1. Independent abuse inquiry

Zurich and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Writing in notebook

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.

Working with the inquiry

As part of its work, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) is considering the extent to which existing support services, such as insurance, and available legal processes effectively deliver reparations to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

As a prominent company in the UK insurance sector, Zurich can offer a valuable insight into the insurance, legal and practical considerations that should be taken into account when the Inquiry makes recommendations.

We are fully supporting the Inquiry as a core participant and providing as much assistance as we can.

Information for Zurich policyholders

Zurich recommends that independent legal advice should be sought if you are approached by the Inquiry or if you feel you should proactively approach the Inquiry.

Transparency and openness is the best way to ensure effective communication on these issues.

How does insurance typically cover abuse cases?

Claims for abuse tend to fall under Public Liability cover, but some may come under Directors and Officers’ Liability, Governors’ Liability or Employers’ Liability. In general insurance, policies are written on two bases: ‘claims occurring’ and ‘claims made’. It is important to understand how your insurance policy is written as this will impact your cover.

A policy written on a ‘claims occurring’ basis will pay out for valid claims that arise out of loss or damage that actually happens during the policy period.

A policy written on a ‘claims made’ basis will pay out for valid claims made during the policy period, regardless of when the incident or alleged breach of duty actually occurred.

Professional indemnity insurance policies are usually written as part of a liability policy on a ‘claims made’ basis. This means that the insurer who is in place when the claim is made (not when the abuse happened) takes insurance responsibility.

Public liability insurance policies are usually written on a ‘claims occurring’ basis. This means that the insurer who was in place when the abuse occurred takes responsibility for the insurance liability.

Our claims commitments

Abuse claims are very sensitive cases for all parties involved and can be very distressing for the victims and survivors of abuse as well as, in certain instances, those organisations and individuals against whom such accusations are made. We have great sympathy for anyone whose life has been affected by abuse.

Abuse cases are, by their nature, complex and need to be handled extremely sensitively, and we are committed to working with our policyholders to investigate and handle abuse claims as quickly and effectively as possible. In addition, we are committed to working closely with interested parties to help define and shape best practice within the insurance industry relating to physical and sexual abuse claims in the UK.

Where claims for physical or sexual abuse are made against organisations that we insure, these are typically covered under the organisation's public liability insurance policy. Public liability policies provide indemnity to an organisation (subject to policy coverage) in respect of that organisation's legal liability to third parties.

Each case will be considered on an individual basis and will be managed by an expert team at Zurich, whose members have many years of combined experience in handling abuse claims.

Have any questions?

Existing customer?

You may wish to contact your risk and insurance consultant