Zurich pro-actively engages with global, regional and local policymakers, governments and opinion leaders. Through this engagement, Zurich keeps abreast of policy trends and emerging issues and shares its insurance expertise and insights to contribute to effective policy solutions.
Zurich’s engagement with policy makers and governments is guided by the following principles:
- We have an opportunity and a responsibility to proactively share our knowledge and expertise, and to participate in public policy debates to help shape effective policy solutions affecting our ability to perform our role in society, taking into account the interests of all our stakeholders – our customers, our people, our shareholders and our communities.
- Compliance with our code of conduct. Among other things, it states that Zurich “prohibits all forms of bribery, or corruption, and any business conduct that could create the appearance of improper influence;” it commits us to “forthright and accurate communication with our stakeholders;” and “forthright, full and prompt disclosure when communicating with regulators, supervisors and governments.”
- Sound analysis of public policy issues to arrive at informed engagement strategies.
As part of this ongoing engagement with policy makers and governments, Zurich may make political contributions where legal and in full compliance with both the spirit and letter of local laws and regulations. Zurich is a member of many trade associations globally and by representing their members, their roles can include helping to inform on public policy issues and engaging with politicians, policymakers and regulators. The top three membership fees paid in 2018 total USD 6.4 million (AIA, GDV, SVV).
In 2018, Zurich’s annual total monetary contributions to and spending for political campaigns, political organizations, lobbyists or lobbying organizations, trade associations and other tax-exempt groups was USD 18 million.
Examples of policy engagement around the Group
In Switzerland, Zurich provides financial support to:
- Political parties: Zurich supports political parties according to the party's policy agenda and representation in Parliament. Critical from a policy-perspective are a commitment to the principles of competitive and open markets, the support of issues that facilitate sound risk management practices and a commitment to favorable framework conditions for Switzerland as a business location.
- Political campaigns: Zurich supports political campaigns for public votes on initiatives or referenda that advance or defend the principles of competitive and open markets, sound risk management and a commitment to favorable framework conditions for Switzerland as a business location.
In 2018, the aggregate annual amount of this funding in Switzerland did not exceed CHF 500,000.
Such contributions are governed and controlled through the appropriate policy relating to Gifts, Entertainment and Other Advantages.
Zurich also supports politically active employees in Switzerland by granting them up to 20 percent of their working time for publicly elected political mandates. Currently approximately 50 employees in Switzerland make use of this offer.
United States of America
In the U.S., Zurich's policy engagement takes a number of forms:
- Both Zurich North America and Farmers Group, Inc. support political action committees, which are unique American entities that facilitate the legal aggregation of voluntary personal contributions from Zurich and Farmers executives for the purpose of providing financial support to candidates for federal and state office. Farmers Group, Inc. also supports 35 state specific political action committees that receive voluntary contributions from the local Farmers agents, district managers and employees. There are no corporate funds allocated into any of these 35 state specific political action committees.
- In addition, both entities may also contribute corporate funds to individual candidates, political parties, ballot initiatives or other policy related initiatives where legally permissible. All such political contributions are undertaken in strict compliance with all disclosure and limitation rules, and are overseen rigorously by the respective public affairs functions of Zurich North America and of Farmers Group Inc.