our very successful virtual all staff town hall business briefings will continue for a while to come, so whilst we may not all be together, we remain connected.    

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