Zurich Insurance is based, not surprisingly, in Zurich, Switzerland. This insurance Goliath, founded in 1872, now employs over 60,000 people in more than 180 countries, including nearly 10,000 employees in North America (a company aptly named Zurich in North America).
Zurich has market share in Maryland accident cases because it owns Farmers Group, which owns 21st Century (formerly AIG's auto insurance division (renamed 21st Century Insurance to remove the taint of the AIG name) and Bristol West Insurance Group, a car insurance company that began in Florida but is now making market inroads throughout the country. Accordingly, lawyers see - directly and indirectly - a lot of Zurich in Maryland accident claims, and are seeing even more of Farmers. Our accident lawyers handle claims against Farmers in Maryland and, in serious injury and death cases, throughout the country.Who Defends Lawsuits Against Zurich?
Zurich has in-house counsel in Maryland in Owings Mills, a firm called Krause, Fizer, Crogan, and Lopez. Bob Fiore, who used to run Nationwide Insurance's in-house law firm, now runs Zurich's office. (2015 Update: He is now at our firm.) This law firm is going to get the majority of Zurich accident cases in Maryland.
Zurich is also a big fan of using Cybersettle to resolve claims. We really don't think Cybersettle is going to net a quality settlement and don't use them.
In truck accident cases, you can expect them to turn to Andrew Stephenson and his firm, Franklin & Prokopik.Is Zurich a Good Defendant to Draw in a Personal Injury Case?
Zurich seems more reasonable in commercial truck accident cases than its vassal Farmers in car accident claims. Our lawyers also generally think that in more serious personal injury accident cases, Zurich does not get really serious about settlement until just before trial.
2015 Update: This paragraph seems antiquated now. Zurich seems to have had a change of heart from its Chubb-style reasonableness in the last few years. Today, Zurich is still better than State Farm or Allstate -- but not much better.Sample Maryland Cases Involving Zurich
Here are a few Maryland settlements and verdicts involving Zurich Insurance. Please keep in mind these are not representative results you can just carry over to your personal injury case. Your claim may be valued differently than these even if the facts are similar. Why? Because these summaries cannot possible provide all of the relevant facts - and the weight of those facts. That said, verdicts can sometimes be used as a guide to better understand the value of your case and how Zurich values cases generally.
- 2013: $820,000 Maryland Settlement. Plaintiff is struck head-on by a commercial truck. Plaintiff is airlifted from Frederick to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. He suffers a host of injuries, including seriously breaks to his arm and his hip. Miller & Zois handled this case.
- 2011: $41,966 Maryland Verdict – Plaintiff, a bus driver in her 50s, is on the job returning the children to their homes when she is rear ended, causing her to lose control and travel to the other side of the road. Plaintiff claims the impact jarred her and caused a lower back injury. Plaintiff denies any prior existing pain, but argues that if she had pre-existing degenerative disc disease, it was asymptomatic prior to the collision. Plaintiff is seen at the emergency room, follows up with physical therapy, and eventually undergoes epidural injections for the pain. She is assigned a 9% permanent partial disability rating to her lower back. Plaintiff files suit against the driver and his employer, a tree expert company, alleging that Defendant driver fell asleep while driving, causing the accident. Defendant does not admit negligence for the accident and further argues that Plaintiff was not injured, that she had a pre-existing degenerative disc disease. Plaintiff seeks economic damages in the amount of $13,966 which she is awarded, as well as an additional $28,000 for non-economic damages.
One thing that really stands out when you look at reported verdicts with Zurich: there are not a lot of them. This means Zurich is not taking many cases to trial. So even today you can expect Zurich to get more serious about settlement as a case gets closer to trial. But trying to reach an early out-of-court settlement with Zurich in a serious injury or wrongful death case for a reasonable value is going to be unlikely.Our Lawyers Can Help You with Your Accident Claim Against Zurich
Our firm has handled scores of auto accident claims involving 21st Century Insurance, Farmers and Zurich. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Maryland or Washington D.C. and you have a question about your claim or wish to file a lawsuit, call our Maryland car accident attorneys at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation.More Information on Dealing with Zurich
- Sample Settlement Agreement: language drafted by Zurich in one of our truck accident cases
- Valuing Personal Injury Cases (how much is your case worth?)
- Handling Personal Injury Claims Without a Lawyer (tips for personal injury victims)
- Handling Your Property Damage Claim (tips for auto accident property damage claims)
- Sample Demand Letter (letter to insurance company for compensation by settlement)
- Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
- Maryland Accident Lawyer Help Center (samples of everything and anything a car accident lawyer needs to handle an auto accident lawsuit against Zurich)