You’re the big cheese, the head honcho, the boss.
No one tells you what to do, right?
The reality of being a company director in the UK is that you and your fellow bosses have a duty of care to, well, pretty much everyone.
If a regulator, shareholder, employee, customer, competitor or member of the public thinks your firm hasn’t toed the line – for whatever reason – they can take legal action against those who run it.
As a director, you’re automatically exposed to unlimited personal liability. In short, you have to pay.
But it’s not all bad news. You don’t always have to rely on deep pockets and a good solicitor when things go wrong. A comprehensive directors’ and officers’ insurance policy will do just as well.
If you or your firm is accused of financial mismanagement, breaching company law, health and safety failure, or employment-related wrongdoing, your policy steps in. It pays your legal bills and compensates the aggrieved party if needs be.
You get protection for three things: you, your business and your personal assets.
It’d be great if we could say that and mean it. But we can’t.
Accusations are made, solicitors get involved and people want compensation. Rightly or wrongly these things happen every day and, sooner or later, you could be on the receiving end.
A claim won’t go away if you ignore it. And there are no shortcuts. You have to Do Something About It.
So, you need D&O insurance because you have a business to run; because you have limited funds; because you’re not legally trained; and because your reputation matters.
What else is there?
Solicitors are expensive. Very expensive. And you’ll need the best if a claim is made against you.
Luckily, your policy comes with a team of specialist legal experts ready to fight your corner. The higher your level of cover, the more your insurer pays and the less likely it is you’ll have to open your chequebook.
Always bear in mind that you can’t have too much cover. Your legal defence can cost many tens of thousands of pounds – and that’s before the compensation bill from your client arrives. Your level of cover has to be enough to cover all of this.
Professional indemnity insurance is for claims and allegations of negligence, mistakes and things you’ve failed to do. Essential if you provide specialist services to paying clients.
Public liability insurance is for when you go out and about on business, or have visitors to your office. It’s for claims of physical damage to property and people. Useful if you’re clumsy.
Employers’ liability insurance covers your business if an employee sues it for damages. Claims are usually because they’ve suffered injuries and illnesses as a consequence of working for you. It’s a legal requirement for UK businesses with employees.
Office and property insurance covers the things in your office (furniture, plants, fixed IT equipment etc) and portable insurance covers gadgets and technical equipment away from the office (laptops, tablets, projectors etc). If you’re not sure it’s worth insuring, add it all up – it’s probably worth more than you think.
Business interruption insurance means you can still work when your office is out of action. Be it flood, fire or flea infestation, you’re covered for the costs of setting up elsewhere and for any lost revenue in that time.
Glad you asked.
The simple answer is: we know what we’re doing. Professional insurance is all we do so we know what you need, even if you don’t.
We also know that buying insurance can be, well, a bit of a pain. So we make sure getting yours is quick and hassle-free.
We do all that while treating you like a human being, too. You won’t find a call centre here. Or a phone menu. And we’ve banned nonsense insurance jargon.
Plus, every insurance-related question you can think of is answered in our School of Risk, and you’ll get our quarterly risk advice email – ‘The Waggle’ – to help you avoid problems in the first place.
If you’re after a second opinion, have a look at our customers’ feedback. They’re the ones you should really listen to.