Professional Indemnity Insurance
A growing number of people assign themselves ‘professional’ status by offering a specialist service or advice. Thus the term ‘professional’ has widened from our traditional view (e.g. architects, accountants, lawyers) to encompass a host of new business or consultancy areas.
As a professional person or company, you need Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance to protect you against allegations of professional negligence. If a customer claims to have suffered financial loss due to your mistake, your PI policy will step in to help determine the best course of action.
With a view to protecting your hard earned reputation, the Insurer will either settle the matter out of court or defend you through the legal process, paying witness, investigation and defence costs as well as any damages that might ultimately be awarded against you.
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General (Public) Liability
As a business owner, you have a legal responsibility to third parties such as your customers, suppliers and the public at large. Should your company, your employees, or your products injure a third party or damage any property belonging to them, you can be sued.
General Liability Insurance will cover compensation that needs to be paid to third parties and also costs involved in investigating, negotiating or defending claims made against you.
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In any one working day your company could inadvertently breach any number of Acts of Parliament: health & safety; resource management; privacy; environmental protection; fair trading… the list goes on. Liability is strict and both fines and legal defence costs are on the increase.
As a business owner, Statutory Liability Insurance will cover you for unintentional breaches of all but a few select Acts. It will pay for your legal defence costs and, where legally allowable, any fines imposed upon you.
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Commercial enterprises owe a common law duty of care, not only to external ‘third parties’ but also internally to their own employees. If one of your employees is injured at work, they can sue you for anything excluded by ACC. This includes mental injury without physical injury, nervous shock or fright, diseases brought on by long-term exposure and exemplary damages.
Sometimes overlooked, Employers Liability should play an important part in your liability protection.
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Directors & Officers Liability
Limited liability companies exist as separate legal entities and can enter into contracts on their own behalf. Should they become insolvent, their owners and shareholders cannot be held personally liable for company debts. However, the protection of a company’s shareholders is offset by the exposure and responsibilities imposed upon its’ directors and officers.
As a director or office bearer, you can be held personally liable for the consequences of your actions or mistakes, both in common law and by statute. Your personal assets, savings and even the family home could be at stake. A Directors and Officers Liability Insurance policy helps you when you need it most, enlisting the help of top legal defence lawyers and paying legal costs as well as any damages that might ultimately be awarded against you.
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Trustees of non-charitable trusts have their own personal exposure. Those Trusts not created by statute do not have legal capacity and so their trustees can be held personally liable for trust debts and mistakes. Those that are created by statute transfer a liability to their trustees similar to that of a company director.
As a trustee, you face ever-closer scrutiny from the media and from regulatory bodies and cannot afford to operate without the protection of Trustees Liability Insurance.
Trustees Liability Insurance can provide access to top legal counsel when you need it most, enlisting the help of top legal defence lawyers and paying legal costs, as well as any damages that might ultimately be awarded against you.
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Many associations and charities provide services or advice to their members or the general public. As a member of the management board of such an organisation you can be held liable for negligent provision – even if no fee is charged.
Associations are unable to hide behind community or charitable status and as an officer or trustee, your personal assets, even your home, are at stake if the association is successfully sued.
Association Liability Insurance helps you when you need it most, enlisting the help of top legal defence lawyers and paying legal costs as well as any damages that might ultimately be awarded against you.
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