Facilities management insurance

Complex business, simple cover

Big investment in buildings means big responsibility for those who take care of them. And big trouble if it goes wrong.

Keeping on top of health and safety, maintenance schedules, environmental impact and employee welfare is enough. The last thing you need is ‘fight that allegation of negligence’ on your to-do list.

Professional indemnity insurance for facilities managers means it won’t be. So that’s one more job done.

Why do facilities managers need professional indemnity insurance?

You’ll know more than anyone that your job is much more than just making sure the cleaning rota is up-to-date. Facilities management these days has an impact on businesses, the economy and society.

All this means you have to be on the ball. What if that project to reduce your client’s carbon emissions doesn’t get the results they want? Or the expensive building contractor you’ve recommended doesn’t do a good job?

When you’re responsible for something, you have to be prepared for the worst. Facilities managers’ insurance is your best first defence if things don’t work out. A compensation-hungry client can’t be ignored and fighting your corner takes time and money.

You need professional insurance so you can get on with running your business, safe in the knowledge your policy gives you the legal expertise and deep pockets you’ll need should, well, you need them.

Think of it as a different kind of asset protection.

How much professional indemnity insurance do I need?

Unless your client stipulates a level of cover, there are no ‘official’ guidelines. It’s up to you.

The thing to bear in mind – and it sounds obvious – is that your policy should cover you and the risks you face. You need to consider the nature of your work (what you’re being asked to do), the size and type of clients (the bigger and richer, the greater the risk), the size and type of buildings (the bigger and more expensive, the greater the risk) and your level of responsibility. What’s the most expensive mistake you could make?

If budget allows, you can never have too much cover. Defending you can cost thousands; fixing a mistake and compensating your client can cost hundreds of thousands. You just have to make sure your level of cover is enough for all of this.

It’s a tricky one to get right. Have a read of this guide or call us if you need more help.

What does professional indemnity insurance cover?

Negligence claims and allegations made against you by clients and third parties, because of mistakes you’ve made and things you’ve failed to do.

Specifically (but depending on the policy wording):

  • Defamation
  • Intellectual property infringement
  • Loss of documents or data
  • Negligent misrepresentation or misstatement
  • Employee dishonesty
  • Virus transmission
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Failure of third-party equipment

But that’s not all. Some professional indemnity policies can fix a mistake before your client is even aware of it, thereby preventing a claim in the first place.

Clever stuff.

What else do I need?

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.

Directors’ and officers’ insurance covers your company bosses. Anyone from regulators to shareholders to competitors can accuse you of not running a business with due care. Worse, directors are personally liable for their actions. The good thing is this insurance covers your defence costs and any compensation you have to pay. So you can put away your chequebook.

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Hannah Tonge
Account Executive