If you own a business, you may become liable for damages to another property or person caused by your business. You could also face claims of negligence or breach of duty in providing a professional service or advice.
The threat of potential claims and litigation is very real in today’s business environment and can potentially bankrupt businesses, small or large.
You may think “it will never happen to me”, but legal action often comes from an unforseen event.
Liability and indemnity are two types of insurance that protect your business against legal claims. Making sure you have the right cover for liability and indemnity is vital to your business.
Public liability insurance protects you and your business against the financial risk of being found liable for personal injury, property damage and economic loss.
Professional indemnity insurance protects you and your business against claims for alleged negligence or breach of duty arising from an act, error or omission in the performance of professional services.
Many businesses underestimate the real cost of legal action. The cost for a defence could be around the $100,000 mark. Many businesses – especially small businesses – would struggle to fund these costs.
For example, a case handled by CGU saw a professional involved a lawsuit that extended to $1 million in legal fees alone over several years.
His insurance premium covered all associated costs and the case was handled by the company. More importantly, he was proven not to have been negligent.
This illustrates an important factor in professional indemnity – the often overlooked issue of reputation defence.
There can be a tendency in such legal cases for the professional involved to try to settle the case as quickly as possible.
While it may seem like the easiest solution, it’s important to consider the long-term impact. It can be seen as an admission of guilt, and have a devastating effect on your reputation.
Professional indemnity insurance enables you to pursue legal avenues to clear your name and defend your reputation – with the backing of a legal and insurance team.
When advice is your livelihood, the right professional indemnity cover can offer peace of mind, security and most importantly, protect your valuable reputation.