Zurich has managed insurance claims related to child abuse on behalf of its customers for many years.
We take the sensitive issues that arise for victims and survivors of abuse very seriously. Cases of abuse are very distressing for all involved, and we have great sympathy with anyone whose life has been affected.
Although Zurich does not have direct statutory safeguarding obligations as an insurer, we are ready to listen to the views of all parties as a core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). We are committed to supporting the work of the Inquiry as it seeks to examine the way institutions have handled their child protection responsibilities.
The IICSA’s Accountability and Reparations Investigation Report
Published 19th September 2019
Zurich welcomes the Inquiry’s conclusions and recommendations in its Accountability and Reparations report published today, 19th September 2019.
Child sexual abuse is abhorrent, and the Inquiry’s work is vital in enabling the incredibly distressing accounts of victims and survivors to be heard so that lessons from the past are learnt and improvements are made. We have great sympathy with anyone whose life has been affected and are committed to continuing to work with the Inquiry to help create as sensitive and effective a system as possible.
In relation to the Inquiry’s recommendations that directly involve the insurance industry, Zurich confirms its ongoing commitment to work with the Association of British Insurers to support producing a code of practice for responding to civil claims of child sexual abuse, and in considering the introduction of a future national register of public liability insurance policies.
We also welcome the opportunity to continue our contribution to the Inquiry as it explores in further public hearings planned for November 2019, the important issues around the law of limitation and the potential for a redress scheme.
Zurich has made significant improvements in its own child sexual abuse claims handling processes such as its guidelines which are recognised in the Inquiry’s report. Our approach is focused on understanding the circumstances of individual claimants, making it clear that limitation should not be automatically applied to claims and support apologies being made, where appropriate. We have established a dedicated team to manage child sexual abuse claims, seeking specialist advice including from independent experts in the charity sector and we run frequent checks on the quality of claims handling.
We believe that the Inquiry has an important role to play in continuing to work with all parties to make further improvements in the treatment of victims and survivors, including when they bring civil claims.
Zurich is committed to continuing to support the incredibly important objectives of the Inquiry as a core participant.