Whether you already hold professional indemnity insurance or are looking to protect your practice for the first time, it is important that you continuously seek quotations from the leading professional indemnity providers. Preferably this can be achieved by one of the professional indemnity insurance brokers or professional indemnity agencies.
Many times the insurance premium is decided by a range of different factors. Type of profession and project, duration, deductible, limit of liability, claims are all good examples of the underwriting consideration.
What Is Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Professional indemnity insurance policies are generally set up based on a claims-made basis, meaning that the policy only covers claims made during the policy period. A key component is the wording. Typically a policy will provide indemnity to the insured against loss arising from any claim or claims made during the policy period by reason of any covered neglect, error or omission committed in the conduct of the insured’s professional business during the policy period. Claims which may relate to incidents occurring before the coverage was active may not be covered, although some policies may have a retroactive date, such that claims made during the policy period but which relate to an incident after the retroactive date (where the retroactive date is earlier than the inception date of the policy) are covered.
Coverage does include criminal prosecution, nor all forms of legal liability under civil law, only those specifically enumerated in the policy.
Some policies are more tightly worded than others and while a number of policy wordings are designed to satisfy a stated minimum approved wording, which makes them easier to compare, others differ dramatically in the coverage they provide. For example, breach of duty may be included if the incident occurred and was reported by the policy holder to the insurer during the policy period. Wordings with major legal differences can be confusingly similar to non-lawyers. Coverage for “negligent act, error or omission” indemnifies the policyholder against loss or circumstances incurred only as a result of any professional error or omission, or negligent act (i.e., the modifier “negligent” does not apply to all three categories, though any non-legal reader might assume that it did). A “negligent act, negligent error or negligent omission” clause is a much more restrictive policy, and would deny coverage in a lawsuit alleging a non-negligent error or omission.
Coverage is usually continued for as long as the policyholder provides covered services or products, plus the span of any applicable statute of limitations. Cancelling the policy before this time would in effect make it as if the insured never had coverage for any incidents, since any client could bring any case with regard to any such services or products that occurred before the statute of limitations cut-off point. A break in coverage could result in what is called a “gap in coverage,” which is the loss of all prior acts.