Global Resessions Impact On The Insurance Industry Finance Essay

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The global econimic resession which began to subside in the year 2009 left a huge predicament in the insurance industry (The Economist 2010, par 3). The economic recession was unexpected hence costing many companies a great portion of thier revenue. Even though Zurich insurance managed to walk through this problem there are still problems that the company faces as a major market player and needs to develop effective market strategies that will enable it maintain its current position in the market or even occupy better positions in the market.The global economic recession led to an increased uncertainity in the insurance industry, therefore the company needs to devise machanisms to ensure that the problem of uncertainity is addressed, this problem can be addressed by developing longterm stratetegic plan in order to assis the company in terms of contol. Another problwm faced after the recession is the problem of consumer trust, this arose after theincrease in liquidity during the recession this can be addressed by struggling to improve consumer trust by improving srvice delivery and improving the market strategies and forms of product promotion so as to increase the consumer base (The Economist 2010, par 3). The company can also choose to expand its operation to a wider geographical market to address thr problem of shrinking markets due to competition and new market entrants. The above problems if addressed puts the company in a very good position which will enable it to have advantage over cometitors in the insurance sector (The Economist 2010, par 4). To assist in its operations the company should also obtain the current state of the art technology so as to assist in consumer service delivery. The company can do this by upgrading its current informartion systems, this is very important since the company will also be able to upgrade the data security and bakup system so as to prevent anauthorised access and loss of vital information. The main issue that the company should also focus on its expansion geographically so as to occupy new markets. The key issues The organisation is faced with the challenge of competition and high uncertainity level at the momment. However, the company has its strengths which greatly assists it in its day to day operations, the company has a wide range of services which it offers to consumer at a fair market price, the gwide range of insurance services including life which the company offers attract customers from all the coners of its operations (The Guardian 2010, par 1). The company also enjoys a good financial position which can be said to be strength to the company. The company has also new opportunities such as the opportunity to expand its operations to other geographical areas in the world, this is because the company is a multinational company and has the financial capabilities to begin expansion to areas which it has not established itself (The Guardian 2010, par 2).

There has always been the problem of competition in every business environment since each and every trader is struggling to ensure that he acquires a huge market share so as to increase its revenue. Competition keeps on increasing especially in an industry with full deregulatioin and there is no government interferance with regard to the transactions carried out in tghe industry. Zurich is faced with the problem of new market entrants because of the deregulation present in the insurance industry. The company is also faced with the problem of shrinking market share in certain areas, this is because of the presence of regional insurers such as a insurance company that operates within a given company, many consumers tenf to substitute the international insurers with the local ones due to reduced prices offered by the local insurance company. The problem of shrinking markets due to substitution can be addressed by offering services whose prices are directly propotional to the quality of the service, the company should always improve consumer trust hence kkeping their consumers this can be done by meeting its obligations as stated in insurance agreement whenever a risk that was covered occurs. Therefore, we can say that the main probleems that the company is facing is increased competition, new market entrants and shrinking markets and the major strength of the company being a good financial position and a wide range of insurance services it offers (The Guardian 2010).

Vision, Mission and Corporate Objectives Zurich insurance has always been dedicated to offering consumers the highest service quality ever witnessed in the insurance industry. To ensure this the company has a vision, mission and also corporate objectives which it enables that it operates within their boundaries to ensure success (Keller 2010).

Mission Statement The Company has a mission statement which states that "Providing products and services, no matter how high the quality is not enough. We make sure that our business is constantly following a planned and systematic evolution toward greater effectiveness and efficiency. At the same time we remain committed to constantly evaluating change in our environment so that we - as well as our customers - are prepared for tomorrow" (Keller 2010) this mission statement ensures that the employees work to their level best to ensure that the standards are achieves. The company also has cooperate objectives which seek to attain both employees and consumers satisfaction so as to ensure that they meet their long term objectives which includes being the best insurer in the globe (Keller 2010). The company has the mission to ensure that the consumers are satisfied and make them feel as part of the organisation (Keller 2010).

Vision of the Company The Company has a vision to be nothing but the best insurance cover provider through provision of high quality services to ensure maximization of the consumer's utility

Corporate objectives Apart from the vision and mission of the company, the company has laid down objectives which it seeks to attain in the coming financial years and the company also seeks to use these objectives as a roadmap to success by using the objectives as a control tool (Keller 2010). The following are the corporate objectives of the company. 1. Employee and consumer satisfaction, the company is aimed at ensuring that the employees are well are satisfied and focus to do their jobs according to the set standards, through employee perfection the company seeks to attain consumer satisfaction through good service delivery (Keller 2010, p. 3) 2. To improve current financial position and the excellence level of operations, a strong financial position is very important so as to ensure easy access to external sources of finance. Operation excellence is mainly aimed at ensuring consumer satisfaction (Keller 2010, p.3). Situational analysis This is the overview of the current market state so as to establish new opportunities in the market. It is at this point that we establish and tend to supplant factors such as competition. An analysis of the industry at large will enable us see how the industry is operating economically, socially and politically (Keller 2010, p. 3). Macroeconomics analysis The insurance industry is affected by all the four aspects of life namely, political, economic, social cultural, and technology (Keller 2010, p. 3). Political There has not been too much political interference in the insurance industry. However, Zurich insurance has been a victim of the law, this is because recently the company was greatly fined for loosing details of a particular customer. The company is supposed to pay two million United States dollars as fine for the mistake (Keller 2010, p. 3). This issue puts the company in the political spotlight; it is very unfortunate that the first encounter with the statutes of law the company has faced it rough to the level of losing a very huge sum of money (Keller 2010, p. 4). Economic Changes in the overall economic environment affect the company a great deal, for example, he recently ended global economic recession saw the company go through rough times due to the general poor economic environment (Keller 2010, p.5). Since the prices in the insurance industry are not greatly affected by the forces of demand and supply, they greatly fluctuate depending on the prevailing economic status, the recession saw the reduction of the rate at which persons accessed luxurious services therefore those people seeking life insurance reduced since their funds were channelled to more important thing d in their life, so when the general economic atmosphere is favourable the insurance companies enjoy hug (Keller 2010, p.5). Social Cultural with regard to the social life of people the company has been affected by .cultural beliefs from countries which still preserve their cultural beliefs against bargains concerning sensitive issues such as life insurance (Keller 2010, p. 5). The company is also dedicated in establishing stronger ties with the society by actively participating in corporate social responsibility; the company has an objective of ensuring that whenever it is mentioned its name is associated with help, this is also referred to as giving back to the community, the company has taken the initiative of assisting the needy especially in Africa (Zurich corporate website 2010). Technology Any modern firm has to embrace this so as to comfortably walk in the field of marketing and product promotion comfortably (The Guardian 2010, par 5). Zurich has a modern website where it has posted information about its services, mission, vision and corporate strategies. The website uses the new flash technology to display graphics in the website which are mainly advertisement. The website is easy to navigate and gives the consumer all the information he needs about the company (Zurich corporate website 2010). The company also applies automated file systems to record information about customers and other transactions conducted by Zurich; this enables easy record location and provides large storage hence the capability to store records for a long time. However, technology comes with its price; recently the company has faced accusations of losing records belonging to clients, something which has made the company to pay a huge fine which will have an impact on the final profit of the company (The Guardian 2010, par 8).

Industry analysis The insurance industry is characterise by too much competition from already existing firms and new market entrants, the industry has seen successful times and turbulent times for example during the recently ended global economic recession which did not only affect the insurance industry but other industries such as the airline industry (The Guardian 2010)

. The industry is distributed depending on the kind of person the company is giving cover to, there are four main categories are they are analysed below using the Boston consultants theory. Individuals are the main revenue source followed by small and midsized business, large and multinational companies and finally brokers and agents give the least revenue (Stevenson 2005).

Individuals = Star

Large and multinational companies = Question marks

Small and Midsized companies = Cash cows

Brokers and agents = dogs

The information above means that the rate of market growth and share is high when it comes to Individual insurance covers such as vehicles hence it is referred to as the star business unit (Thomson 1990, pg 57). The second in the chain of market growth and share are the small and midsized companies and they are referred to as cash cows the other remaining group is comprised of large and multinational and brokers and agents they are referred to as question marks and dogs respectively (Stevenson 2005, pg. 5).

Marketing Objectives The Company seeks to tap markets in Africa which have not yet been exploited or the present insurance companies have not yet satisfied the consumers' utility to the fullest (Ralph 2000, p. 7). The company also seeks to improve its marketing methods so as to promote its product to new markets, the new advertisement methods will enable more consumers to have knowledge the services offered by the company (YouTube 2010). Implementation of a new market After conducting a thorough analysis of the insurance market in Africa, there is a need to expand our market in Africa with regard to individuals' insurance cover. This is because most of the multinational insurance companies present in most African countries are concerned with insurance of large and multinational companies therefore competition will only be from the local insurance firms (Paul 2000, p.89). The main product to implement is the insurance cover to indemnify, cars and houses, the company also can take the initiative of giving life insurance, retirement planning and pensions, savings and investments (Austin 2002, p.67). These services are offered by local firms under very least competition therefore there is a very high chance of consumer exploitation; the company should term this market so as to ensure the consumer utility in these markets is maximized and at a fair price (Bucher 2002, p. 23). The costs (budget) needed to occupy the new markets is expected to be high due to the need to market the service and also to meet the market entry requirements.