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More countries putting focus on anti-bribery laws


In terms of claims frequency, experts says changes in international laws regulating bribery—as well as increased enforcement of regulations in the United States and elsewhere—present the greatest consistent risk to mid-market companies.

This necessitates not only a regular review of laws in relevant markets, but also the insurance solutions to respond to government actions.

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the recently updated U.K. Bribery Act are the two most comprehensive such laws and the ones most likely to apply to mid-market companies, particularly those doing business in countries where corporate and government corruption may be the norm.

“I see a lot of corruption activity and compliance questions coming out of those areas of the world,” said Greg Husisian, of counsel at Washington-based Foley & Lardner L.L.P. “You need to maintain regular oversight of your agents and representatives once you're on the ground over there, and consider whether you need to be doing any types of audits or whether they're exhibiting any kind of "red-flag' behavior. You also need to make sure any local hires are adhering to your compliance program.”

Additionally, a rising number of industrialized and emerging states have moved to outlaw or limit insurance coverage not purchased locally. Governments worldwide also are more closely scrutinizing tax enforcement, intellectual property and trademark protection, and workers' rights, largely as a means of generating revenue to supplement struggling local economies.

“Over the last several years, a number of countries have enacted laws that impose more corporate disclosure requirements, fiduciary duties and transparency rules for companies that want to do business within their borders,” said Glen Bailey, a managing director at Atlanta-based Beecher Carlson Holdings Inc. “The vast majority of executive risk claims we've experienced or observed in the market by far have been litigation claims stemming from government action or enforcement.”