Zurich Financial Services life and pensions administration

A partnership that began as one of the UK’s largest outsourcing contracts for open book and pensions administration services.

Background

In 2005 Zurich began its search for a partner that could bring about operational and scalable efficiencies and deliver on cost. In addition, an organisation that had similar values and a good cultural fit was also a key requirement. 

That search ended in February 2006 when 1,116 employees transferred to Capita to take over the administration of Zurich’s 1.9 million policies. Since then Capita has successfully delivered customer servicing, policy administration, new business plus claims activities and the associated technology to support the necessary continued growth of Zurich’s UK life and pensions business. 

In 2011, the partnership strengthened further as Zurich extended the term of the UK contract and engaged Capita to help implement a global strategy in Europe and beyond. 

Our solution 

Since 2006, a wide range of initiatives and best practice management and technology solutions have been deployed. 

In line with Zurich’s business model and values, we have embedded a motivational culture that treats people fairly, rewards performance and embraces teamwork, delivering excellent results to customers. We continuously improved through business process re-engineering, new image and workflow technology and procedural enhancements underpinned by embedding our award winning operational frameworks. 

Other initiatives such as the ‘Vulnerable Customers’ programme and pension reforms, the most radical shake up of the industry in a century, were delivered in 2015. 

The ‘Vulnerable Customers’ programme focused on customers who have become incapable of managing their finances and 186 employees are now trained to provide support to affected families. In managing pension reforms we handled unprecedented levels of calls, enquiries and claims in the first six months since the changes went live, but were able to return to business as usual within agreed timescales and ahead of many others in the industry.

In 2014 we successfully launched the Zurich Intermediary Platform in partnership with Zurich, leading to greatly improved customer satisfaction and we now have over £3bn of assets under management. Further improvements including a new underwriting tool saw new protection applications increase by 50% in 2015. 

Delivery

Zurich’s UK life and pensions operations continue to thrive and we currently employ 800 people in Cheltenham and Swindon supported by over 30 people in India. We’re proud to say that on behalf of Zurich we:

  • Handle around 32,000 claims and maturities monthly including death, disability and income protection claims and surrenders
  • Deal with around 121,000 servicing transactions per month
  • Answer around 69,000 telephone calls per month
  • Process around 16,000 applications monthly including to the Zurich Intermediary Platform. 

At Capita we focus on outcomes that ultimately benefit the customer. Our key results for Zurich UK include: 

  • 98% of all new business applications vetted within agreed timescales
  • 98% of life maturity and surrender payments despatched within agreed timescales
  • Call abandon rate at 2.3%, well below industry average of 3-5%
  • 97% of contractual service level agreements achieved for all new business services in 2015
  • 93% of service level agreements achieved for quality in 2015
  • 100% of contractual service level agreements achieved for general servicing in 2015. 

Zurich International

In 2011 the Zurich UK contract was extended by a further 10 years and we agreed a new 15 year service partnership with Zurich across multiple countries. We now operate from multiple sites over multiple time zones including Dubai, Dublin, Isle of Man, Krakow and India. 

Servicing cross border products to Europe, the Middle East and Asia we have in 2015: 

  • Processed over 52,000 new business applications over a 12 month period
  • Handled approximately 41,000 transactions per month
  • Handled approximately 35,000 claims
  • Handled approximately 171,000 calls
  • Over 10,000 switch volumes per month.

We provide the same high level of service to our international clients as we do in the UK, achieving over 96% of our critical operational service level agreements since service commencement. One significant service level improvement has been a 77% reduction in abandoned calls.

From the recruitment process, through initial training on an on-going basis as customer care professionals develop their careers, I have seen my Capita colleagues striving to engage people from the very outset of their involvement with us and our customers

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