There are many forms of vulnerability and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting vulnerable customers. Whilst some vulnerabilities are permanent, others can be fluid, temporary or occur at changing intervals, or lead to other or enhanced levels of vulnerability.
Zurich are alert to changes in an individual’s circumstances and seeks to handle these changes sensitively. From our perspective any customer is potentially vulnerable when their specific circumstances places them in a position where additional support might be needed to ensure they get the best possible outcome. Fair treatment of all customers is central to core conduct and we have developed flexible processes that work for customers and their families, friends and/or carers:
We ensure that communications are suited to our customers’ needs, whether they need it in Braille, large print or in audio format. British Sign Language users are able to call us via a video interpreter via the Sign Live service.
We have an organisation-wide vulnerability policy/strategy and ensure that all customer-facing staff are sufficiently equipped to support vulnerable customers effectively and sensitively. Our Vulnerable Customer Face to Face Awareness training features Dementia as a specific element of the session. We also have Vulnerable Customer Champions in all of our key locations who share new information, best practice, and generally keep this in the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Zurich have introduced the option for new employees to undertake the Online Dementia Friends sessions as a last step in their online training module where face-to-face sessions may not be available. Zurich also have a number of Dementia Friends Champions who can deliver awareness sessions within the company. All staff, customer facing or otherwise are regularly invited to sessions run throughout the company.
Lasting Power of Attorney
Zurich has developed an interactive guide to Lasting Power of Attorney which is available for download. The guide provides information on the types of Power of Attorney available as well as links to the Office of the Public Guardian website where applications can be downloaded, or in the case of Scotland, applied for online. Additionally, Zurich is promoting awareness of Power of Attorney through awareness sessions, to our employees as well as Brokers and IFA’s, in order to enhance awareness and provide potential customers with the opportunity and understanding to consider Power of Attorney at a much earlier stage than is generally the case at present.
Guide to organising financial affairs for vulnerable customers
Zurich has published a guide to help people put their financial affairs in order, should they become mentally incapacitated. ‘A guide to Deputyship and Lasting Power of Attorney’, outlines what people need to do if they wish to appoint someone else to handle their financial affairs. The guide is intended to help customers in good mental health who are considering putting things in place should they develop mental health problems in the future; customers in the early stage of dementia who are looking to plan ahead for when they become mentally incapable of managing their own finances; and families and carers acting on behalf of customers no longer able to manage their own affairs.
It can be accessed here
Zurich Support Services
A support service for customers and their immediate family members was launched in 2014 as part of our income protection offering. The freephone service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, It is staffed by a team of independent experts who can offer assistance with work, personal or family related matters, which includes access to short-term counselling. Customers can use the service as many times as they need.