Simplifying professional indemnity insurance
The terms and benefits of PI insurance are obscure to many CAs. This guide breaks them down. Brought to you by Aon.
Because professional indemnity (PI) insurance is compulsory for suitably qualified accountants, they might not spend the time to fully understand its various policy terms. However, such an understanding can help accountants be prepared and to know if their insurance is enough. Not just ‘enough’ in terms of the level of their PI insurance, but whether it alone is fit for purpose.
“When you speak to a broker, sometimes you identify risk areas that a professional indemnity insurance policy on its own will not cover,” says Tanya Dasgupta, Head of Partnerships and Growth in Aon’s Affinity Division. “Maybe you’re a director or executive and there’s a need for a management liability policy, or perhaps you have cyber risks that require insurance.”
“When you speak to a broker, sometimes you identify risk areas that a professional indemnity insurance policy on its own will not cover.”
Most errors that happen in the normal course of business are covered under the professional services provisions. These are usually defined by the insurer in the quotation supplied, so it’s important accountancy businesses consider the terms of their policy and all the activities they perform. For example, a business that specialises in insolvency and reconstruction should double check that the advice and forensic accounting it undertakes is covered with regard to the duties it has.
To navigate professional risks, and the civil and criminal liability that can result from them, some policies contain a provision for legal advice. The insurance arranged through Aon offers two hours of complimentary advice from a legal expert on matters relating to the risk insured by the policy (one hour per claim).
While PI insurance typically will not cover claims emerging from fraudulent, dishonest or criminal conduct, fidelity coverage can offer protection to an insured when property or finances are misappropriated (mishandled or stolen, for instance) by an employee of the insured. The baseline PI policy that can be arranged through Aon features an automatic extension that provides additional benefits of $500,000.
Employment practices cover protects the insured from any claims arising from unfair dismissal, workplace discrimination, and many other employment issues. Management liability insurance often contains this coverage, too, but it’s a targeted policy that also provides personal liability protection for directors and senior executives among other things.
These are just some of the terms and concepts. The best way to assess what’s right for your business is to talk to an expert. Aon takes a risk-based approach and finds clients an appropriate policy and level limits to help make sure their balance sheet is protected as possible.
Aon is the Australian general insurance partner of the CA ANZ Member Benefits Program and provides exclusive benefits to CA ANZ members. To find out more and get a quote, go to business-insurance.aon.com.au/aon-partners/chartered-accountants-anz.
© 2021 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, Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681 trading as CGU Insurance. 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 document 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. Before deciding whether a particular product is right for you, please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (if applicable) and full policy terms and conditions available from Aon on request. All representations in this document in relation to the insurance products we arrange are subject to the full terms and conditions of the relevant policy. Please contact us if you have any queries.