Directors' and officers' liability insurance

Anyone carrying out an activity that is based on trust must be able to justify their deeds before the law. If you as a managing director or member of the board of directors make a wrong decision, you are personally liable and your own assets are at risk. With directors' and officers' liability insurance from AXA, you and your assets are covered against such outcomes.

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Benefits of AXA directors' and officers' liability insurance

  • Attractive conditions
  • Customized coverage extensions
  • Professional support in the event of a claim

Directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O)

As a member of the executive board or board of directors/trustees, you can be held personally liable – directors' and officers' liability insurance protects you and your assets. If worst comes to worst, you are not entirely alone in your role as a decision-maker. As a group policy, D&O insurance covers all the governing bodies in your company and its first- and second-tier subsidiaries.

Scope of coverage

D&O insurance protects you against unfounded or excessive claims and pays out justified claims. It covers the following functions and features:

  • Member of the board of directors of a stock corporation
  • Member of the board of a cooperative
  • Managing directors of a limited liability company (GmbH)
  • Members of the boards of associations
  • Trustees
  • Members of executive boards and senior management (including interim managers)
  • Members of internal audit units
  • Employees who exercise a de facto governing function
  • Founders of a legal entity
  • Liquidators, in the case of voluntary liquidation

At our download center you will find further information and documents on our D&O products as well as examples of claims.

Prevention offer for directors and officers

Directors and officers are exposed to a liability risk which may possibly result in substantial claims for damages. Preventive measures enable you to assess and reduce these risks more effectively.

Our partner Structuul AG

Suitable preventive measures help to assess claims for damages more effectively. Together with Structuul AG, AXA offers you the opportunity to take preventive measures at your company and introduce safeguards in good time. 

After an individual "Fraud.Prevention.Awareness" program has been completed at Structuul AG, AXA will give a one-time discount of CHF 250 on the next annual premium for your D&O or fidelity insurance.

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    Take precautions and save CHF 750

    Structuul AG is offering a one-time discount of CHF 750 on its "Fraud.Prevention.Awareness" program to all companies that have taken out D&O insurance with AXA.

    Go to Structuul AG

Special D&O solutions for municipalities and towns/cities

Members of the governing bodies of municipalities have high demands when it comes to insurance coverage. This is why our "D&O for municipalities" is tailored to the needs of municipalities and offers security and professional support in the event of a claim.

Scope of coverage

Many municipalities have outsourced tasks for which they have founded companies/special-purpose associations. If they breach their obligations, their governing bodies are subject to unlimited liability with their entire personal assets (directors' and officers' liability) – even in the case of minor negligence.

At the same time, members of the governing bodies of municipalities (e.g. members of the municipal/town/city council, school principals or municipality executives) run the risk of becoming personally liable. Recourse to members of the governing body of the municipality is always possible under cantonal legislation on responsibilities/liability.

"D&O for municipalities" provides protection against such financial consequences. All former, current and future members of the following are insured:

  • Municipal, town, city or school authorities
  • Municipal or school administration
  • Business and financial audit committee
  • Employees who exercise a de facto governing function

in their capacity or function as officers of the municipality/city. Recourse to a public-law entity is insured under cantonal legislation on responsibilities/liability. The liability of the municipality itself (state guarantee) is not covered.

Special D&O solutions for individual mandates

You are a director or officer of a company and would like to insure yourself against D&O liability claims independently of the company? Our single-premium product gives you as an individual person the security of comprehensive risk coverage with numerous premium-free supplementary insurance options. Your big advantage: The total sum insured is reserved exclusively for you. 

D&O and professional liability insurance for occupational benefits institutions (OBI)

In the challenging environment of occupational benefits insurance, the tasks of decision-makers of occupational benefits institutions are becoming more and more demanding. Combined D&O and professional liability insurance for occupational benefits institutions and their governing bodies offers comprehensive insurance protection in the event of liability claims with a coverage option geared toward occupational benefits institutions. A combined D&O and professional liability policy offers protection against unfounded liability claims and pays out justified claims. 

Support and frequently asked questions

  • Does a D&O make sense for an SME as well?

    Absolutely. The legal basis of liability is exactly the same for directors and officers of all enterprises, whether small, medium-sized or large. Our experience shows that directors and officers of SMEs are increasingly facing D&O liability actions.

  • Are there many claims?

    We are seeing a steady increase in claims against directors and officers. Unfortunately, there are no official data available in Switzerland on the frequency of D&O liability claims. Published sources cite figures ranging from around 1,000 to 2,000 court cases a year. But court cases are just the proverbial "tip of the iceberg", since in our experience some 80 to 90% of D&O liability claims are settled or rejected out of court.

  • What benefits does D&O insurance provide?

    D&O offers protection against unfounded or excessive claims and pays out justified claims. D&O insurance also covers interest, loss minimization costs, fees for expert opinions, lawyer fees, court and mediation costs as well as indemnification of the counterparty's legal expenses in connection with an insured claim.

    Under the D&O policy, assistance is also provided to the insured director or officer in the form of a wide range of supplementary coverage, including loss-of-reputation costs, psychological counseling fees, living expenses and costs for legal protection in criminal or administrative proceedings. 

  • How are claims handled?

    AXA has a claims department with over 15 lawyers and auditors specializing in financial loss liability insurance. Drawing on this pool of know-how, AXA can guarantee insured persons the best possible support in the event of a claim. It goes without saying that claims are handled in close collaboration with the insured person.

    An additional advantage that AXA offers: Claims department costs are neither offset against the deductible nor are they deducted from the amount of insurance.

  • Who takes out the D&O policy?

    The policyholder and premium payer is the employer (legal entity), although the latter itself is not insured. The directors and officers of the insured legal entities enjoy insurance cover. 

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