Schaumburg, Ill. — Identifying growing opportunities for two of its commercial insurance segments, Zurich recently rolled out new products, one for North American commercial firms seeking environmental liability coverage and one that provides workers’ compensation coverage for employees of federal contractors who are working outside the country on military bases, overseas public works projects or similar contracts funded by the U.S. federal government.

The carrier’s environmental liability policy, named Z Choice, is a menu-driven form that enables policyholders to customize the coverage and limits (up to $50 million) to meet their business needs. Customers can choose among core coverage such as first- and third-party bodily injury and property damage for on- and off-site cleanup for new and existing pollution events. Additionally, they can add to their program from a large suite of optional coverage that include natural resource damages, business interruption, mold, transportation of materials and financial assurance, among others.

“Z Choice is a flexible program that provides our customers with the ability to tailor coverage for their unique fixed-facility exposures and pay only for the coverage they need,” says Kenneth Berger, EVP of Zurich’s Environmental unit.

The carrier says the policy will be targeted to a variety of industry classes such as commercial real estate portfolios, manufacturing, chemical facilities, health care, water treatment facilities, food processing, laboratories and public institutions.

Capitalizing on the large number of overseas workers currently employed by contractors, Zurich now offers Defense Base Act (DBA) workers’ compensation coverage for employees of federal contractors who are working outside the country.

“As directives from the U.S. military and other federal agencies are increasingly outsourcing support-related services such as security, linguistics, commissary services, IT and equipment maintenance, we see this market as a significant growth opportunity,” says Mario Vitale, CEO of Zurich’s Global Corporate in North America (GCiNA) business unit. “Zurich’s global reach easily enables us to deliver coverage and services on a worldwide basis.”

The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) for the Employment Standards Administration of the Department of Labor estimates that there are currently 3 million such workers currently employed around the world.

Zurich will compete in this arena with carriers such as New York-based AIG, Cincinnati-based Global Underwriters, and several state-run insurance programs.
Originally passed by Congress in 1941, the Defense Base Act mandated workers’ compensation coverage for civilians employed at American military bases overseas. Since its inception, the scope has been broadened to protect most private-sector employees working for the U.S. government on federally funded projects overseas. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Source: Zurich North America

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