The company said the UK insurance market had become steadily more challenging, with low investment returns and increasing loss trends creating the headwinds which have accelerated in recent months.
Feedback from brokers and customers said a more straightforward business model is necessary, Zurich said. It hopes the plans will save £40m over the next two years in the UK.
Employees will start being consulted on the proposals today.
“The proposals to cut jobs are underway and will continue until the end of March next year. At the moment, it is not possible to announce the majority of the specific changes as they will be worked through over the course of this programme," the company said.
The plan to streamline the business is part of a global effort, with Zurich hoping to make savings of $1bn (£660m) by the end of 2018.
Zurich announced a steep drop in profits at the end of last week and earlier this year had to abandon a takeover of RSA insurance.