Every accountant in Australia is legally required to hold professional indemnity insurance (PII). However, navigating the range of PII policies available, and the varying levels of premium and excess that come with them, can be a mind-bendingly complex exercise; one that could leave you significantly out of pocket in the event of a claim if you choose unsuitable, insufficient or inferior insurance cover.
“And right now,” says Perry Wood, claims manager at Aon, “the market is harder to navigate than it’s ever been.
“We have observed that the current insurance market is causing insurers to retract cover in some areas. Activities covered under one policy might be excluded from another.”
The benefits of an insurance broker
Against such a vexed and shifting landscape, the benefits of a policy obtained through an insurance broker, such as Aon, are evident.
“At Aon, we go through an exhaustive onboarding process to help ensure that the policy you end up with is one that fits your business and budget,” explains Wood.
This means you’re less likely to be paying for coverage for services you don’t offer, while also ensuring you have sufficient coverage for the ones that you do.
But even more important is what happens in the unfortunate instance that you need to make a claim.
“If you have direct insurance and your claim is denied by your insurer, then you have few options aside from getting a lawyer,” says Wood.
“But we have a dedicated claims team who can help you navigate the claims process and can advocate for you as you seek resolution – and we don’t take no for an answer.”
Picture: Perry Wood, Aon.
“We have a dedicated claims team who can help you navigate the claims process and can advocate for you as you seek resolution.”
An advocate in your corner
A hands-on approach allows Aon to leverage its deep and long-standing relationships with insurers to help negotiate better outcomes for its clients.
Wood recalls a particular claim involving an accountant who was an Aon client who had been sued for A$4 million after removing a company director without their consent.
“The insurer initially denied the claim because they argued that the CA should have been aware of the impropriety when they took out the insurance policy,” he says.
Aon advocated on the accountant’s behalf and the matter eventually settled, with the insurer covering both the settlement amount and the defence costs.
Any dispute can be expensive
“One thing that business owners tend to underestimate is the actual risk of being sued,” says Wood.
“You can go years or decades without a claim, but all it takes is one small error, or a single dissatisfied customer, and all that can go out the window. Even the most vexatious claims can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to resolve.
“With a broker, not only do you have a team in your corner if things go wrong, you also have someone you can call if you’re ever worried or need some advice. You’re just not going to get that if you go directly through an insurer.”
Find out more
Get a quote today for professional indemnity cover at aon.com.au/ca.
Email [email protected] or call 02 6190 0958.
© 2020 Aon Risk Services Australia Limited ABN 17 000 434 720 | AFSL 241141 (Aon)
The Professional Indemnity Insurance for members of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand is arranged by Aon Risk Services Australia Limited ABN 17 000 434 720 AFSL 241141 as agent for the insurer, Chubb Insurance Australia Limited ABN 23001642020 AFSL 239687. If you purchase this insurance, Aon will receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. Further information can be provided upon request.
The information contained in this communication is general in nature and should not be relied on as advice (personal or otherwise) because your personal needs, objectives and financial situation have not been considered. It is not intended to be comprehensive and it must not (under any circumstances) be construed as constituting legal advice in whole or in part. You should seek independent legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content of this information. Before deciding whether a particular product is right for you, please consider your personal circumstances, as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (if applicable) and full policy terms and conditions available from Aon on request. All representations in this communication in relation to the insurance products we arrange are subject to full terms and conditions of the relevant policy. Aon will not be responsible for any loss, damage, cost or expense you or anyone else incurs in reliance on or use of any information contained in this document. Please contact us at Aon if you have any queries.