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About Zurich Insurance
Zurich was founded in Switzerland as a marine insurance company in 1872 as part of the Schweiz Marine Insurance Company. In 1875 the company moved into accident insurance, taking on the new name of Zurich Transport and Accident Insurance Company. The following years saw expansion with offices opening in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. By 1880 the company has already left its initial market and quit offering marine insurance.
By the end of the century, the company was operating in even more countries, including Russia and Spain and had changed names again to Zurich General Accident and Liability Insurance Company.
Zurich expanded into the United States in 1912 and Canada in 1923. The following decades saw the company make acquisitions and partnerships, including becoming the official insurer for Ford cars in 1925. In 1955, the company simplified its name, becoming Zurich Insurance Company. By the end of the 20th century, the company was operating in all corners of the world and had acquired Farmers Insurance Group, expanding their U.S. operations and forming Zurich Financial Services as a single holding company.
Zurich today offers a wide variety of insurance products both personal and commercial, sold through a variety of subsidiaries as well as directly. For 2018 they ranked at number 142 on the Fortune Global 500. In the U.S. they do not write personal insurance products directly, but offer commercial insurance through Zurich North America.
The products offered by Zurich differ depending on the location; for the purpose of this review, we have focused on U.S. products, and only on those underwritten by Zurich directly. Farmers Insurance Group is reviewed separately and operates independently.
Zurich North America writes a variety of products including package commercial insurance and employee benefits products.
Zurich offers a selection of group benefits, mainly employer-paid and voluntary employee-paid options for businesses with a focus on accident and supplemental health. Products include:
- Group accident
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
- Group Life
- Business travel accident
- Student and participant accident
- Occupational accident for truckers
- Medical stop loss
- Managed care excess
- Long-term and short-term disability
- Ex-patriate and international health
Zurich also writes worker’s compensation insurance for businesses.
Auto Rental Insurance
Zurich writes rental car insurance for fleets that includes liability and physical damage coverage. Products are available for customer services fleets, recreational vehicles, and for both auto and truck rentals.
Builder’s risk coverage is available for full construction projects or renovations. Both commercial and residential coverage is offered, ranging from large buildings to single-family homes.
Casualty & Liability
There is a list of casualty and liability plans available from Zurich. These include domestic and international casualty insurance and coverage for Professional Employment Organizations (PEO)
Specialty liability products include management liability, professional liability, a broad range of environmental liability products, and umbrella policies to increase liability limits.
Zurich writes a variety of property insurance policies, which can be sold individually or packaged in a business program. There are both domestic and international products available, including multinational insurance.
All of the property programs can be tailored to the specific needs of each industry and business.
Program Business Insurance
Zurich Programs is a business insurance program division offering specialty package policies for a variety of industries. These include:
- Automotive Aftermarket
- ERISA Fidelity Bonds
- Financial Institutions
- Hospitality, Recreation, and Travel
- Professional Services
- Sovereign Indian Nations
Zurich is a major commercial auto insurer and has programs for a variety of different business auto coverage needs. They have more than 250 classes of commercial auto policy available, from company cars to heavy trucking fleets.
Among the other products in Zurich’s long list of diverse coverage are surety bonds, cybersecurity, trade credit and political risk, and wholesale & surplus.
There are no rates for any of Zurich’s products online, which is what we expect from this type of company. These products are specialized and specific to the needs of the company, which means that quoting requires detailed information about the company in order to provide an accurate quote.
Quotes can be obtained through Zurich brokers, who can determine what kind of coverage is needed, tailor packages, and create quotes.
Zurich claims can be filed in a variety of ways. Initial claim reports can be submitted using an online form on the company website. There is also a toll-free number that can be used to call in a claim, which is open 24/7. The website also lists a fax number and email address that can be used for claim filing.
The website allows the option to upload claims documents or email them in on an existing claim once it has been initially reported and entered into the claim system. A phone number is also provided for follow up questions, as is a link to find a local claims representative.
The website offers individual claim reporting instructions for each type of policy. And an FAQ section that provides tips for claims. Overall, it is a very helpful and easy to locate claims section that provides all of the information a customer needs to get a claim started and understand the process.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Zurich North America has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and was recently accredited, in 2017. There are 66 complaints against the company in the past three years, which is not a high number for the company’s size. 30 customer reviews on the BBB page result in a 1.5-star rating overall. The negative reviews are mainly focused on claims problems.
There are 57 reviews of Zurich on Consumer Affairs, with a one-star rating overall. Again, this is a low volume of complaints for such a big company. The complaints listed are centered on claims, which is common for such a company.
In general, we found Zurich to have a good reputation, with no red flags or major issues of concern in the reviews.
The Bottom Line
Since Zurich is a commercial insurer with a range of specialty products, it is best to speak with a broker to determine whether or not the company and its products are right for your needs. They do enjoy a solid reputation, a long history, and a stable financial status, so they’re well worth putting on the list.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.