How startups find the right insurance

Female coworkers discussing work in office
The startup 12AHEAD literally began in a basement. The three young founders talk about their vision – and reveal why the topic of insurance was one of their biggest challenges on the road to self-employment.
With the disco replaced by the sofa, cafés replaced by the kitchen table and trips to the Balearic Islands replaced by trips to the bathtub, there were few distractions in the Covid era, especially for young people. Sometimes, it's in situations like this that something special is born – something like 12AHEAD. The full service digital agency was literally born in a basement. "During the lockdown, we invested our time in developing our startup," reports Florian Wenk, one of the three founders. 

Employers at 23

Joël Huber, Florian Wenk and Athina Weber are only 23, but they have already founded a successful company with a total of six employees plus additional freelancers. And what's more, they want to inspire others to become entrepreneurs as well. The entrepreneurial vision of 12AHEAD: "We see ourselves as a point of contact for personalized digitized services. We also want to create jobs for young people who wish to grow with us." 

Bringing other companies into the limelight

Joël Huber is responsible for content creation at 12AHEAD, Athina Weber takes care of the digital marketing and web design/development. Florian Wenk ensures the company’s finances are in order. In addition to their core business, the young entrepreneurs still take time to promote other startups via the HEADSTART project: Every two weeks, they create a video portrait of a company and present it to a wider public. Thanks to this project, 12AHEAD has already succeeded in gaining the insurer Zurich as its main sponsor. 

Avoiding serious financial consequences

Zurich Switzerland is also the startup's insurance partner. In addition to the mandatory accident insurance plus supplementary accident insurance, the three founders have also taken out commercial liability and business legal protection insurance with Zurich. "We had a lot of respect for the fact that one mistake can lead to serious financial problems. That's why it was particularly important for us to have a safeguard in this area," comments Florian Wenk. 

Well insured as a startup: Five steps to success

  1. Get an overview
    Obtain an overview of the risks specific to your industry.
  2. Set priorities
    In the SME-Check, you can also find out which insurance policies are mandatory for your company, which are recommended and which are optional
  3. Put together an individual package
    Decide which protection your employees and you need right from the start and which insurance or additional module can wait a little longer. This will give you a basis for putting together your own individual insurance package.
  4. Benefit from personal advice
    With Zurich, you don't have to make these decisions alone, but can also benefit from the personal advice of a competent corporate customer advisor. They will visit your company or advise you via video conference or telephone. 
  5. Regularly check your insurance coverage
    Review once a year whether your insurance coverage is still appropriate and sufficient. For example, if you move into new premises, acquire new machinery or expand your business, you will usually need additional protection.

Overcoming reservations

To begin with, however, the three founders struggled with insurance: "We tried to avoid the issue," admits Athina Weber. "The topic of insurance was even still unresolved when we had an entry in the commercial register." Nevertheless, it was important for the young entrepreneurs to be well insured before hiring employees. They initially did some online research, but then opted for some personal advice and found the right solutions for their company thanks to their customer advisor Robin Tandler, Joël Huber reveals: "He explained everything to us in a neutral way and didn't give us any hard sell, but rather gave us all the information we needed." And so, they could say with a good feeling: "this is the right one for us." 

Five reasons why Zurich is the ideal partner for startups

  1. We provide you with all the information
    You can find all the important information online and get an overview of the topic of "insurance" at your leisure. With the SME Check, you receive insurance recommendations that are precisely tailored to the needs of your industry.
  2. We give you the choice
    You decide how you want to contact us: Take out insurance for basic cover completely online, place your full trust in the expertise of your advisor or supplement your online research with an advisory meeting.
  3. We have a lot of experience
    In Switzerland alone, 200,000 corporate customers place their trust in our expertise – this allows us to assess risks very well and offer sophisticated products with sector-specific cover. Thanks to our international network, we can also advise you on cross-border insurance issues.
  4. We offer a super service
    As an experienced SME insurer, we stand by startups in all phases of their formation and ensure that nothing important is forgotten. This comprehensive assistance is part of our service promise. Because we offer you the entire range of SME insurance, we provide you with everything from a single source. You can also rely on us in the event of a loss.
  5. We help you with prevention
    The best damage is the damage that doesn't happen in the first place: We help you with prevention in many areas: from driver safety training for chauffeurs to tips on company health management and cyber security training for your employees as part of cyber insurance.

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