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Protecting your business and your personal assets

Protecting your business and your personal assets
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Protecting your business and your personal assets
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

No-one aims to make mistakes, but even the most qualified of professionals are only human. As CapitalSpace’s expert insurance partners, Absolute Insurance Brokers, explain, professional indemnity insurance is essential to protect both yourself and your business against unintentional errors.

To err is human, and that adage holds as true during our working days as elsewhere in our lives.  Unfortunately, if you are alleged to have provided inadequate advice, services or designs to a client, you can find yourself faced with some hefty expenses.  

Potential claims

Whilst most businesses enjoy good relationships with their clients, one small mistake can change this overnight, especially should the clients suffer a significant loss as a result of the mistake.  Professional negligence, loss of documents or data, unintentional breaches of copyright/confidentiality, loss of goods/money can all lead to expensive claims.  So too can defamation and libel cases, which are becoming increasingly common.

The business world is constantly changing and it’s not just those with technical expertise that can face claims.  Corporate scandals, increased shareholder awareness and extended rules on corporate governance have made being a company director an increasingly difficult task.  Stakeholders have far greater forms of remedy against individual directors and there is an increased willingness to pursue claims against them.

Potential solutions

Once a claim is alleged against a director or professional for any wrong doing they have two sources of protection – they can either turn to their company to seek indemnification, or they can seek assistance from their company’s professional indemnity (PI) policy.

Many professional and industry bodies and regulators require professional indemnity insurance for practicing members. These include accountants, engineers, surveyors and doctors. Most professionals working on a contract basis will almost certainly need PI cover, as many clients request this to be in place before a contract is awarded.

Whether or not the individual is ultimately held responsible, the defence costs associated can be extremely expensive and the process can take months or even years of their time.

Protecting directors and their personal assets

SMEs face exactly the same risks and regulations as their larger peers and often do not benefit from in-house HR or legal teams when faced with a claim; without the correct insurance, the directors’ personal assets are at risk. Claims from employees and regulators are particularly prevalent and may involve anything from unfair dismissal, discrimination to health & safety misdemeanours. 

For directors, a form of professional indemnity policy called Directors and Officers provides personal asset protection should the employer’s indemnification fail for any reason.  For the company, a policy provides balance sheet protection where the company has indemnified its directors.  It is not only the directors of large companies that need to be protected; if an SME does not have D&O insurance, directors face a greater risk of not being able to defend themselves.

Making sure you have the right insurance in place to protect against unintentional errors is essential for SMEs to safeguard their business, as well as the personal assets of the directors.

ABOUT ABSOLUTE INSURANCE BROKERS

Established in 2009, award-winning Absolute Insurance Brokers work across a wide spectrum of industries and professional services, from start-ups to large nationals.  Their specialist advice includes areas such as risk prevention and health and safety measures.  Absolute’s philosophy as independent brokers is to provide complete peace of mind for their customers by understanding their businesses to develop the right type of insurance program to ensure their requirements are met.  This approach, underpinned by first-class personal service, has underpinned Absolute’s growth, from a starting point of just 3 members of staff to more than 20 employees.

Steve Salter – Head of Trading

Steve recently joined Absolute Insurance Brokers with 29 years’ experience working for a global insurer, where he led a team of cross class underwriters handling all classes of general insurance.  This has provided Steve with an unparalleled understanding of the risks businesses face and an insight into insurers’ approach to risk.

Warren Merton – Director

Prior to co-founding Absolute, Warren worked in the insurance industry as both a broker and underwriter for over 20 years.  During this time, he undertook roles in both the London market and regional operations.  This included working for a number of leading insurers and national brokers in both commercial underwriter roles and new corporate business development.

To find out how Capital Space business premises could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667

Read the rest of our series from Absolute Insurance Brokers: 

Five steps to getting risk assessments right