Recognizing that the speed at which technology businesses develop can be challenging to insurance distributors trying to understand clients' needs, Schaumburg, Ill.-based Zurich North America's Middle Markets Commercial business unit launched a Web site (www.techinsurance.zurichna.com) to help distributors serve clients in emerging technology fields. The site, which focuses on "technology builders" -- companies in the IT, electronics, communications, factory automation and medical devices sectors that provide the hardware and software to enable communications and automated services in a variety of industries -- provides distributors with a central source for up-to-date news, in-depth information and educational resources.
"While there are a few distributors with a great deal of knowledge and sophistication around technology, not many are comfortable with these segments," comments David Allred, who heads the Middle Markets Commercial business unit. "We hope to help these producers build their understanding of the opportunity, as well as become comfortable with these clients."
According to Allred, the site features a news aggregator service focused on technology and insurance; a "Knowledge Hub" that houses articles on technology authored by industry experts and Zurich's technology and risk management professionals; a "Go Global" section that addresses the challenges tech companies face when doing business internationally; and a catalogue of "loss scenarios" that identify characteristic technology risks and exposures.
"Insurance company Web sites have traditionally been fairly static, providing 'brochureware' rather than any aid to the customer or distributor," Allred says. "Our aim is to make our site useful on a regular basis to help users to learn new things."
In the near future, Zurich North America, a member of Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich, Switzerland; $59.5 billion in gross written premium and policy fees), plans to add capabilities to allow community interaction so that distributors and customers can use the site as a place to interact with each other, Allred adds. --Anthony O'Donnell
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio