Customer service distinguishes good and bad insurers, Zurich boss says

Mario greco

Innovation in the insurance industry needs to be for customer service; all other innovation is “rather irrelevant”, according to Mario Greco, Zurich’s group chief executive.

Speaking at the GVNW Symposium in Munich earlier today, Greco said: “Of course insurance also has to innovate its technology and reduce the cost of doing business. But the cost of doing business in insurance is relatively minor compared to the opportunities we have today to expand our services and to enlarge our products by using the technology. That is the distinctive strength that technology can offer to us these days. Everything else would be a pure commodity.

“So the use of paperless systems in an insurance company, that is a commodity, which the majority of the software that is available will allow insurers to have. That does not at all distinguish a good and bad insurance company. What distinguishes a good and bad insurance company is the capacity to provide the services to every customer, retail and corporate, in a timely way and in the best possible way for the customer.”

In his keynote address at the annual conference of the German risk and insurance association, Greco said we’re living in unprecedented times, with “three very strong forces acting in the same direction”, namely globalisation, technological advances and a cultural shift.

“The reality of all this is that it is changing the balance of the world, moving the world to Asia and moving the decisions to younger people, the millennials. I see that as a compelling request for change of industries like ourselves. The companies who will not adapt to these new demands will quickly run out of the market. The insurance industry has however an enormous opportunity to innovate in customer relationship and to provide services which has never been provided before because they were simply not possible.”