Berkley Life Sciences Adds Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Expense Coverage

February 17, 2015

Berkley Life Sciences, a W. R. Berkley Co., has launched Corporate Lifeline, a new coverage for life science companies seeking to effectively address increased government scrutiny of company practices under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In 2009 the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice warned that “in the months and years ahead,” the Department would focus on “the application of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to the pharmaceutical industry.” Since that time the DOJ, and the Securities and Exchange Commission on the civil side, have kept this promise.

Numerous life science companies and their executives have come under the enforcement microscope, requiring them to incur significant costs to respond to FCPA governmental inquiries into both their business activities and recordkeeping practices, according to the company. These costs often are incurred even where no prosecution has been initiated, or claim against a company made.

Integrated with Berkley Life Sciences’ LS Prime liability policy, Corporate Lifeline addresses the pre-claim and other expenses associated with an FCPA inquiry or investigation. These costs are not addressed by the typical general liability policy issued to life science company clients, or even by many directors and officers policies.

Losses addressed by Corporate Lifeline include not only the costs to defend against an FCPA proceeding, but also pre-suit response costs, such as certain pre-suit legal advisory expenses, and even certain self-reporting costs. The expenses incurred to seek the release of an executive or employee from foreign confinement are also part of the coverage

Pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech companies confront unique FCPA risks, chiefly due to significant levels of government interaction and approval during nearly every stage of business. Of additional significance is that the definition of a government official under the FCPA could include health care providers employed by state owned entities such as government run hospitals in foreign countries,” said Jill Wadlund, president of Berkley Life Sciences. “Lifeline has been carefully tailored to assist customers when they need help the most – when first contacted by the government, or when internal inquiry suggests that self-reporting is the best option to avoid or mitigate potential hefty civil and criminal penalties and reputational damage associated with an FCPA violation.”

Corporate Lifeline is the most recent addition to the insurance products developed by Berkley Life Sciences to address the unique needs of life sciences customers of all sizes. Products now offered by Berkley Life Sciences include commercial general liability; products and clinical trial liability; professional liability; commercial excess coverage; commercial package; inland marine; automobile; worker’s compensation; and umbrella. Through W. R. Berkley Syndicate 1967 at Lloyd’s, Berkley Life Sciences is also able to secure locally accepted insurance coverage around the world for its U.S. life science clients.

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