Zurich's commercial business unit has launched a directors' and officers' (D&O) policy that evaluates the risk of a company on the basis of its net asset value rather than its turnover.

It claims that the product will dramatically reduce the time needed from brokers and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in providing details for risk analysis and make it easier for them to obtain D&O insurance.

The D&O policy, aimed at small and medium-sized companies, provides cover starting from £250,000 and with a ceiling of £15m.

Zurich can obtain the majority of data on a firm from Companies House, avoiding the need for brokers to provide information on a prospective policyholder.

However, the company will still have to provide certain details that only they could know, such as whether they have plans for any mergers and acquisitions because this could have a huge impact on their risk profile.

Roger Thrift, underwriting and marketing director of Zurich's commercial business unit said: “With recent developments in legislation, and plans to introduce a new law for corporate killing, directors and executives of companies are now legally more liable for their actions than ever before.

“However, there is still a large number of SME companies who do not have D&O cover

“We believe a key reason for this is the effort needed from them and their brokers to provide the necessary data to insurers. As well as being competitive and offering comprehensive cover, this product addresses this problem.”

Zurich is already an established D&O insurer for larger companies providing bespoke solutions on a global basis. Thrift added: “We now have a comprehensive competitive D&O offering for all companies and believe that we are well positioned to take advantage of the growth in this market.”