Code of Conduct

Our Code guides everything we do

Our Group’s Code of Conduct, is fundamental to our success. It ensures that all we do – as a business and as individuals – meets the highest ethical, legal and professional standards.

Compliant and fair conduct of business

In all aspects of our business we ensure we know the legal requirements and comply with them. Zurich has an unwavering commitment to fair and responsible business conduct.
 We must adhere to all laws, rules and regulations of the countries in which Zurich operates, as applicable at our workplace, as well as with our internal policies. Moreover, 

  • We not only ask if something is legally permissible, but also if it is the right thing to do
  • We conduct ourselves with honesty, fairness, dignity and integrity in our workplace and whenever we act on Zurich’s behalf
  • We respect the protection of international human rights within our sphere of influence, and will work hard to ensure that we are not complicit in human rights abuses
  • We acknowledge that just because others may do something, that doesn’t make it right
  • Zurich is further committed to forthright, full and prompt disclosure when communicating with regulators, supervisors and governments. 

This means we are open, honest and cooperative with any government investigation or regulatory examination that involves Zurich

Once a government investigation or regulatory examination is underway, we take special care to prevent the destruction or alteration of any paper or electronic information relevant to the investigation or examination.

Equal employment, harassment-free workplace

Zurich maintains an environment that is respectful of all employees and free from all forms of discrimination and harassment. We take pride in the diversity of our workforce as it contributes to making Zurich an employer of choice.

Our people are the diverse men and women who together strive to make Zurich the best global insurer. We value their passion and personal integrity, and recognize those as the basis of our strength. Employees are therefore expected to treat one another with respect and dignity.

Zurich does not tolerate discrimination or harassment in the workplace, including on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, national origin, gender, race, color, religion, marital status, sexual orientation or other perceived differences. These principles extend to all employment decisions including recruiting, training, evaluation, promotion and reward.

Speak up if you have been a victim of, or have witnessed, discrimination, harassment or bullying.

Zurich recognizes the right of its employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining. All employees have the right to freely form and join groups for the promotion and protection of their employment interests.

Zurich does not tolerate any form of forced, compulsory or child labor.

The above principles are in accordance with the internationally recognized core employment standards of the International Labour Organization.

Health, safety and environment

Zurich endeavors to provide its employees with safe, healthy and secure work environments. We comply with all applicable health, safety and environmental policies and requirements including:

  • Keeping our working area clean, healthy and free from hazards that can lead to accidents, emergencies, health issues or security risks
  • Avoiding any behavior or actions that could put you or your colleagues at risk
  • Promptly addressing and reporting any safety or health concerns, risks or hazards
  • Integrating environmental considerations throughout our business
  • Minimizing our direct and indirect environmental impact through continuous improvement in environmental performance and society.
  • Environmental protection is integral to sustainable value creation for both Zurich and society.

Zurich endeavors to provide its employees with safe, healthy and secure work environments.

Data protection, security and confidentiality

Protecting data and safeguarding confidential information is a priority for Zurich. We take appropriate measures against the unauthorized or unlawful processing of data that Zurich maintains and against its accidental loss, access, destruction or damage.

As a Zurich employee you are expected to:

  • Safeguard confidential information of Zurich, its employees, its customers, business affiliates and other stakeholders through its entire life cycle, from origin to safe disposal
  • Collect, process and share personal data only for specified, legitimate and required purposes and only to the extent necessary
  • Access, use and disclose confidential information only on a need-to-know basis and when authorized for a legitimate business purpose
  • Respect privacy rights and preferences of the persons whose data we process
  • Consult with your local data protection officer or legal function before data is transferred across national borders (including to other Zurich entities)
  • Ensure that electronic personal data or confidential information is protected in transmission and storage through adequate technical safeguards
  • Report data security breaches through appropriate management channels as quickly as possible

Personal data is any information related to an identified or identifiable individual (or entity, where locally applicable). Personal data, electronic and non-electronic, can be employee, customer or third-party data and includes such information as name, address, date of birth, payment card number, or similar information. Each jurisdiction may have its own definition of personal data according to local law. 

Confidential information is intended solely for use within Zurich and is limited to those with “business need-to-know”, e.g., customer policy information or business plans.

 

Records management

Business, financial reporting, legal and tax considerations require that Zurich retains and maintains complete and accurate records.

It is therefore important that you:

  • Accurately and completely record all business transactions
  • Deal with financial data accurately, promptly and with due care while following Zurich’s accounting principles
  • Retain records and data, which include paper-based and electronic files and emails, for as long as required by law, regulation or policy, unless Zurich advises that a Document Preservation Notice is in place, meaning that the purging of all or certain categories of documents has been suspended (for example because of pending litigation or imminent government investigation)
  • Report any destruction order to your manager, Legal, Compliance or to the Zurich Ethics Line (or similar service in your country) if the retention period for the document has not yet expired
  • Ensure that records and data are available and accessible to authorized persons within the requested timeframe
  • Do not alter or falsify information on any record or document
  • Do not take any action to fraudulently induce, coerce, manipulate or mislead, when interacting or communicating with customers, suppliers, government bodies, regulators, auditors or others inside or outside Zurich as fraudulent alteration, correction or falsification can never be justified by any business goal

Conflicts of interest

Zurich’s reputation depends on the actions and integrity of its employees. It is important that any decision taken as a Zurich employee is based on the interests of our company and shareholders, and not based on self-interest.

Every day we make business decisions and may occasionally be presented with a conflict of interest between our company’s and our personal interests, when working with customers, brokers, agents, or others.

It is imperative that you always maintain your objectivity and ensure your judgment is not compromised by personal or family interest.

Refrain from any activity if a conflict of interest arises.

Disclose conflicts of interest to your manager and ensure that they are satisfactorily managed and/or eliminated.

Get the applicable approvals from your superiors, before accepting any mandates, such as a director, officer, or significant investor/owner of a non-Zurich company or organization. Consult with Compliance whenever in doubt.

Anti-bribery, anti-corruption

Zurich is committed to fair and responsible business and prohibits all forms of bribery, or corruption and any business conduct that could create the appearance of improper influence.

Employees are expected to avoid any conduct that could have the appearance of improper influence and must therefore:

  • Ensure that all gifts, entertainment and other advantages, either given or received, in connection with business activities are appropriate to the circumstances, and moderate in terms of value, frequency and quantity
  • Never give or receive gifts, entertainment or other advantages that
    - Are cash payments or cash equivalents
    - Are intended to create the appearance of obtaining or retaining an improper business or personal benefit or undue government action
    - Could cause a conflict of interest for either party
  • Ensure that political, charitable and similar contributions made by Zurich comply with applicable laws and the requirements of Zurich’s policy, as they must not be, or give the appearance of being, used for any illegal or improper purpose
  • Ensure that all payments to third parties are appropriate, supported by sound business rationale and are correctly recorded 
  • Ensure that appropriate due diligence on third parties is completed prior to engagement and throughout the duration of the relationship

Anti-trust and fair competition

Zurich is committed to fair and responsible business and prohibits all forms of bribery, or corruption and any business conduct that could create the appearance of improper influence.

Employees are expected to avoid any conduct that could have the appearance of improper influence and must therefore:

  • Ensure that all gifts, entertainment and other advantages, either given or received, in connection with business activities are appropriate to the circumstances, and moderate in terms of value, frequency and quantity
    Never give or receive gifts, entertainment or other advantages that Are cash payments or cash equivalents
    Are intended to create the appearance of obtaining or retaining an improper business or personal benefit or undue government action
    Could cause a conflict of interest for either party
  • Ensure that political, charitable and similar contributions made by Zurich comply with applicable laws and the requirements of Zurich’s policy, as they must not be, or give the appearance of being, used for any illegal or improper purpose
  • Ensure that all payments to third parties are appropriate, supported by sound business rationale and are correctly recorded 
  • Ensure that appropriate due diligence on third parties is completed prior to engagement and throughout the duration of the relationship

Dealing in Securities

Zurich believes in the integrity and transparency of the financial markets and therefore is committed to ensuring that information learned on the job must never be used for improper personal gain.

Zurich expects each employee to protect inside information they possess and not to use or misuse such information whether for their own or anyone else’s investments.

Always remember the following:

  • Do not deal in Zurich securities or securities of other companies (either directly or through other persons) while in possession of inside information about such companies.
  • Do not provide tips or make recommendations about any securities while in possession of inside information.
  • Keep in mind that before dealing in Zurich securities, you must exercise particular care and seek all necessary approvals.
  • Dealing includes any sale, purchase, or holding of, or agreement to sell, or purchase any securities or interest in such securities, including if done off-market.
  • Securities include any publicly listed/traded financial instruments such as shares, ADRs, bonds, debentures or other securities or financial instruments whose price is materially depending on them, including any options and derivatives.
  • Inside information means any material non-public information that could be price-sensitive, i.e., affect the price of a security.
  • It is always inappropriate to give false or misleading signals capable of influencing market behavior (i.e., ‘market manipulation’).

Communicating with external parties

Reputation and brand are critical Zurich assets. Forthright and accurate communication with our stakeholders helps us to successfully manage both our reputation and brand. You should refrain from commenting on any speculations or rumors about Zurich or any of its divisions, and not disparage Zurich’s competitors.

Always direct requests for information from outside Zurich about Zurich to the appropriate function to deal with the matter according to local guidelines. Special rules apply to responding to inquiries from certain external parties.

As a Zurich employee, you must:

  • Refer all requests for information from the media to your local Media Relations office, local spokesperson or the Group Media Relations department
  • Direct all queries from investors, analysts or shareholders to the Group Investor Relations & Rating Agencies department
  • Forward all inquiries from regulators to your local Legal and Compliance department or Group Regulatory Affairs department as appropriate

Keep in mind that posting information on social media sites such as facebook and LinkedIn is considered to be communicating with external parties, hence the same rules apply. As an employee you may engage on social media platforms, however remember to speak with your own voice and share your own opinion – which can be private or work-related – and clearly state that these views are your own and may differ from the views of Zurich. Be careful to ensure that your social media activities are not perceived as official statements by Zurich.

Protection of assets, prevention of fraud and crime

Protection of assets and prevention of fraud and crime are key to building and maintaining the value and trust of Zurich’s stakeholders. The misuse of Zurich’s property or the property entrusted to us would negatively impact our reputation and our interests.

You are therefore required to:

  • Take precautions to safeguard and protect Zurich property
  • Use Zurich property and resources only for business purposes and not for personal or professional gain or for inappropriate or unlawful purposes
  • Avoid unauthorized or improper use or disclosure of a Zurich name, logo, service mark, trademark, trade secret, confidential document, patent or copyright
  • Not misuse your position for fraudulent or illegal purposes
  • Not misappropriate or illegally conceal, divert or obtain money, assets, data, information or services
  • Not misrepresent or falsify information
 

Anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and economic sanctions

As a customer-centric company, Zurich wants to know its customers and other relevant parties to a policy. We work hard to meet their needs, but we do not engage in transactions that could be illegal or compromise our values.

Zurich is committed to the international fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism and requires that all applicable economic and trade sanctions are observed. This means you as a Zurich employee must:

  • Establish customers’ identities and understand the sources of the funds they bring to Zurich
  • Not engage in business with any person attempting to use Zurich’s products or services for illegal purposes, such as laundering funds derived from illegitimate sources or facilitating terrorism financing
  • Be aware of laws and regulations that prohibit or restrict doing business with certain countries, entities or individuals
  • Know those regulations that apply to you based on your nationality (e.g., the U.S. OFAC regulations for U.S. persons worldwide) and seek advice from Compliance or Legal on these regulations
  • Contact your local Compliance officer in case you have any doubts or suspicions related to a business partner or transaction