Zurich Launches U.K. Private Client Unit

Zurich Financial Services recently entered the UK “private client” market with a program designed to appeal to high net worth individuals.

Zurich Private Client will cater to wealthy individuals offering them homeowners’ insurance, including coverage on jewelry, works of art and other valuable items,liability coverage, including legal expenses, automobile and travel insurance.

Last year’s collapse of Independent Insurance, as well as the withdrawal from the market of several Lloyd’s syndicates, has combined to reduce capacity and raise premium rates, making the market more attractive.

According to an article on the Datamonitor Web site Zurich already has a number of potential high net worth individuals as clients. It’s the third largest writer of homeowners’ insurance in the UK, and a greater proportion of its policyholders are over 60 and “is more likely than average” to have customers with in excess of £50,000 ($74,000) net income.

There’s still competition, however. France’s AXA has a well entrenched unit, AXA Nordstern Art Insurance Corp., headquartered in New York, while the U.K.’s Hiscox Plc. and the U.S. Chubb Corp. also have units focused on attracting wealthy individuals as clients.