Thinking you don’t need insurance. People commonly think that if they don’t charge for a service or they are only a small business that they don’t need insurance.  If you are providing a service of any kind, even if it is free of charge, then you are liable to a claim being made against you and should have the correct insurance.

There is also the ‘It won’t happen to me’ belief.  You are a careful professional and do a great job so why would anyone have cause to claim? We know from experience how easily things can happen, and even if you are not at fault it doesn’t stop someone claiming you are – and you then have the cost of defending yourself.

Not checking that sub-contractors are insured. If your business contracts another person or company to carry out some work on your behalf you must ensure that they have insurance in place, or you may not be covered in the event of a claim.

Not updating your policy. Your business practices (what you do) is specified on your policy so it is very important that you update it if you start to carry out new types of work.  If, for example, you are insured for Coaching and then you qualify as a Management Consultant, your insurance will not cover the Management Consultancy work unless you have it added to your policy.  It’s usually free to add extra practices so don’t forget to do it.

Cancelling your insurance too soon. Businesses close, people retire, but claims are commonly received many months after the incident which is the subject of the claim.  If you have a ‘claims made’ policy then it must be active at the time the claim is received with a retroactive date prior to the date of the event.

Responding to a claim. It is human nature to want to respond to a claim – if you feel that you have done something wrong you want to apologise.  If you feel you are being unjustly blamed for something you want to argue the point.  You shouldn’t do either!   Do not respond other than to acknowledge receipt and to say that you are informing your insurers. 

Never admit fault!  Don’t try to defend yourself! Leave it to the professionals.

Having Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Medical Malpractice insurance means that in the event a claim is made against your business, you have professionals who know exactly how to deal with it.  The Claims team will remove all the stress, worry and hassle from you, allowing you to continue to work whilst they investigate, negotiate and respond on your behalf. 

Anyone can apply for personal indemnity and public liability insurance through Westminster Indemnity, even if they have no training.

Here is the link to apply