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Insurance Firm Zurich Suffer Massive Losses

business insuranceZurich Insurance have confirmed a hefty drop in profits after their exposure to the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal along with a string of hits to their general insurance business, leading to a steep drop in profits for the third quarter of 2015.

The exposure of directors and officers policies (which offer protection for high-level managers who are involved in legal action) are generally limited to figures between £13m and £20m according to Zurich. The insurer announced that such small-scale losses would probably not be disclosed when speaking about their third-quarter results last Thursday.

Zurich's chief executive Martin Senn refused to comment specifically on client relationships but he did say the following: "Global corporate clients remain an important strategic customer segment. It is naturally very volatile but, in the long run, has always been very profitable for us."

Senn's comments came after the insurer reported a 79% fall in profits to £136m in the three months leading up to the end of September. Zurich also had to retract their takeover offer of £5.6bn for the UK insurer RSA. Mr Senn added: "We can still consider mergers and acquisitions even after dropping our RSA bid. I would not see any specific large-scale M&A (merges and acquisitions) at the moment because, as we have said, we want to bring our house in order in general insurance."

James Savery, 11 November 2015

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