Voted by UK brokers
Sponsored by IPRS
St. Paul International Insurance Company Limited
The St. Paul has enjoyed another excellent year of imaginative underwriting, proactive claims handling and prudent reserving.
The company's gross written premiums have grown to £260m and it has held firm to its strategy of providing specialist insurance products and risk management services through a limited panel of supporting brokers. It is now a leading provider of cover to the technology sector, the automotive industry, passenger transportation companies, local authorities, private healthcare organisations and selected professions, notably solicitors.
In 2003, in response to broker demand, it also developed and launched a new product, Commercial Select, aimed at high quality risks falling outside its specific industry sectors.
Celebrating the group's 150th anniversary this year, The St. Paul achieves consistently high independent credit ratings for its financial strength and ability to pay claims.
With its operational headquarters in Surrey, St. Paul International employs around 350 people in the UK and has branch offices in London, Redhill, Birmingham and St. Albans. A field force of home-based regional underwriters and risk managers helps to maintain and strengthen relationships with both brokers and policyholders.
The company approaches 2004 with renewed confidence. Its parent company recently announced its intention to merge with Travelers to create the second largest general insurer in the US.
In the UK, The St. Paul will be concentrating on applying sound technical underwriting principles; achieving the right premium for the risk; building better broker relationships; providing clients with advice and support on loss control systems and procedures, staff training and development, and paying genuine claims promptly and sympathetically.
We would like to thank our staff and business partners for their tremendous contribution to this achievement.
Quality products, speed of response and maintained service standards are critical to all our business partners in this market. Our 56% growth in premiums in the third quarter of this year reflects the tremendous success of our staff in delivering what our partners want.
2003 has been an exciting year, seeing the launch of Fortis Quick Quote - a rapid response system that handles smaller commercial package enquiries by telephone. We now look forward to launching our office and surgery product early in the New Year.
Having listened to brokers last year we embarked on a significant programme of training. The efforts of those involved have borne fruit and we have made significant progress in improving the service we offer our intermediaries.
We remain committed to meeting the needs of brokers and customers and will continue to focus on service.
The flexibility provided by our e-Broking system compliments our presence in the market; allowing brokers to generate on-the-spot insurance contracts through our online priority quotation system.
We continue to review our product offering, and recently launched a range of segment-specific commercial products.
2003 was a key year for Zurich's commercial insurance business, and one in which Zurich excelled in doing things differently from other major insurers. Dropping the partnership concept in late 2002 meant that Zurich's commercial business moved ahead of the market and into value creation, laying down the principles which they would build upon throughout 2003, and beyond. Zurich continues to offer brokers an objectivity and honesty in creating a sustainable book, underwritten with integrity and specialism.
Being highly commended in the Commercial Lines Insurer of the Year category is recognition for Zurich's focus on key areas throughout the year.