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Zurich Insurance offers critical advice to help businesses affected by Harvey

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., August 30, 2017

Zurich Catastrophe Response Team is ready to provide hands-on help to customers

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Catastrophe Response Team members from Zurich Insurance are ready to help customers in Texas recover and eventually rebuild. Today, Zurich is providing its insights from helping businesses recover after devastating weather events, such as, Katrina and Sandy, to businesses affected by Harvey.

“The impact of this storm to businesses will be significant,” said Mike Foley, Chief Executive Officer for Zurich North America. “We are committed to providing the insights we’ve learned from previous natural disasters to help businesses build back better and improve their resilience.”

Here are the key steps to consider after any catastrophic storm:

  • Check with local authorities to ensure the area around a business or home, as well as the building itself, are sufficiently safe to enter. When returning to the site, bring identification, drinking water, supplies recommended by local authorities, as well as cameras to document conditions.
  • Once there, survey the site for hazards such as live electrical wires, broken glass, sharp metal and fumes from leaking pipes. Be alert for damaged building features, contents or hardscape areas that could shift or collapse. Photograph any visible damage.
  • Call your insurance representative to begin the claims process. Maintain contact throughout the process.
  • Perform emergency repairs where feasible, such as placing tarps to reduce water incursion. Notify reputable restoration contractors as soon as possible to secure a place in line for service. Establish repair priorities based on level of danger the damage poses. Have qualified personnel check utility systems before returning them to service.
  • Verify the status of protection systems. Check water supplies, fire pumps, automatic sprinklers, fire alarms and security systems. Expedite repairs and potentially organize a security watch rotation if protection systems are compromised.
  • Begin salvage as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Restore the HVAC system or run fans as soon as possible while you are on site to try to mitigate mold. Avoid accumulations of combustible materials inside the building. Avoid storage in areas with impaired fire protection.
  • Clear roof drains, balcony drains and ground-level catch basins and drains in preparation for future rain events.

“Having the right team of professionals ready to respond, before and after a catastrophe, is one of the many lessons Zurich has learned from helping businesses around the world recover after disasters,” said Steve Hatch, Chief Claims Officer for Zurich North America. “Our team of claims professionals is prepared to deliver the high level of service our customers have always relied upon, especially during times when they need us the most.”

Customers have several ways to contact Zurich to report a claim:

  • Internet: https://webclaims.zurichna.com/#/claims
  • Phone: 1-800-987-3373
  • Email: USZ_CareCenter@Zurichna.com
  • U.S. mail: Zurich Customer Care Center, PO Box 968017, Schaumburg, IL 60196
  • Fax: 1-877-962-2567

About Zurich
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 54,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.

In North America, Zurich is a leading commercial property-casualty insurance provider serving the global corporate, large corporate, middle market, specialties and programs sectors through the individual member companies of Zurich in North America, including Zurich American Insurance Company. Life insurance and disability coverage issued in the United States in all states except New York is issued by Zurich American Life Insurance Company, an Illinois domestic life insurance company. In New York, life insurance and disability coverage is issued by Zurich American Life Insurance Company of New York, a New York domestic life insurance company. For more information about the products and services it offers and people Zurich employs around the world go to www.zurichna.com. 2012 marked Zurich's 100-year anniversary of insuring America and the success of its customers, shareholders and employees.

Zurich's Flood Resilience Program

Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural disaster and are responsible for some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses. At the same time, we believe that there is too little emphasis on pre-event flood mitigation, as opposed to post-event flood relief. That is why since 2013 Zurich has built a multi-sector flood resilience alliance with the public sector, NGOs, private sector and academia that helps communities and customers become more resilient. Doing business responsibly today to shape a more resilient tomorrow, Zurich (through its Z Zurich Foundation) has already invested million in over 100 community programs in nine countries to actively build flood resilience. Zurich conducted a post-event review of the 2015 South Carolina floods. The lessons learned from this and other floods can help create resilient communities in the U.S. and around the world.