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As we near the end of 2020, our Country President, Jarrod Hill, reflects on the highlights and challenges of this extraordinary year. Jarrod and other members of Chubb's management team also look ahead to the significant product, service and IT investment that we have planned for 2021. 

Question: What have been the biggest COVID-19 related challenges for Chubb over the past 6 months?

Answer (Jarrod Hill): In the early period of the COVID-19 situation it was enabling our entire staff to work from home in a matter of days. Once this was complete, it was ensuring the wellbeing of our team, which has not necessarily been a challenge but a huge focus for the company. Ensuring the team was focussed on service and assisting our broking partners and customers, many of whose lives had been thrown into turmoil. Later in the year, as we continued to work from home, the challenge of maintaining morale and the Chubb culture increased as more time elapsed without teams working in an environment conducive to collaboration.

Question: What do you expect will be the main carry on effects of COVID-19 coming into 2021?

Answer (Jarrod Hill): There will certainly be a different work environment that will, for the clear majority of office-based businesses, include a remote working component. It is difficult to see business travel returning to the same level as was previously the case. At Chubb, 2020 brought the realisation of how important our culture is and we need to continually reinforce the behaviours that represent our culture continuously. 

Question: How will recent industry regulatory changes affect Chubb’s broker partners?

Answer (Jarrod Hill): Whether it be the recent changes or those facing the industry in the future, we jointly face challenges that together we will need to overcome. Right now, our key focus is on the Unfair Contract Terms and the impact that piece of regulation will have on wordings and how they are crafted. More broadly we see an ever-increasing level of regulation that doesn’t always reflect the role brokers play in the insurance and risk management process. Unfortunately, the regulation often tends to simplify that role and not reflect the role of a broker as a professional advisor and client advocate.

Question: What commitment has Chubb made to invest in:

  • Technology

Answer (Jarrod Hill): We have a strategic plan and aligned investment to market facing technology and nothing has changed there. We have rolled out 6 new platform products this year, invested in our claims facing technology that was rolled out across all lines of business progressively through the year, implemented a payment gateway capability in our Finance area, enabling immediate payments. There is more to come in this space, with additional product rollouts and enhancements planned for 2021.

  • Products

Answer (Peter Kelaher, Head of P&C, A&NZ): We will refresh several of our P&C offerings in Industry Practices including Strata, IT Liability, Business Package and Mobile Plant & Equipment. Further product launches in 2021 will include Fine Art and Specie. In addition to products, P&C will invest in people and industry specific offerings in Office, Real Estate, Retail, Wholesale and Manufacturing for risks with up to $50M in assets or revenue.

Answer (Blain Waterford, Head of Retail, A&NZ): With the impact COVID-19 has had on our business and leisure travel products, we have invested significant time into product development to help bring product solutions to the market in A&NZ that will help us reduce our reliance on travel insurance, create new niche opportunities and respond to our new environment. This has included expanding our Group Personal Accident offering in NZ to include critical illness and recently launching a standalone Group Critical Illness product. In Australia we launched a new “Work From Home” GPA and have enhanced our product offering to meet the needs of the growing shared-economy market. Chubb internationally has also developed COVID-19 related travel cover which is being rolled out into local markets to support the concern most will have when international travel resumes. Product development will continue to be a major focus for the A&H / Retail business as we move into 2021 and respond to the changing needs of our fast-changing environment.

Answer (Michelle O’Dowd, Head of PRS, A&NZ): In PRS our 2021 focus will be on improving the quality of our service in several ways.  We are upgrading and enhancing our presence on Sunrise for both of our homeowner products – Masterpiece and Platinum Home. We will also continue to work with you to help you grow your business by providing training and new business development tools that will enhance your value with your customers. 

  • Services

Answer (Jason Hawksworth, Head of Distribution, A&NZ): We really want to hit the ground running in 2021 with a renewed focus on engaging with all our broker partners face to face as much as possible. Whilst we have all been able to adapt our approach in 2020 to ensure our broker partners remain connected with the business, we recognise our business remains based on personal relationships, and in-person engagement remains as important as ever. We are really pleased to have been able to continue our investment in our sales and distribution teams to complement our ever expanding suite of products, particularly for the SME market. Our complimentary expanded sales teams will ensure its easier for our customers to navigate our business and have greater awareness of the market solutions we are developing for our brokers and their customers. You can expect to hear regular updates throughout 2021 as we look to provide targeted market updates and information sessions throughout the year which deal with the emerging risks your clients may see. 

Question: What is Chubb’s approach to adaptive leadership and what does this mean for 2021?

Answer (Jarrod Hill): This year has thrown many challenges to us all, we realised we needed effective leaders capable of adapting quickly to new challenges and enabling their teams to overcome and thrive. We have partnered with 10,000 hours to deliver a program to over 100 of our leaders, focusing on the core capabilities of adaptive leadership.

Question: What have you been proudest of this year?

Answer (Jarrod Hill): Our people. The way they have responded, supported each other and continued to focus on delivering for our brokers in, at times, pretty tough circumstances. More broadly, outside of a couple of examples, the Australian community has responded really positively to the challenges this year and unlike many other countries thought more about what was best for their community over the individual wants. 

Question: What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Answer (Jarrod Hill): A return to the normal cadence of business, having the team all back together, less Webex, Zoom or any other telepresence meetings. A refocus on the ambition we have for our business, intensifying our focus on SME, simplifying our business and making it easier to deal with Chubb. It might be nice to jump on a plane and head overseas again as well. 

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