Professional Indemnity insurance; your investment in peace of mind and business security
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The moment you start offering professional advice - whether virtually or in the real world - your risk profile ticks upwards.
Whether you’re an accountant, an architect, or an allied health professional, you have a duty of care to clients. You must serve them with a reasonable degree of skill, competence and ability. Most often that is exactly what happens - but no-one is infallible and whether through error, omission or breach of professional duty, problems can arise, leading to clients seeking compensation.
That’s where Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance comes in. For some professions PI coverage is compulsory - a condition of licensing or registration. Even where it is not a pre-requisite to practice, PI cover just makes sense and savvy professionals regularly review their PI policy to ensure they are fully protected - now and in the future.
Because PI policies are written on a “claims made” or “claims made and notified” basis, coverage is essential even when you take parental leave, a sabbatical, or retire – the statute of limitations on a PI claim is seven years. PI protection is an important investment in your continued peace of mind.
In the firing line
Couldn't happen to you? Think again.
You may have an allegation made against you that requires defending. For example, a complaint made against a psychologist alleging molestation, was not proven and no further action was taken. However the psychologist’s representation costs alone amounted to $35,000.
At the end of each year all of us pay a visit to the accountant to complete our tax returns, placing our trust in the accuracy of the advice. But what happens when that advice is being contested?
A case in point; an accountant advised his client on the deductibility of a business expense. Following an ATO review it was revealed that the deduction claimed was incorrect due to misinterpretation of the tax laws and regulations. Subsequently the client claimed loss and damages for the amended assessment where additional tax and penalties was imposed. The client sought compensation for damages worth $100,000 from the accountant.
Without effective PI cover these professionals would have endured even greater anguish.
Tamara Wagner is an accountant and sees PI cover as the critical safety net for her and her business, and a signal to clients of her professional approach and intent.
Without it she says practice would be a game of Russian Roulette. “The problem nowadays is that people are very likely to sue on the most incredulous grounds,” yet still “People of all walks of life think that ‘bad thing’ won’t happen to them.”
Aon’s PI practice leader Mary-Catherine Thomas warns that without effective PI cover professionals in all fields risk exposing their balance sheet to significant claims. Some professions, particularly construction, face mounting litigation she says, but no-one is immune.
Overlooking PI can prove costly; “If you don't have PI - and there is a claim from client then you are wearing that 100 per cent on your balance sheet.
“If you do have PI then it covers you for any act, error or omission that an employee or the organisation is deemed to have undertaken,” and like all insurance cover there are benefits from regular and thorough coverage review.
“Just because you earn a $50,000 fee doesn't mean you can't have a $20 million claim,” she warns.
Without effective PI how would your balance sheet fare?
Aon’s professional promise
Aon provides innovative tailored solutions for our clients across all professions. Our deep industry knowledge and experience ensures we are our clients’ trusted advisors, always providing expert advice and solutions for professionals in every sector and at every stage of their career.
Our national team can support you today, and protect your tomorrows.
Call 1800 805 191 to learn more about Professional Indemnity or visit here.