INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE
RSA's ProFin Professional Indemnity products offer broad cover to meet the needs of today's professional. They provide indemnity against legal liability to pay damages and claimant's costs and expenses as a result of a breach of professional duty on the part of the business. They also pay for all other costs and expenses incurred with our consent.
The insurance covers the policyholder's liability for the acts, errors and omissions of :
- Partners or former partners
- directors or employees
In addition, the policy includes cover for liability arising from:
- Dishonest employees
- libel and slander
- lost or damaged documents (including the cost of replacement).
Generally, defence costs are paid in addition to the limit of indemnity for most professions.
How much cover is required?
We provide cover from a minimum of £250,00 limit of indemnity. We are also able to provide cover up to a limit of £10,000,000 in most cases. Any professionals in doubt about the amount of cover they should take out should consult their insurance brokers or legal advisers.
Gone are the days when only professionals such as solicitors, surveyors or accountants needed Professional Indemnity insurance. Today, clients have high expectations of their professional advisers - whatever their field - and are well aware of their legal rights. There is no question that any business which provides professional advice, designs, or offers similar services to clients needs the protection Professional Indemnity insurance provides.
RSA PROFIN - YOUR CHOICE
As a leading insurer of Professional Indemnity risks for over 80 years we have proved our ongoing commitment and continuity of cover to the market. A wide range of occupations can be insured against the consequences of actual or alleged errors or omissions, ranging from the traditional classes to the new and more unusual risks.
Our expert team of Professional Indemnity underwriters provide a range of products to meet the evolving needs of today's clients. Our clients have the support of a dedicated Professional & Financial Risks claims team, with a reputation for fairness in their approach to claims handling.
- Civil Liability wordings available for most professions.
- Broad definition of Insured, including former principals, partners, directors and employees.
- Cover for vicarious liability of agents.
- Defence Costs paid in addition to the limit of indemnity.
- Cover for the consequences of lost or damaged documents (including the cost of replacement whether in electronic or paper format).
- Compensation for court attendance as a witness in connection with a claim.
- Cover for liability arising out of the dishonesty of employees or agents.
- We include a clause that addresses waiver of our rights to avoid claims in the event of non-disclosure or misrepresentation, so long as there is no fraudulent conduct on the part of the Insured.
- Specialist policies for a wide range of occupations, where necessary, providing cover that exceeds the minimum requirements of the relevant professional bodies.
- We are able to offer limits of indemnity of up to £10m for most occupations, except solicitors where we can offer limits of up to £15m.
A full copy of our different policy wordings, detailing all the terms, conditions and exclusions is available on this website under Forms and Wordings.
At RSA we are well aware of the ever increasing range of professions that require insurance protection.
By clicking on the links below, you can access more detailed information regarding selected professions:-
This list is not exhaustive. Please see the section headed Other Consultancies and Business Examples.
PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY FOR ACCOUNTANTS
Professional Indemnity insurance is compulsory for most accountants, so the need for it is well known. RSA is one of the longest established Professional Indemnity insurers in the field. We have the capacity to write high limits of indemnity - in most cases up to £10m - and, in the event of a claim, our experienced claims handlers provide a fast professional service from the first letter of complaint through to a court hearing.
Scope of cover
We have a policy wording designed specifically for accountants which is approved by both the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants. Cover is provided on a civil liability basis and includes dishonesty of partners. Fidelity Guarantee cover is also provided.
PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY FOR THE ADVERTISING AND MARKETING INDUSTRY
The range of specialists in the advertising and marketing world is very wide, from public relations consultants issuing straightforward press releases at one end of the scale, to advertising agencies handling complete campaigns for multi-national clients at the other. Remember, any firm providing professional services in this area needs Professional Indemnity insurance.
- Advertising agents
- Public relations consultants
- Market research consultants
- Marketing consultants
- Graphic designers
- Conference, event and exhibition organisers
Scope of cover
RSA has a Professional Indemnity policy wording specifically designed for advertising agents and marketing consultants. In addition to basic cover for legal liability for neglect, error or omission, the policy provides legal liability cover for:
- infringement of property or contract rights or TV exhibiting rights (eg : breach of trademark or patent).
- libel, slander and defamation.
- breach of copyright.
The policy also provides cover for 'in-house' losses as follows :
- indemnity for fees, losses, expenses or amounts incurred in good faith by the insured in connection with any work undertaken for or on behalf of any client which, if the insured sought to recover such fees, expenses or amounts from the client; would if a claim was made by the client; result in a valid third party claim under the policy.
PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AND RELATED PROFESSIONS
- Heating, ventilation & electrical engineers
- Design and construct risks
- Project managers
- Consulting Engineers
Examples of business we seek:
- Projects including private dwelling houses, housing developments, low rise multiple dwellings (e.g. small blocks of flats), small office blocks, commercial, retail and industrial units.
- Specialists in electrical installations, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems, air-conditioning and other non-critical building services work.
- Electronics engineers involved with lighting switchgear, distribution systems, telecommunications and other non-critical support systems.
Scope of cover
Cover is provided on a liability at law basis. It covers damages and claimant’s costs and expenses in respect of Claims arising out of the conduct and execution of the Professional Activities and Duties. It includes dishonesty of partners and Fidelity Guarantee cover.
PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY FOR PROPERY PROFESSIONALS
The need for surveyors and valuers to effect Professional Indemnity insurance is well known. The economic downturn has seen a very high volume of actions brought against such firms and the amounts involved have sometimes been for millions of pounds.
Firms which are principally involved in estate agency, auctioneering and property management are increasingly being sued for negligence as is shown by the claims detailed elsewhere on our website. Legislation such as the Property Misdescription Act, for example, is imposing more onerous responsibility on estate agents, which could lead to more civil actions being brought. The need for Professional Indemnity cover has never been greater for these firms.
Examples of types of business we write:
- Quantity Surveyors.
- Surveying and Valuing (minimal valuation for lending purposes).
- Property Management (inc. Rent Reviews).
- Estate Agency.
- Land Surveying.
- Building Surveying.
- Project Co-ordination.
Scope of cover
Our policy wording meets the stringent requirements of the professional bodies for this area of business, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Cover is provided on a civil liability basis. It includes dishonesty of partners and Fidelity Guarantee cover.
PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY FOR EDUCATIONAL AND RESEARCH ESTABLISHMENTS
Educational and research establishments have special Professional Indemnity needs which differ from other mainstream occupations. We are experienced in providing cover for these special needs. Today, universities and research associations are taking on increasingly large and complex contracts. If a claim is made, the potential losses are enormous. RSA ProFin can provide a limit of indemnity of up to £10m.
- Trade and Professional Associations.
- Research associations.
RSA has many years experience in underwriting universities' business. Our policy wording has been specifically designed to meet their requirements. The cover is wide enough to encompass all the activities a university would ordinarily be expected to undertake, including the internal educational responsibilities, research and consultancy work, and private work undertaken by employees with the university's permission. In addition to basic Professional Indemnity cover, the policy provides indemnity for claims arising out of:
- infringement of copyright, patent rights, trademark or design rights.
- breach of confidential information under Sections 22 and 23 of the Data Protection Act 1984.
- breach of warranty of authority.
- breach of trust.
- loss of documents.
- libel and slander.
- adjudication by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.
Some exceptions do apply:
- death, disease or illness of or a bodily injury to any person receiving medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or participation in any trial which involves the administration of drugs to, or medical treatment of such a person.
- claims brought in the USA or Canada
Trade and Research Associations
Trade associations are concerned with upholding the standards and status of the trade or profession and representing its members. Research associations often undertake scientific research on behalf of a particular trade or undertake design or consultancy work. We will cover the chairman, council or committee members of the association for their liability arising out of negligence in the activities of the association.
Investigation and Analytical services
Firms that provide an investigation service or which undertake analysis are at risk from claims if their findings prove inaccurate. Professional Indemnity insurance is essential to guard against the consequences of potentially damaging legal liability claims. Below is a list of professions for which we are willing to quote. This list is not exhaustive. We would be prepared to consider quoting for anyone carrying out similar investigative or analytical work. We ask that potential clients send us a completed proposal form, together with full details of the services they provide, including copies of any brochures they use.
PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY FOR SOLICITORS
Professional Indemnity insurance is compulsory for Solicitors, so the need for it is well known. RSA is a well established Professional Indemnity insurer in this field with the capacity to write high limits of indemnity - up to £15m. Our proposition recognises the specific needs of both solicitors and their brokers, through our commitment to make dealing with us easier for you both. In the event of a claim, our experienced claims handlers provide a fast professional service.
For new business we will consider excess layers only above a primary £10m for solicitors firms with 5 or more partners.
Scope of cover
Our policy wording meets and exceeds the stringent requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Cover is provided on a civil liability basis. It includes any amount payable in accordance with the recommendation of the Legal Services Ombudsman or other regulatory authority.
PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY FOR IT PROFESSIONALS
To address the needs of professionals working in the IT sector, RSA launched a Professional Indemnity product.
Our target market is for firms:
- With income up to £5m (we will consider up to £10m fees).
- Mainly engaged in the supply of software, consultancy and web design.
- With no specialisation in hazardous areas (e.g. financial or engineering).
Scope of Cover
Our Professional Indemnity for IT Professionals product offers:
- Cover on a Civil Liability basis including Contractual Liability.
- Limits up to £10m.
- Defence Costs payable in addition to the Limit of Indemnity.
- Special Extension for mitigation costs up to £50,000.
Further details are provided in our policy summary, Please click here to view.
OTHER CONSULTANCIES AND BUSINESS EXAMPLES
This website cannot contain information about all the occupations for which we are willing to provide quotations. In addition to the professions already covered, the following is a selection of just some of the other occupations which would do well to take out Professional Indemnity insurance in today's litigation-conscious society. If you come across an unusual profession, please come and talk to us about the potential Professional Indemnity requirements.
RSA ProFin has many years experience providing Professional Indemnity insurance to non-traditional professions. We are happy to quote for firms of all sizes, from sole practitioners to large companies with multi-million pound incomes.
The responsibilities of travel agents have increased since the introduction of the EC package travel regulations in 1992. They need Professional Indemnity insurance to guard against claims made by clients who have suffered a loss as a result of disrupted holiday or travel arrangements due to mistakes in arrangements with tour operators or flight companies.
We will provide quotations for a wide range of consultants, including those advising on safety on building sites, factory premises and equipment, or food hygiene. Professional Indemnity insurance is important to cover the losses arising from negligent inspections or advice.
Interior designers can provide purely decorative services such as determining colour schemes, or they can become involved in contracts entailing significant structural alterations. Negligence in design can cause problems resulting in costly alterations. Professional Indemnity insurance is essential to provide protection against legal liability claims.
Translators could be liable for losses suffered by clients as the result of errors or omissions in translations.
Agricultural and Land Consultants
Firms that provide advice in connection with agriculture, landscape or planning matters are at risk of a claim for damages if their advice is subsequently found to have been negligent. We will provide quotations for the following occupations:
- Agricultural/horticultural consultants provide advice in a number of different areas. They may provide advice on what types of fertiliser should be applied, bow crops should be treated during growth, or what animal feed supplements should be given to cattle. Claims can arise as the result of incorrect advice, such as crop damage caused by chemicals the consultant advised his client to use.
- Ecologists undertake a wide range of activities, including the assessment or design of environmental schemes such as tree planting, landscaping and providing advice on the conservation of the environment or wildlife. Claims can occur if poor results are achieved.
- Forestry consultants provide advice on what types of tree to plant and which trees should be felled. Some firms also carry out forestry management on behalf of clients. Negligence could lead to a claim for the cost of replanting.
- Landscape architects may become involved in the design of the following:
- gardens for private houses.
- parks and gardens for local authorities or housing associations; this may include providing advice on playgrounds, playing fields and flower beds.
- fountains, flower tubs in shopping centres.
Negligent design work could result in claims for the cost of remedial work.
- Town planners provide a wide range of services and their duties include:
- submitting planning applications and appeals.
- advising on local planning regulations.
- dealing with conservation area problems.