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Zurich withdraws from standalone political risk market

Zurich Insurance has withdrawn from the standalone political risk market and is going to wind down its global trade credit business.

The Switzerland-based insurer told Commercial Risk Europe in a statement it will no longer offer new standalone political risk insurance.

The withdrawal applies to standalone policies that provide coverage related to equity/assets losses caused by political perils such as confiscation, expropriation, nationalisation, deprivation, political violence, currency inconvertibility and acts of government preventing the execution of commercial contracts. This decision does not impact any other Zurich line of business, the insurer said.

“These decisions were made after Zurich determined these portfolios no longer support our long-term core strategy,” it said in the statement.

In a further blow for risk managers, Zurich will also wind down its global credit insurance and short-term multi-buyer (STMB) insurance portfolios, with exceptions in some countries.

Zurich Germany and Zurich Switzerland will continue to offer short-term trade credit insurance to their domestic markets, selected UK customers via Germany and some customers in other EU countries. Zurich will no longer write new STMB insurance out of the US and the UK.

“For the remainder of 2021, we expect to quote limited new single-risk credit insurance business until our full transition achieves regulatory approval,” it said. “There is no impact on Zurich’s surety business or appetite. Zurich remains committed to the surety business,” it added.

Zurich said it will make “every effort” to assist customers affected by the decision to withdraw from the standalone political risk market. “We will continue to service accounts and help our customers and brokers navigate to other insurance carriers,” it said.

“At this stage, Zurich is committed and will service in-force policies through the policy expiration dates. For renewals, Zurich will work with distributors and customers to find alternative solutions,” it said in the statement.

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