Business Transactions | Corporate Responsibility | Zurich Insurance

Corporate responsibility in business transactions

CR in underwriting

In providing insurance to corporate customers and large projects, we may be exposed to environmental, social or governance issues inherent in certain business transactions. For example, the construction of a hydro-electric dam may contribute to economic development in a particular location, but it may also destroy a pristine environment, reduce biodiversity, and force the resettlement of people. Even though insuring the construction company is legal, doing so can trigger vocal public disapproval and damage our reputation and our stakeholders’ trust.

Corporate responsibility is our commitment to enhance our contribution to the sustainability and welfare of society while at the same time ensure we live up to the principles of our Zurich Basics and the UN Global Compact. Translating that into daily business operations can be challenging.

We have therefore issued guidance to our underwriters to systematically identify, assess and mitigate potential environmental, social and governance issues and the related reputation risk inherent in certain business transactions involving large projects and corporate customers. Where issues are identified, we will work with our customers to address them.

» Find out more about our global areas of focus for corporate responsibility

CR in claims

Zurich UK paid almost £2bn in claims in 2016. Over 99% of all general insurance claims were paid, with 130 claims of more than £1 million being made. Zurich paid out 95% of all Life claims in 2016. Where a minority of claims were not paid, reasons include non-disclosure of medical information on applications and where an income protection customer may have returned to work before the policy’s payment period started.

CR in procurement

Zurich is committed to a procurement process that takes into account the economic, social, diversity and environmental impacts of the purchasing activity.

Procurement activities therefore:

  • incorporate appropriate evaluation criteria to assess the products we buy on a lifetime cost basis, taking into account CR factors, delivery of best value and compliance with relevant legislation.

  • develop an understanding of the environmental and social impacts of the goods and services we buy and implement processes to optimise these factors on a continuing basis.

  • reflect our commitment to promoting supplier diversity. Engaging diverse suppliers gives Zurich the potential to engage the best, most agile and innovative companies.

  • ensure we work actively with our suppliers to enhance CR performance throughout the supply chain.

Due diligence questionnaires are issued as part of Zurich’s supplier selection process and these contain a section on corporate responsibility. Each supplier response and evidence provided is assessed as part of the supplier selection process.

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about Zurich’s Corporate Responsibility Policy in the UK, please contact the Corporate Responsibility team.