For freelancers, the self-employed, and companies Professional indemnity insurance

For some professions, professional indemnity insurance is absolutely essential: For attorneys, doctors, or architects, for example, a wrong assessment can lead to serious consequences and at worst entail personal liability with their own assets. Our comprehensive insurance means policyholders are able to calculate financial losses and protect themselves against the economic consequences.

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Benefits of AXA's professional indemnity insurance

  • Comprehensive basic insurance with individual industry solutions
  • Assistance with regard to defense against unjustified claims
  • Specialist expertise as the largest provider for liability insurance

Who needs professional indemnity insurance?

Liability insurance is indispensable for all professional groups for which the smallest negligence could be of serious consequence. Especially if you also have a high risk of being able to cause third parties economic loss with your work – as is the case with fiduciaries or representatives of other advisory professions. Losses caused that are purely of a financial nature are among the specially insured risks of a professional indemnity insurance.

Legal background

For many professions, professional indemnity insurance is absolutely essential: For attorneys, doctors or architects, for example, a wrong assessment can lead to serious consequences and at worst entail personal liability with their total assets. To meet the claims of third parties in the case of a loss event, there is therefore a so-called security obligation for professions that involve special responsibility: This obligation can be meet either with professional indemnity insurance or a suitably high amount deposited in a blocked account.

What does professional indemnity insurance cover?

In addition to protection against bodily injury and property damage and their financial consequences, policyholders of AXA's professional indemnity insurance also have protection against pure economic loss. This can include, for example, the erroneous advice of a tax advisor or an attorney missing a deadline -- and both instances can quickly cause damage to the tune of several million francs. The sum insured by the insurance therefore varies greatly depending on the industry and the associated risks.

Insured losses

Basic coverage of professional indemnity insurance includes not only justified claims for loss events arising from damage and consequential damage to persons and property, but also real economic loss. The insurer also assumes the cost of defense for excessive or unjustified claims.

Economic loss: Loss of revenue, bad investments, or a financial disadvantage through misinformation are among the typical economic losses caused to third parties that are covered exclusively by professional indemnity insurance.

Insured risks

Occupational and operational risk: If an engineer makes wrong calculations, or an attorney misses an important deadline, if documents are lost, files not studied attentively, or a process is conducted in error -- these situations are all considered to be risks specific to operational processes as well as activity and omissions that are covered for insureds of professional indemnity insurance.

Premises and environmental risk: As with commercial third-party liability insurance, risks from the ownership of property, buildings, or facilities as well as environmental hazards from facility, operational, or professional risks, are also insured.

Not insured

  • Claims of the policyholder or from other persons in the same household
  • Damages caused intentionally or which were to be expected with high probability
  • Similarly, all claims in connection with the activity of an insured person as a member of the executive management or board of directors are not included (but can be covered, however, with directors' and officers' liability insurance)

What additional benefits are available?

The basic coverage of AXA professional indemnity insurance is already broad, but can be supplemented when needed to include tailored insurance protection. This makes sense, for example, if your own company also operates in the US or Canada, or the policyholder bears responsibility as a director or officer of the board of directors or another legal entity.

Coverage can be extended to also insure individual special risks of a professional activity. Here are some examples:

Optional extension of coverage 

  • Protection against financial losses that are caused by your company’s employees due to a criminal or otherwise intentional act, such as misappropriation.
  • Extension of geographical scope to include the law of the US and Canada (for attorneys, fiduciaries, and advisory professions)
  • Reliable legal protection in criminal, supervisory, or administrative proceedings (for attorneys, fiduciaries, and advisory professions)
  • Extension of benefits to double aggregate per insurance year (for attorneys, fiduciaries, and advisory professions)

Optional directors' and officers' liability insurance 

If executive employees, members of the executive management or the board of directors of a joint-stock company act negligently or make decisions that are not in the interest of the company, they can be held personally liable according to the law, but at the same time cannot draw on their own personal liability insurance. In the role as a legal entity, policyholders can only protect themselves and their personal assets against the economic consequences of a case of joint and several liability with directors' and officers' liability insurance. Within the scope of professional indemnity insurance for attorneys, fiduciaries, and other advisory professions, there is also the option of insuring individual mandates through the professional indemnity insurance as supplementary coverage – provided these mandates are taken on within the scope of the insured’s business activity and not privately. You can find more information on directors' and officers' liability insurance here.

 

 

Documents regarding professional indemnity insurance

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Support and frequently asked questions

  • What is the difference between professional indemnity and commercial third-party liability insurance?

    Both insurance types overlap in some areas. The difference: Companies that can be held liable on account of their operational activity need commercial third-party liability insurance, while professional indemnity insurance is the right solution for those who can be held liable for breaches of professional duty or for pure economic loss caused by their professional activity.

  • Who should take out directors' and officers' liability insurance?

    Policyholder and premium payer is the employer as a legal entity. However,  the directors and officers themselves are covered. So, for example, the board of directors of a joint-stock company, members of the administration of a cooperative, the managing director of a limited liability company, members of the board of directors of associations, trustees, family members of the executive management and senior management (incl. interim management), founders of a limited liability company or joint-stock company, employees who are in a de facto director or officer role or liquidators in the event of a voluntary liquidation. You can find more information on directors' and officers' liability insurance here.

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