PR as an insurance policy

A new policy offered by an insurance company and several communications agencies offers reputation protection in times of crisis.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) is offering the policy with the support of Brunswick, CNC and Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

The “Allianz Reputation Protect” policy will cover the costs of communications that companies face in crisis scenarios.

“Trust, reputation and brand strength are precious assets for companies today,” said Joachim Albers, Head of Product Development Financial Lines at AGCS. “We can help companies respond to crises in a professional manner.” The aim is to prevent a company’s good name from being damaged in the first place through a timely and professional response which helps to forestall the loss of customers, sales and market share that such events can cause.

“Allianz Reputation Protect” covers consulting fees and communications expenses during critical situations. The customer can choose from three consultancies that offer global networks and 24-hour service: Brunswick, CNC and Hill+Knowlton Strategies. The costs of tactical steps such as media monitoring, press work and advertisements are covered as well. With coverage extending up to €10 million, the policy is primarily aimed at companies that do not have their own large communications team or an international PR network to rely on in the event of a crisis.

After the policy contract is signed, the client will receive a first reputational risk assessment through a workshop conducted by the media research group Media Tenor International. This will show how the company is currently perceived by the media and public. “This study will demonstrate to the client where its potential vulnerabilities lie and enable it to take early preventative steps,” Albers says.

Defining a crisis: clear and simple triggers

“Allianz Reputation Protect “follows a dual approach to ensure that a broad range of crisis situations is covered. On one hand, it links its cover to any event that is insured under any other nominated underlying insurance contract of the client. This underlying insurance contract does not necessarily have to be insured with AGCS. Policies sold by competitors are accepted as well. “Just take a factory explosion, a plane crash, an oil spill or a management scandal. These are often insured events which could also cause a reputational crisis,” explains Albers. On the other hand, clients can name additional specific events to be included into the policy which address more industry- or company-specific risks.

In addition to its stand-alone product “Allianz Reputation Protect” AGCS continues to offer supplemental coverage to existing policies that also covers the costs of crisis communications: For instance, AGCS policies for Directors and Officers insurance and for Liability product recall and tampering insurance also cover these costs, although to typically lower financial values.

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