There are many things expected of a professional, such as conducting business respectfully and at high standards. Professionals also need to exercise good judgement. However, no human is infallible, and even those who are very good at their jobs are sometimes prone to making mistakes, big or small. In the event of any error made or inadequate service provided to a client, a negligence claim may be brought against the professional. In such cases, a professional will be required to bear heavy costs to cover legal expenses as well as compensations to be made to the client(s). This is a liability to any professional individual or firm, but one that can, thankfully, be insured, with a professional indemnity insurance (PII), also known as ‘professional liability insurance’ (PLI).
Who needs PII?
The following groups of professionals can avail PII:
- Doctors and any other professions in the health and medical field, including fitness instructors,
- Hospitals and nursing homes,
- Engineers, builders, architects, contractors,
- Designers – interior designers, graphic designers, web designers,
- Accountants, auditors, management and financial consultants,
- Lawyers and others in the legal field,
- IT professionals,
- Teachers and tutors, and
- Employment agencies.
PII is not mandatory, but many industry sectors require professionals to have it, such as accountancy, surveying and engineering. Moreover, professionals who work on a contractual basis will need PII in order for their bids to even be considered.
What does PII cover?
There are many situations that may lead to a negligence claim being made against a professional or an organisation of professionals, such as:
- Any breach of professional duty,
- Negligent errors or omissions made in a work done for a client,
- Any unintentional breach of confidentiality and/or copyright,
- Infringement of intellectual property rights, unintentional or otherwise,
- Defamation and/or libel,
- Dishonesty of any employees within the organisation,
- Loss of data or documents,
- Loss of goods or money under your care, and
- Claim investigation and court attendance costs.
Why get PII?
Professional indemnity insurance is considered as the main risk management instrument for both individual professionals as well as companies and organisations. No matter how good the relationships with clients may be, a sudden unintentional mistake could sour the relations and put your own financial position at risk. Getting insurance for your professional work is a wise move to ensure you and/or your organisation’s financial safety.