Operational changes include 342 job cuts in UK and 51 in India

Zurich is planning to cut almost 400 jobs by the end of 2014 as part of the relaunch of its UK personal lines broker proposition.

The operational changes will affect 163 staff in customer services and claims in Whiteley, Hampshire, 113 in Cardiff, 39 in Glasgow, 14 in Farnborough and 13 in Leeds.

The insurer will also trim 51 positions in the personal lines claims team in Pune, India before the end of this year.

The Zurich-branded motor product will be administered through existing partner Broker Direct, while the company is also planning to transfer its existing books of personal lines business
for direct and partnerships to its subsidiary Endsleigh, and existing supplier Wessex Group.

This follows the launch of Zurich’s new online direct motor policy through Endsleigh last year.

Personal lines managing director Karl Bedlow (pictured) said: “The low-cost operating models which underpin Broker Direct, Endsleigh and Wessex Group will help to ensure delivery of a competitive Zurich-branded proposition, meaning Zurich is well positioned to evolve rapidly in the ever changing personal lines market.
“The strengthened partnership with Broker Direct combines their IT and systems infrastructure and proven delivery in the broker market, with Zurich’s expertise in underwriting, claims and pricing.

“This is an important move for our business which demonstrates our total commitment to the broker market and to brokers themselves, which remains a fundamental priority.”

Bedlow continued: “We recognise that these changes mean difficult messages for some of our employees, and we are committed to minimising the impact on people by reducing job numbers through redeployment, natural turnover and voluntary measures wherever possible.

“However we have to make sure that we can flexibly adapt our operational model and processes to meet constantly changing market conditions. That also means simplifying our structure to ensure having the right number of people to deliver our products and services according to the level of demand.

“We will continue to evolve our UK personal lines business to ensure it remains competitive, efficient and profitable.”

Broker Direct chief executive Terry Stanley said: “This enhanced arrangement with Zurich makes the most of our combined strengths, and we are confident we can help support Zurich’s plans to grow their personal lines business.”