Archive for Professional Indemnity Insurance

Making Business Insurance Decisions Easy for Business Owners

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. If you are starting out in business or reviewing your initial company procedures and processes you will be faced by an endless choice of decisions to make.

Whilst the potential rewards of running a successful business drive them onwards, there are many challenges faced by small business owners, especially during the initial outset of the business when methods and procedures are being put in place. None more so when trying to navigate through the vagaries of business insurance risks and covers, which vary widely depending upon the type of business you engage in.

So where do you start to try to understand the risks that your business might face and the types of insurance that are available to protect your business from these risks?

Fortunately this has been recognised by specialist small business insurer, Hiscox who understands that business owners want to focus on what they do best – running their business.

So they have created a Business Insurance Decision Tree in the form of an infographic to help steer small business owners through the different types of insurance available to them.

The Hiscox Business Insurance Decision Tree looks at variables such as whether you work from home or in an office, how many employees you have and what type of property you own, suggesting applicable cover which best suits an SME’s (Small to Medium Sized Enterprises) needs.

So whether it is office contents insurance for damage to property, employers’ liability for those with employees, professional indemnity insurance when offering advice, or public liability insurance, the Business Insurance Decision Tree can help clarify which insurance is suitable.

The Business Insurance decision tree

The Business Insurance decision tree makes getting the right cover easy! Click to view

Hiscox SME Underwriting Manager, Deepak Soni, comments: “SMEs are experts in their area, but we don’t expect them to be experts in insurance, that’s what we are here for. No two businesses are the same, so the Business Insurance Decision Tree is a useful tool to help SMEs understand the risks they face and get the right cover in place.”

Professional Indemnity Insurance Buyers Guide

5 Things To Ask Yourself Before You Buy Professional Indemnity Insurance

The What, When, How, Where and Why Guide to Indemnity Insurance for professionals.

Professional Indemnity Insurance is designed to protect you when a problem arises with any professional work you have done. In today’s litigation culture, this form of insurance is becoming increasingly relevant for a range of professions.

Are you thinking about Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Before you buy, it pays to consider the crucial 5 questions:

What exactly is Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance is designed to protect you in the case of professional error. In the course of your working life an instance may occur where unfortunately, the professional skill you exhibit is deemed inadequate. In this situation, a dissatisfied client may seek some form of compensation, resulting in financial implications for you and your business. This is where PI Insurance comes in: it provides financial support for defence costs, withheld fees and any compensation which may be awarded against you. In simple terms, Professional Indemnity Insurance is financial protection against professional error.

Why do I require PI Insurance?
This type of insurance is typically relevant for professionals who regularly give advice to their customers, and/or who are responsible for customers’ data and other intellectual property. It can loosely be regarded as protection against non-physical but nonetheless detectable damages. PI Insurance can be voluntary, but it is mandatory for some professions, such as Architecture, Accountancy and some IT Consultancy.

How does PI Insurance benefit me?

If you are at all liable to be challenged in the competency of your work, or there is scope for your services failing to meet the expectations of your client, then PI Insurance will certainly benefit you. PI Insurance will provide you with financial support if you are accused of professional negligence, misuse of intellectual property, loss of data, dishonesty and defamation incurred by your business. Despite best intentions, no one is immune to mistakes or accusations of mistakes – PI Insurance tackles the consequences of these errors.

When does the cover come into action?

Most forms of PI Insurance work on a claims-made basis. This means that the insurance only covers the claims made during the policy period. If an incident occurs whilst you hold the policy, but the claim is made after you have discontinued the insurance, then the claim will not be covered. On the flip-side, if an incident occurred before the time of holding the policy, but the claim is made once you have the insurance, then you can be protected. Each claim is treated individually – as the policyholder, you can usually select your own limit of indemnity.

Where are there exemptions and conditions?
To ensure the most comprehensive insurance, it is advisable to thoroughly research the policy options available. Many providers of PI Insurance offer industry-specific policies. Requirements are different for each sector: for some, cover is restricted to business carried out within the EU, for example. The policyholder will usually be required to pay an excess for each claim, and the amount varies according to policy. Suitability of Professional Indemnity Insurance can be achieved by the varying levels of cover available. This suitability can be further tightened by bespoke policies which can be continually amended.

Insurance Blog would like to point out that it is particularly important to tailor Indemnity Insurance to the requirements of your individual business. The insurance is ultimately designed to protect you in the case of professional mistakes – choosing the right Professional Indemnity policy is the first step towards annulling these errors. There are many established business insurance specialists out there such as Hiscox that are can help provide would be insurers with further information regarding specialist cover for other areas of your business, a quick internet search will yield the many options and services available!

Check your Solicitor has Insurance before you employ them

Online Professional Indemnity Insurance Insurer Indemnia warned today that litigants seeking advice on any matter but in particular housing conveyancing, should check that their Solicitor has adequate Professional Indemnity Cover.

Many Law firms faced a frantic rush last week to try to obtain PI cover renewals before the deadline on October 1st.

A spokesperson said, ” We don’t know at this point in time just how many law firms are out out there without the necessary cover in place and we advise all potential customers to seek confirmation of cover before employing solicitors.”

Over the last six month’s many large UK insurance companies have withdrawn from the professional Indemnity UK market or made their rates so unattractive as to discourage renewals. Norwich Union has stopped insuring law firms of less than ten partners in an effort to remove the ‘cowboy solicitors’ from their books.

Accelerating this crisis is the credit crunch, that has seen a massive increase in the number of claims against solicitors for negligence particularly in the conveyancing area and civil claims.

“The reason for the increased number of claims is partly due to a savvy public who are quite rightly realising that the can claim under the legal expenses section of their household insurance policies for poor advice and negligent work carried out by cowboy solicitors who in some cases should not be trading”, confirmed Indemnia.

With capacity in the market for PI at its lowest ever, possibly hundreds of solicitors who did not obtain cover last week will by law have to enter the the Industry’s assigned risks pool.