Zurich has chosen to join the Fintech District community and become a corporate member. It’s a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 54,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. In this interview, Roberta Marracino, Head of Business Innovation & Market Management, talks about the decision and the role of startups in the insurance industry.
What is Zurich’s interest in fintech?
As a large multinational Group with presence in 210 countries, Zurich brings a great advantage with its interest in Fintech, namely the possibility to test new solutions in some parts of the world, and then export them somewhere else. Zurich has already started several partnerships with startups in various countries, such as Dentolo in Germany, Klink and Coverwallet in Spain and Driveway in the United States, and is interested in deepening the collaboration with the innovative world of Fintech, where the business models of the future resides, while staying receptive to any new suggestions coming from it. Last year, the Zurich Innovation Championship registered 458 applications from all over the world, and this year more than 700 startups are expected to apply.
Why did you choose to become a corporate member of Fintech District? What do you expect?
Zurich became a partner of the Fintech District because if we want to be innovative we first have to breathe innovation, especially in a city like Milan, which today represents the best of Italy in these terms, eventually translating intentions into active behaviors and solutions. On the other side, Zurich expects to be inspired by this environment, in the creation of alternative business, behavioral and organizational models. The insurance sector needs acceleration: a good incentive and a strong impulse can surely come from those who think and create the new.
How do start-ups fit into the future of the insurance industry?
Startups will be integrated into the business model of all sectors, not only the insurance sector. What they bring in is service improvement and the ability to intercept customers’ needs and behaviors. What does it mean for Zurich? It could mean the opportunity to prevent risk or to take action much more quickly than we do today. Another key element is how startups approach clients’ needs, not only within the insurance industry but in any other. Insurance companies must be ready to accept the challenge, not just as a business topic but also for its impact on ethics and social well-being.