Zurich’s head of international sales and distribution, Fernando Danes, explains why international programmes are perfect for your business.

When it comes to selling the programme internally to your subsidiaries, this is where insurers can best help you. Demonstrating value for money, service and consistency of coverage, means an international programme can be designed to suit your business. No two programmes are the same because no two businesses are the same. We want to work with you and make sure the programme is suitable for all parties.

Sometimes, subsidiaries still insist on having their own local policy in place for a variety of reasons including regulation and culture. The beauty of an international programme means you can still buy one to suit, perhaps engaging some of the policy to reinsure against those local risks. Flexibility is key here.

Traditionally, when insurers tried to sell an international programme, we had to insist you had complete control of your subsidiaries, but times have changed. In situations like this, we can also suggest a regional or partial programme. You can opt to only cover Asia for now, leaving out the US or Europe, if that is your focus of concern. Then later down the track, we add them in to create a wider-ranging programme to suit your needs as a client.

Anything is possible in terms of the configuration. It is our goal as an insurer to help you design a programme that can evolve with time. When looking a sizeable client who is rapidly expanding, putting in place a fully international programme covering the entire globe may not suit in year one. Too much change at once can sometimes be overwhelming so as an insurer, our aim is to create a policy to that is not locked in place, but is flexible enough to expand and contract to suit our client’s changing needs.

Size doesn’t matter

One of the biggest confusions surrounding international policies is that your business needs to be large with global presence. Certainly, if you do fit this category, an international policy has some great benefits in terms of understanding overall inherent risks and pooling them together to manage them in a more effective manner.

However, small-to-mid sized businesses can also benefit from a global insurer’s infrastructure. For example, you can gain access to risk management resources that you may not have to hand internally as most small businesses won’t have a dedicated local risk manager who is able to source exactly the types of policies needed. Insurers, on the other hand, have enough scale, size and expertise in their infrastructure to optimise risk mitigation benefits meaning small business owners can focus on what really matters to them while also having the peace of mind to know their risks are covered.

A good insurer will always be able to play in the middle zone. They will be able to scale your programme up when required, but equally, they can scale down and work with you on smaller, more bespoke programmes. Your insurer should be flexible to your needs as a client and international programmes are just one way we can help your business grow.