The need for professional indemnity insurance

December 30, 2009 · Filed Under Professional indemnity insurance · Comments Off 

Professional indemnity insurance (or PII) may be important in helping keep your business going and perhaps in some cases, even helping you avoid financial ruin.

In the case of some professions it may be mandatory and even if not, it may be highly advisable.

The problem

In much of social life, if we make a mistake then usually a simple apology and perhaps some form of minor restitution will usually suffice to smooth things over.

This though, is becoming less and less common as an approach in the professional world. In today’s business society there is a growing inclination towards litigation and blame attribution when things go wrong. In many situations you may find that putting your hands in the air and saying “sorry – we messed up” is no longer sufficient.

Some examples

As a professional, you may find that you can be financially and legally exposed by any number of your normal daily activities including:

  • the provision of advice and guidance to support decision making, should that input subsequently be proven to be incorrect – you may be vulnerable to ‘professional negligence’ claims;
  • the provision of data in the same circumstances that subsequently is shown to be materially inaccurate – once again this could be interpreted as a failure of due professional care;
  • if you have designed or recommended a solution that does not work or does not function as specified;
  • you have published or said something critical relating to a supplier, individual or perhaps even a product – if inaccurate you may find yourself facing legal action for libel, slander or defamation;
  • you or your staff have accidentally released confidential client information or records to unauthorised parties;
  • you or a member of your staff is perceived to have been working with a client and making recommendations or providing services whilst under a conflict of interest;
  • a member of the public has been accidentally injured by you, your staff or your property – this may result in public liability claims.

This is only a sample of the things that may potentially result in you facing legal action and very high damages costs.

The costs

It is impossible to generalise because each situation will be different. Even so, without an appropriate professional indemnity insurance policy, you could be facing awards running into 6 or even 7 figures.

The insurance options

Professional indemnity insurance is not something to be taken lightly. Being under-insured is a real risk but of course you probably won’t want to be paying for insurance cover that you don’t need.

It may be advisable to contact a specialist provider of professional indemnity insurance. They can be found on the Internet and will typically be only too pleased to offer free information and quotations.

Management consultants professional indemnity insurance explained

December 26, 2009 · Filed Under Management Consultant Professional Indemnity Insurance · Comments Off 

Perhaps you have heard of management consultants professional indemnity insurance and wondered if it is worthwhile?

The risks you face

Did you know:

• that a client could sue you if you provided professional advice that subsequently proved to be materially inaccurate and which caused them losses as a result?
• you could be held accountable and sued for damages if you accidentally release confidential information belonging to a client into the public domain?
• that a third party could sue you if you accidentally use materials that are their intellectual property right without their permission?
• you may easily be sued for libel, slander or defamation of character, if your verbal or written observations that are critical of others are leaked to the parties concerned?
• that someone accidentally injured as a result of your activities (e.g. a collapsing chair in your office or tripping over your equipment) could sue you for damages under the provisions of ‘public liability’?

However unlikely you believe these events may be, in reality something like this or similar happen. And then you could end up in Court. Courts have little sympathy for excuses along the lines of “it was unintentional” and may make punitive financial awards against you based upon their perception of the damage suffered by the other party.

Management consultants professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance coupled with public liability insurance is designed to protect you from the financial consequences of the above risks.

The amount of cover is variable depending upon your requirements and, of course, the higher the level of cover required, typically the more expensive the premium will be.

Deciding what level of cover you may realistically require will vary depending upon the nature of your business and to some extent, the extent to which you are prepared to live with risk.

Guessing is typically not a good idea. There are specialist providers of professional indemnity insurance offering their products over the Internet. Their sites typically offer a wealth of information and the opportunities to obtain fast quotations.

So, if you don’t like running your business on a day-to-day basis hoping that you ‘stay lucky’, finding out more about management consultants professional indemnity insurance may be a sensible move.

Management consultants insurance explained

December 18, 2009 · Filed Under Management Consultant Insurance · Comments Off 

Management consultants insurance is part of professional indemnity insurance (PII) and it could be said that it may in some circumstances save you from financial ruin.

Management consultants insurance – your risks

Your professional liability risks arise from a number of different areas of your day-to-day activities including:

  • you may have regular exposure to confidential client data – misplace it or accidentally disclose it to another party and you could be facing legal action;
  • you may have to comment upon the actions or abilities of individuals and companies around you – cross a sometimes almost invisible line and you could find yourself in court for defamation, libel or slander;
  • your client pays you for advice that they may act upon – if this proves to be significantly inaccurate and they suffer material loss as a result, you could be facing claims for professional negligence;
  • typically you’ll publish a lot of papers and reports – if you have used extensive material you thought belonged to your client that subsequently turns out to be the intellectual property of someone else, you may find yourself liable for huge copyright or intellectual property actions;
  • you make a recommendation that is subsequently judged to be dishonest because you failed to declare a possible conflict of interest.

Professional risk – “it could never happen to me….”

Perhaps it never will, but it may. It’s also worth noting that ignorance or ‘accidental’ are rarely acceptable defences in such cases. The law will look at what damages the plaintiff has sustained as a result of your actions or sometimes inaction, and decide accordingly.

Awards in professional indemnity cases may easily go into hundreds of thousands or even millions, depending upon the situation and severity.

It may also be worth keeping mind public liability insurance. That person who suffers an electrical shock and burns or bad cuts while setting up your equipment for you on a client’s site may well have a legal right to look to you for compensation.

Management consultants insurance

There is perhaps a tendency to think of professional indemnity insurance and public liability cover as something of a luxury you can do without. That’s something you may sincerely believe and will continue doing so – right up until you get hit with the claim or legal action.

The cost of management consultants insurance may be small when considered alongside the risks and potential costs you face if something goes wrong. Finding out more won’t cost you anything and it may be the first step towards putting in place insurance that could prove to be a financial lifeline if trouble strikes.

Why buy IT consultants insurance?

December 15, 2009 · Filed Under IT Consultants Insurance · Comments Off 

Although you may enjoy your job and chosen career immensely, you may potentially be at risk of serious financial loss if you do not have IT consultants insurance. Why?

By virtue of your job, you provide professional services in return for a fee. If one of your clients suffers material loss or damage as a result of your error or poor advice, they may well turn to you for real hard-cash financial compensation. The sums awarded by courts may also be very substantial indeed.

Perhaps this sounds a little unlikely? Consider some following scenarios:

  • you have recommended the procurement of a major system or hardware infrastructure that subsequently proves not to be fit for purpose;
  • you have accidentally sent a confidential file of your client’s information to the wrong addressee on your email system;
  • you have passed on for comment to others some of your client’s information only to subsequently discover that is regarded as commercially sensitive.

The list could easily be significantly extended.

The key point is that as a professional business person you could be called to account legally for a wide variety of things including slander and libel, professional negligence and incompetence, breach of client confidentiality / non-disclosure agreements or defamation of character.

In all these situations, the ‘accidental’ nature of the infringement or what you may have actually intended to do or may be, at best, of only secondary interest to a court. What will count is the effect on your client or the plaintiff and that is where damage awards may leave you in serious financial difficulties unless you have IT consultants insurance. This insurance may help in situations like these.

This form of cover is part of our professional indemnity insurance (PII) product. We also offer public liability insurance to protect you against the financial effects of claims from members of the public who have suffered injury or loss as a result of your activities.

You can find out more about IT consultants insurance entirely free of obligation by reading further information on our web site. It may be a useful investment of your time and a first step towards reducing your financial exposure profile!

IT contractors insurance – how it may help your business

December 7, 2009 · Filed Under IT contractors insurance · Comments Off 

As a professional person, you are at risk in terms of the services you supply. IT contractors insurance could be one way of protecting you from those risks.

Professional liability

Although we may not always like it, the reality is that we live in a litigious world.

Your clients today may be very keen to demand that you pay for your mistakes that resulted in them suffering financial loss – ‘forgive and forget’ is now frequently an attitude of the past.

Equally, as modern technology has increased our communication capabilities, it has also arguably increased the risk of your statements and comments getting into the public domain. This may easily lead to demands that you accept accountability for erroneous or libellous statements, the accidental release of confidential information or defamation.

As an IT contractor, there is also a fair chance that you’ll have heavy exposure to your client’s data – lose it or accidentally release it to an unauthorised person and you may find yourself going through the legal compensation process very quickly indeed.

IT contractors insurance

Professional indemnity insurance (PII) may be a way of reducing your financial risks should you be on the receiving end of a large court award for one of these (or other) circumstances.

A summary of some of the circumstances covered typically may or may not include:

• accidental breach of confidentiality;
• loss of confidential information;
• product liability;
• libel and slander;
• defamation;
• dishonesty;
• unintentional infringement of intellectual property rights.

It may be worth remembering that the point is not whether you believed you slandered someone or behaved dishonesty – but only what a court believes and awards.

The awards can also be high – well into 6 or even 7 figures depending upon the circumstances and severity of the problem.

Our services

We offer IT contractors insurance that typically covers a wide range of situations and circumstances. It can also provide public liability insurance in case you are unfortunate enough to be sued for injury or damages sustained by a member of the public while you were providing your services. Finding out more from reading further on our site may be a good idea.