Mistakes can happen to anyone, but the consequences of being found liable for negligence can be financially catastrophic for your business. Not only may you face costly lawsuits, but your hard-earned reputation could also suffer irreparable damage. This is where professional indemnity insurance comes in handy - it helps safeguard your assets and brand in the event that your advice results in a client taking legal action against you.
“Professional indemnity insurance helps cover the cost of legal action due to your professional advice.”
——Australian Government, Business.gov.au
In certain industries such as medicine, accounting, law, and financial advising, having professional indemnity insurance is obligatory, with the specific requirements varying between states. However, even in instances where it's not mandated by law, it's advisable for anyone who provides professional services or advice for a fee, such as graphic designers, IT consultants, and others, to have this coverage. It's often a customer requirement to have this insurance, irrespective of your legal obligations.
Professional indemnity insurance is designed to provide coverage for any liability that may arise due to a breach of professional duty. Your specific policy may cover:
Civil liability towards a third party that may arise from your professional business activities.
Defence costs associated with a claim that may be triggered by the policy.
Fidelity cover for direct financial loss caused by any fraudulent or dishonest conduct of an employee that is discovered during the insurance period.
Inquiry costs that may arise from defending against a regulatory body's inquiry into your professional conduct.
The advancement of any additional costs and expenses that may be incurred during a claim.
Exclusions, excess payments, and liability limits may vary considerably among different insurers. Professional indemnity insurance policies generally do not provide coverage for the following:
Liabilities arising from fraud or dishonesty