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The Code of Practice for Risk Management of Tunnel Works – Future Tunnelling Insurance from the Insurer’s Point of View


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Author H Moll


The objectives of this paper are to introduce the International Code of
Practice for Risk Management of Tunnel Works and to illustrate to the
participants of the 13th Australian Tunnelling Conference 2008 how the insurance
industry would like to see the future of tunnelling insurance.

Tunnel construction projects have suffered large losses over the years as can
be shown from various loss examples and a list of major losses over the last ten
to 15 years.

Since the consequences of insufficient risk control had to be borne by
insurers, these losses have heightened the need for improved and adequate risk
management measures so that insurance cover can also in future be provided for
this hazardous industry sector.

Observations are made as regards to the prevailing trends in the tunnelling
industry, which contribute to the increase in risk and have adverse consequences
for the insurance industry.

To find a solution to this dilemma various options are examined with the
suggestion of a Joint Code of Practice for Tunnel Works being agreed by all
stakeholders, which would become essential to secure future insurance protection
for such project work.

The British Tunnelling Society has, in cooperation with the Association of
British Insurers, developed such a code, which the International Tunnelling
Insurance Group has now adopted for global application in international markets.

The content and concept of this code is explained to establish a framework of
understanding and applied risk management principles for tunnel works.

This initiative also has the support of the International Tunnelling
Association and the International Association of Engineering Insurers.

The international application of this new code is demonstrated with a few
examples, which also includes Australian projects.

It is the aim that this code forms in future part of the insurance coverage
for tunnelling works in order to put this risk segment on a more sustainable

For that reason the insurance industry is seeking the support of all
stakeholders of tunnelling construction projects.