Adoption agency professional indemnity insurance could be seen as vital for an agency as it provides financial protection for professional advisers. Voluntary agencies which are not part of a social services department are arguably more vulnerable and particularly in need of cover.
Anyone who gives advice or offers a particular service is usually viewed by customers and members of the public as an expert in their field. So an adoption agency, for example, will be seen as an expert in the field of assessing and allocating children to adoptive parents.
With the involvement of children and the use of criteria to asses young people and hopeful would-be adoptive parents, the adoption agency industry is one which could be seen as carrying a high level of emotional attachment. The likelihood of prospective parents pursuing legal action if they feel they have been treated unjustly is therefore perhaps higher than in other industries.
Adoption agency professional indemnity insurance will help protect an agency with regard to any legal liability which arises out of the exercise and conduct of the business. A policy will typically protect the agency against loss of or damage to documents, the infringement of any copyright, defamation, libel and slander against the agency and will also cover against any dishonest actions of any employees.
Agencies should also bear in mind the fact that they must have cover both at the time of the event and when the claim is made. This is because there can often be a long period between an event and the materialisation of a legal claim. If a business is closed or if it switches insurance providers, it will usually arrange an appropriate ‘run off’ or ‘overrun’ period of cover.
Note that most types of adoption agency professional indemnity insurance will cover an agency right through the defence of a claim. If a case is lost policies will usually cover a firm for any damages they become liable for, depending on the level of cover a business has taken out. Retroactive cover, available from some providers, will even cover an adoption agency for any work already completed before a policy commences.