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Zurich recognizes 100 years of service to the auto industry

Marking 100 years serving auto dealerships across the United States, Zurich North America has kicked off a multifaceted celebration that looks back on a century’s worth of milestones with a keen lens focused on the future. Launched in 1922 as Universal Underwriters in Kansas City, Missouri, the company began by providing fire insurance to 85 auto dealers. Universal Underwriters was acquired by Zurich in 1981 and today Zurich  is one of the nation’s leading providers of Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance and Finance and Insurance (F&I) solutions for auto dealers.

“It is exciting to think about how much automotive history we as a company have witnessed firsthand,” said Vince Santivasi, Head of Direct Markets, Zurich North America. “As the auto industry has evolved, so too have the needs of auto dealerships. We have developed new and innovative products and services over the past 100 years and are proud to have been — and continue to be — evolving along with our auto dealer customers as new needs emerge.”

As part of the 100 years of service celebration, Zurich has created a timeline that showcases key moments in its journey. Among the highlights: In 1968, Zurich became the first insurance company to introduce a single package policy offering monthly premium billing for automobile dealerships. In 1984, the F&I offering was expanded to include vehicle service contracts and income development services for auto dealers; and in 2021 – a sign of the times – Zurich launched a suite of vehicle protection products for electric vehicles. The full timeline can be viewed at

Zurich is also marking the 100-year milestone by launching the “100 Acts of Caring,” initiative this week. As part of the celebration, Zurich employees are giving back to their communities by completing a minimum of 100 acts of caring through volunteering and financial contributions in 2022.

To kick off the Acts of Caring initiative, Zurich is sponsoring a home for a future resident within Eden Village of Kansas City, a planned, gated tiny home community that will provide a dignified place for homeless persons off the streets and into homes where they can thrive. Zurich’s support for the development of the home comes from a combination of a corporate donation and individual employee donations as part of the initiative.

“Our investment in Eden Village of Kansas City is in honor of Zurich’s 100 years of service to auto dealers — service that began in Kansas City,” added Santivasi. “Helping to build and sustain our communities is as important today as it was 100 years ago. This is one way we look forward to our next 100 years and contributing to the communities where we live and work.”

Zurich remains steadfast in its commitment to auto dealers today and in the future and will continue to work directly with its customers to innovate and thrive in this ever-changing industry.

“Our focus now is on the road ahead – our next 100 years of customer service, innovation and sustainability,” said Santivasi. “Looking ahead, we’ll continue to invest in our core business while capitalizing on strategic opportunities to reach new customers and successfully grow our business.”

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