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What happens if a piece of advice or service provided by your company ends up causing damage or financial loss? Even if your business isn’t at fault, professional indemnity insurance and sound expert advice are your best defence in protecting your assets and reputation.
If you’re in the business of providing opinions, advice, design or specification, your company’s reputation is what will keep your businesses growing.
But what happens if your advice or service causes damage or a financial loss? Even if your business isn’t at fault, you may have to spend significantly on legal fees to prove that you’re not liable.
This is where professional indemnity insurance comes in, covering you against the risk of making a professional mistake: an act, error, or omission in the service your business provides.
Crombie Lockwood’s Financial & Professional Risks team ("FinPro") can help you to protect your assets, and your reputation.
Andrew Ford, Head of Financial & Professional Risks at Crombie Lockwood, leads a team of 30 brokers and support staff who specialise in helping clients with complex liability insurance needs.
“Liability insurance is about covering a client for legal expenses where there has been an allegation or claim made by a third-party, accusing the business of a mistake that caused a loss,” Andrew explains.
“Often those allegations are either incorrect or partially correct. This is where liability insurance provides protection. Clients get to sleep easy because they've got cover for legal expenses when the policy is triggered.”
Andrew says that a growing number of clients in different fields are discovering a need for bespoke solutions to meet their liability insurance needs.
“We’ve traditionally focused on businesses with occupations like engineers, architects, the medical profession, solicitors etc. But as the job market has changed over the last decade, more occupations need specialist liability products and advice. That includes the construction industry, product design, manufacturers, exporters, and design and build-type occupations.
“The insurance solutions that Crombie Lockwood arranges, along with the advice we provide, are tailored to clients’ particular business rather than an off-the-shelf solution.”
“Fundamentally, we're here to help protect our clients when they make a genuine mistake. We're all human and people make mistakes, and this will continue – particularly as the global economy continues to develop and become more technology-focused.
“Previously, manufacturers might have produced widgets made to a standard design, and clients would only be asked ‘how many widgets do you want? Now, we’re in the ‘value-add’ economy - you've got to be providing solutions, which often comes with a degree of professional advice on the design or specification.”
Having a comprehensive suite of covers is important for businesses to protect themselves against a wide range of liability exposures.
Andrews says, “Regulatory exposures in New Zealand are increasing, and there’s a higher expectation that the service your business is providing is sound and correct.”
That makes it important for a client to have ‘wrap-around’ protection where a suite of liability insurance products covers them – from professional indemnity to public liability, which provides cover if your business causes property damage through your products.
Statutory liability provides cover in the event of a claim that your business has breached an Act of Parliament, while directors’ and officers’ liability is important in an increasingly risk-laden environment where company directors are expected to act in the best interests of the organisation.
These are just some of the types of covers that Crombie Lockwood’s FinPro team can support clients with.
“We have a very strong, stable and experienced team. As part of Gallagher, we can also draw on the strength of a global network as our clients become globally orientated.
“Many of our people have been with Crombie Lockwood FinPro for well over 10 years, and 20 in some cases. What you get is a very experienced but consistent approach that’s tailored specifically to your business,” concludes Andrew.
Published July 2022