TAX ISSUES

ZURICH’S POSITION:
In terms of federal issues, the Tax Cuts and Jobs act of 2017 generally has a positive impact on our business operations. We remain focused on implementation of the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) on deductible cross border payments. On the state level, tax codes should not unfairly target insurers for revenue.

BACKGROUND:
Our focus is on the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 by the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service. Zurich believes guidance is needed regarding the BEAT as it has the potential to impact the global financial services industry and particularly, global insurers. The present uncertainty of how to apply the BEAT must be addressed to permit global insurers to provide cost competitive insurance vital to U.S. citizens and businesses.

CYBERSECURITY

ZURICH’S POSITION:
Zurich supports a national, uniform standard on data security and breach notification. Advocacy efforts include sharing Zurich’s comprehensive approach to helping clients manage cyber risk through preparedness, risk transfer, and resilience measures.

BACKGROUND:
Cybersecurity is a growing threat with global implications to both commercial and national security interests. Our objective is to be a market leader in providing innovative solutions to our policyholders as they seek to protect themselves from cyber risk, while also being a thought leader at the forefront of our industry.

FLOOD RESILIENCE

ZURICH’S POSITION:
Using our risk expertise as a global insurer, we can help customers and communities to reduce the impact of floods by helping them understand the benefits of pre-event mitigation and resilience.

BACKGROUND:
As part of our Corporate Responsibility commitment, Zurich recognizes that there is a significant need and opportunity to have a meaningful impact in reducing vulnerability and in building community resilience before disasters occur. Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural disaster and precipitate some of the largest economic, social, humanitarian, and insured losses. Zurich’s flood resilience program is intended to enhance community flood resilience by leveraging its unique and substantial experience in order to create sustainable value for our clients, our communities and our company.

Tackling Challeneges

APPRENTICESHIPS

ZURICH’S POSITION:
Investing in apprenticeships is an investment in our company, our industry and the U.S. workforce. Zurich aims to bring new entrants of all ages into the insurance industry workforce by building a talent pipeline and developing people who can help our business and the industry grow in the 21st century.

BACKGROUND:
Zurich established a first-of-its-kind U.S. apprenticeship program for the insurance industry that resembles a program that has been successful for many years at its Switzerland headquarters. Zurich is committed to training at least 100 apprentices through the new program by 2020. Our experience in Switzerland has shown us that apprenticeships are a very powerful way of developing core business competencies, inspiring people to take on new challenges and nurturing future leaders. Zurich, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, is sharing its learnings from developing a successful apprenticeship model with other insurance and financial services companies throughout the U.S. Our forward-thinking approach to talent acquisition will serve as a catalyst to encourage other insurance and financial service providers to create their own apprenticeship programs.

Zurich Apprenticeship Program

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

ZURICH’S POSITION:
As a world with driverless cars continues to evolve, Zurich is working to shape a stable, safe regulatory landscape for the future. Zurich is leveraging its relationship with manufacturers and testers of AVs to promote safety standards, tackle data needs, and address liability issues in both the government and private sectors. We aim to help shape the discussion in a positive way as this innovative technology continues to expand into the marketplace.

BACKGROUND:
With the advent of autonomous vehicles, federal and state lawmakers and industry leaders are wrestling with the regulatory changes that will become necessary. How should existing laws and systems be modified so as to facilitate the implementation of this new technology? Who should be liable in an accident? The human “rider” or the automobile manufacturer? The current liability system – a combination of auto liability and product liability – should be sufficient in today’s testing environment. But in a few short years, putting in place a stable, predictable regulatory environment is a must. Data issues are paramount to that discussion. Currently, there are no standardized data elements to determine why an autonomous vehicle crashed. Vehicle data is also necessary to underwrite and rate the business. The desired amount of data and who owns that data raise significant privacy issues and are a subject of intense discussion. In addition, there is increased potential for cybersecurity threats as vehicles become more connected. Finally, of course, safety is a concern. In all these facets – liability, data, privacy, underwriting, and safety — keeping up with a fast-evolving industry will be challenging for policy-makers and regulators.

BIG DATA/DIGITALIZATION

ZURICH’S POSITION:
The use of predictive analytics – “big data” – allows Zurich to better understand risk. This will result in the more accurate pricing of risk, which in turn may allow Zurich to insure risks that previously have been seen as uninsurable. Also, Zurich’s deeper insights into risk can be shared with policyholders and used for claims prevention and mitigation.

BACKGROUND:
Predictive analytics, or “big data,” refers to insights realized by the increased availability of data, the enhanced capacity of analysis and machine driven data mining and the ability to connect and jointly analyze all kinds of data from multiple sources. Predictive analytics can allow insurers to more accurately underwrite and rate insurance coverage. This in turn may bring about societal benefits, through the creation of insurance coverage for previously uninsurable risks, while also creating risk insights that will help policyholders to mitigate or even prevent losses.

CLIMATE/SUSTAINABILITY

ZURICH’S POSITION:
Climate change is perhaps the most complex risk facing society today—it is intergenerational, international and interdependent. Zurich is committed to helping its policyholders and their communities mitigate against the effects of climate change, while at the same time committed to taking action to help bring about the transition to a low-carbon economy.

BACKGROUND:
Zurich works closely with its policyholders, their communities and local governments around the world on resilience and mitigation efforts in regard to climate-related perils. At the same time, Zurich is working to do its part to reduce CO2 emissions, in an effort to bring about a low-carbon economy. Zurich is working to minimize the environmental impact of its own operations, increasing the amount of our “green investments” and divesting over time from those activities, be it insurance or investments, predominantly focused on coal.

COMMERCIAL LINES MODERNIZATION

ZURICH’S POSITION:
Large commercial enterprises are best served when insurance companies can quickly develop and bring to market new and innovative products that meet the insurance coverage needs of these businesses. Commercial lines modernization would allow insurance carriers to get these products to policyholders more quickly and efficiently.

BACKGROUND:
Policy rates and forms for personal lines policies and most commercial lines policies require state department of insurance approval in most states. This approval process is oftentimes difficult and time-consuming. Additionally, most large commercial customers have professional risk managers to evaluate commercial insurance offerings, eliminating the need for state approval of coverage. Commercial lines modernization would allow these customers to get the coverage they need more expeditiously, by allowing new products, products developed to better meet the needs of complex businesses, to get to market quicker.

INFRASTRUCTURE

ZURICH’S POSITION:
As a leading provider of insurance coverage for infrastructure projects in the United States, Zurich has a keen interest in how the public sector at all levels and the private sector can coordinate a unified strategy to address the nation’s infrastructure needs. As dollars flow from the federal government to states and localities, so should the requirement of surety bonds. Surety bonds help protect tax payers in conventionally bid federal project (via the Miller Act) and should also be required for P3 projects with federal and state funding.

BACKGROUND:
The American Society of Civil Engineers rated the overall infrastructure in the U.S. to a D+. Infrastructure is the backbone of the U.S. economy and as the condition of our roads, rails, ports and waterways fall into disrepair, this brings unseen costs into our economy. Our economy, however, is transforming, and in order to remain competitive, our infrastructure too should reflect the 21st Century. This is a transformational time and over the last 100 plus years, Zurich has insured iconic U.S. infrastructure projects that have carried us into the future.

We appreciate your support on these issues. Click here to contact your elected official.