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The Involvement of Insurance Companies in Restorative Processes.

Ouellette, Melissa
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) In Elizabeth Elliott and Robert M. Gordon, eds., New Directions in Restorative Justice: Issues, Practice, Evaluation. Cullompton, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 228-241.

The focus is on crimes that involve both a direct victim and the payment of a claim by an insurance company for the damage caused by an offender. Since restorative justice processes typically involve all stakeholders who have an interest in repairing harms caused by an offense, the issues raised in such cases are who are the relevant stakeholders; how the stakeholder should be involved in a restorative process; and whether corporate entities should be considered stakeholders and, if so, their proper role in a restorative process. Accepting cases in which an insurance claim could be filed may result in civil claims against the offender, who typically must admit responsibility for the harms in an offense prior to participation in restorative justice procedures. Excluding cases that involve insurance claims from restorative justice procedures, however, violates one of the principles of restorative justice, i.e., that all harms caused by the offense should be taken into account. Excluding any victimized party from the devising of strategies to remedy those harms would not be consistent with restorative justice principles. One strategy is to advise the offender of his/her right to legal advice regarding the implications of having an insurance company as a stakeholder in the restoration process. Taking full responsibility for the harm caused by the offense may include paying restitution to the insurance company in addition to making amends to the direct victim. If the offender agrees, a conference or mediation could be arranged with the offender and the insurance company. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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