What is Indemnity Insurance? The concept is about restoring the the insured to the same financial position they were before the loss

What is Indemnity Insurance? Do You Need It and Types Available

Written by Simon Taylor


What is indemnity insurance?

Indemnity insurance is an important concept, providing a safeguard against financial loss or liability. Its primary purpose is to provide indemnification, or compensate, an insured party for losses or damages they have suffered, under specific terms and conditions of the insurance contract.

Understanding indemnity insurance

The concept of indemnity is fundamental to insurance; it's about restoring the insured to the financial position they were in before the loss. Indemnity insurance doesn't aim to profit the insured, but to ensure that they are not left worse off after a loss.

About professional indemnity insurance

What is professional indemnity insurance?


What is professional indemnity insurance?

Professional indemnity insurance will cover legal costs incurred in the defense against a claim, as well as any damages awarded to a client for a breach of professional duty. A professional indemnity policy is designed to offer protection where a mistake, professional negligence, or omission in the provision of a professional service has caused financial loss or harm.

Types of indemnity insurance

Each type of indemnity insurance below plays a crucial role in safeguarding businesses and professionals against a variety of risks. From professional errors to product defects, these business insurance policies provide a safety net that allows entities to operate confidently, knowing they are protected against unforeseen liabilities.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional indemnity insurance, otherwise known as PI insurance, is designed to protect professionals who provide professional advice or services to their clients. This type of indemnity insurance is crucial for consultants, lawyers, accountants, architects, and other professionals who could face claims of negligence or malpractice.

Example Claim: An architect designs a commercial building but overlooks a critical structural element, leading to a partial collapse. The client sues the architect for the cost of repairs and additional damages. In this scenario, professional indemnity insurance would cover the legal costs and any compensation awarded to the client, safeguarding the architect's finances and reputation.

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance is essential for businesses that interact with the public. The business insurance covers claims made by third parties for injuries or damages caused by the business activities.

Example Claim: In a retail store, a customer slips on a wet floor that wasn't properly marked and suffers a severe injury. The customer files a lawsuit against the store for medical expenses and loss of income. Public liability insurance would help the store handle legal fees and any compensation due to the customer.

Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance is vital for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. It covers claims of personal injury or property damage caused by a faulty product. It covers claims arising from injuries and damages caused by the product.

Example Claim: A toy manufacturer faces a lawsuit after several children are injured by a defective toy part. The affected families demand compensation for medical treatments and emotional distress. Product liability insurance would cover the legal costs and any settlements, protecting the manufacturer's financial stability.

Directors and Officers Insurance

Directors and officers insurance protects the personal assets of company directors and officers. In the event they are sued for wrongful acts while managing or acting on behalf of the company.

Example Claim: Shareholders sue the directors of a company for mismanagement and poor investment decisions that led to significant financial losses. This business insurance would cover the legal defense costs and any settlements, ensuring that the personal assets of these individuals are not at risk.

Employer's Liability Insurance

Employers liability insurance is a type of business insurance that is mandatory in the UK. It provides cover claims from employees who suffer injury or illness due to their work.

Example Claim: An employee working in a factory is injured due to inadequate safety measures. The employee sues the employer for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages. Employer's liability insurance would cover these claims, helping the employer manage the financial repercussions.

Property Indemnity Insurance

Property indemnity insurance offers protection against damages to property, including cases where the property owner is held liable for damages incurred by others on their property.

Example Claim: A fire breaks out in a rented apartment due to faulty wiring. The tenants sue the landlord for damages to their belongings and relocation costs. Property indemnity insurance would cover the landlord's liability, providing for the legal defense and any compensation awarded.

How indemnity insurance works?

When a covered event occurs, the insured files a claim. The insurance company assesses the claim to ensure it falls within the policy's scope. If approved, the insurer compensates the insured, either by paying the amount of the loss or, in some cases, replacing or repairing the damaged item.

Indemnity insurance is a protective shield against financial loss due to liabilities or damages. Whether for an individual professional, a business, or specific situations like healthcare or property rental, it's an essential part of risk management

Professional indemnity insurance cover guide

Who needs professional indemnity insurance?


Who needs professional indemnity insurance?

Professional indemnity insurance is essential for individuals and businesses that provide professional services, advice, or expertise to their clients. This type of indemnity insurance is particularly important for those whose clients could suffer financial losses due to errors, omissions, or negligence in the professional services provided. 

Indemnity limits and deductibles

Indemnity insurance policies often have limits on the amount the insurer will pay for a single claim or a series of claims. Additionally, there may be deductibles, which are out-of-pocket costs the insured must pay before the insurance coverage kicks in.

Choosing the right indemnity insurance

Selecting the right indemnity insurance depends on individual or business needs. Factors to consider include:

  • The nature of the business or profession.
  • The level of risk involved.
  • The potential size of claims.
  • Legal requirements in certain professions.

About the author

Simon Taylor is a respected senior industry professional and a Chartered Insurance Broker with over 20 years’ of experience in the commercial insurance sector as an underwriter, broker and director.