Service and Special Risks

Insight, Perspectives

When complex risks are present, it takes true expertise and the right tools to deliver good value. An interview with Maurizio Castelli, Country Manager of XL Group’s insurance operation in Italy:

What are your challenges as the country manager in Italy of a young multinational company like XL Group?

The biggest challenge, but also the opportunity, is making sure clients and brokers understand our unique selling proposition and therefore perceive us as the insurance company of choice when it comes to complex and multinational risks. In Italy, as in many other relatively mature insurance markets, there are local players which represent tough competition particularly for “commoditized” insurance. However, when it comes to more complex risks, for example, as soon as you add the international component or you move to complex or special classes of risks, the unique expertise of an insurer like XL Group comes into play. Nevertheless we permanently need to make sure that this is perceived by our existing and potential business partners; therefore, we are always looking to be visible in the market, speaking with local brokers who are our main distribution channel, and demonstrating to them why they can offer better service to their clients by using an insurance company which is solely focused on commercial and special risks. They also need to recognize that we do more than just issue a policy. We offer a truly global network, technical underwriting and also deliver first-class service in terms of administration, risk engineering services, and claims management based on an award-winning global tool, XL Global Claim.

It’s always challenging to compete on selling propositions instead of pure price. As a former Risk Manager I’m convinced that now, more than ever, it is important to focus on high-quality service and long term partnerships such as those XL Group offers its clients and brokers.

How do you see the future of XL Group in Italy? What is your strategy on the local markets?

I see a bright future for XL Group in Italy. Four years ago we entered a new market segment and launched our offer for Middle Market – which includes all companies with a turnover between 30 and 300 million Euros. In this segment there are plenty of companies in Italy and many of them became or are in the process of becoming small multinational companies. Multinationals are for us a preferred target, since as I already mentioned we have more competitive leverage with these types of companies as compared with traditional local competitors. In fact, XL Group has the advantage of offering these small multinationals, which often are still developing their risk management expertise, a global network and expertise combined with local know-how. As a result in these 4 years we have built a sizable and also sustainable Middle Market portfolio and there is still much more room to grow. At the same time we have also launched lines which we did not previously offer in Italy, such as Professional (D&O and Professional Liability), Construction, Fine Art and Specie, and Product Recall. We’ve also reinforced our “traditional” presence in the Property, Casualty, Marine, and Environmental lines and have strengthened our local team to continue offering a first-class service, particularly in technical administration of global programs and in claims handling.

With the great team we built and the expertise and product range we can offer, I truly think we are perfectly placed to be the company the market will more and more look to for insurance solutions to its most complex risks, and therefore helping Italy move forward

This article was published in FullCover

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