Professional Indemnity Insurance for Accountants
PI insurance for accountants: financial protection if you’re accused of making a mistake.
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Professional indemnity insurance for accountants is often mandatory in Australia. If you make a mistake, error or omission in your job — or are accused of making one — it can pay for legal and court fees, allowing you to defend yourself and your reputation, and if you do need to pay damages, it can cover you into the millions.
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What does professional indemnity insurance cover?
Professional indemnity insurance is a form of insurance that covers professionals against claims of negligence arising from an alleged act, omission or breach of professional duty on their part.
A typical professional indemnity insurance policy will cover them for things such as:
- Court attendance costs and legal advice
- Employment practices liability – indemnity in respect of claims brought by employees
- Fidelity – coverage for loss of monies for which they are legally liable
- Negligence claims. There are claims arising from errors or incorrect advice
- Civil liability claims. These might result from their business activities
- Infringement of intellectual property rights. Claims for breaches of copyright or trademark
- Fines and penalties. Indemnity for penalties imposed for breaches of OH&S or environmental legislation
- Loss of documents. Indemnity for loss of documents for which they are legally responsible
- Run-off cover. Ongoing cover for a practice that has ceased operations, to cover claims that may arise at a later date
- Public relations expenses. Covers the cost of retaining a public relations consultant to protect their reputation, if damaged by a claim
- Investigations and enquiries. Costs associated with any official investigations and enquiries.
How to choose professional indemnity insurance for accountants
What is covered by a professional indemnity insurance policy for accountants will vary from insurer to insurer, but when comparing policies, there are certain areas you should pay special attention to. These include, but are not limited to:
- The level of excess and whether it is including or excluding costs
- Whether the policy covers work you have performed in the past if it is your first policy
- Ability to reinstate insured amount following a claim
- The geographical extent of the coverage (i.e. whether it is Australia only or worldwide)
- Whether the work undertaken is clearly defined
- The general wording of the policy and the particular exclusions that apply.
Because professional indemnity insurance for accountants is industry-specific, you would be wise to look for an insurer or broker who specialises in accountancy insurance, or at least knows the specific requirements of your industry in detail.
Public liability insurance for accountants: If you have premises
When taking out professional indemnity insurance, it is normally advisable to take out public liability insurance as well. This is standard practice for any business that has clients who visit their premises or who visit clients at their own homes or premises.
Public liability insurance covers accountants against claims of personal injury to others or property damage incurred during the course of normal business activities.
A public liability insurance policy will normally cover your business, including any subsidiary companies you might own and your employees, as long as they are acting within the scope of their duties at the time of any incident.
What's not included?
Like all insurance, it has certain exclusions and will not cover events such as unlawful activity on the part of the insured, deliberate acts to cause damage or injury or personal injuries or property damage suffered by the insured.
What's the cost?
The cost will be influenced by the nature of your business and its size, which is measured by revenue or number of employees.
Frequently asked questions about professional indemnity insurance
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