The chief executive officer of the Zurich Insurance Group played golf and dodged some heavy rain during the Zurich Classic golf tournament in Avondale. Martin Senn also found time to meet with business leaders while in New Orleans, and reaffirm the company’s commitment to the region.
Zurich committed to sponsor the PGA golf tournament in 2004.
The next year came Hurricane Katrina.
Senn says the company decided it was important to help the region recover.
“Naturally we had to stay on because we were thinking we’ve got to bring the swing back and keep the swing in the city, And with that, it was the biggest event post-Katrina.”
Zurich estimated claim payments at $600 million from Katrina.
Senn says the company designed a processing system that resulted in more than 98 percent of claims being resolved in 2005.
That same system is being used to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
He also credits social media — not available in 2005, like Facebook — for helping Sandy victims get help quickly.
“It is the sum of all of those. It is knowing our customer and what we learn again now is which customer could we not reach through very specific ways and why not. So we look and debrief on why is that together with our customers and prepare for future disasters.”
Zurich announced it’s extending sponsorship of the golf Classic through 2019.