Professional indemnity insurance
Digital Risks offers fast, effective and commitment-free PI cover for contractors and freelancers, startups and growing businesses.
Flexible, pay-as-you-go PI cover that grows with your business
Businesses that provide advice, consultancy, or offer a professional service should consider professional indemnity (PI) insurance. If you handle data or intellectual property belonging to your clients, it's often a contractual requirement.
Your knowledge and expertise are your business. It’s what your clients pay for and what they rely on. They trust your advice to make big decisions.
But if the big decision goes wrong, you could have a big problem. Hero to villain in one fell swoop. If that happens, professional indemnity insurance can save the day.
From £7.70 per month
Covers legal costs
Benefits of professional indemnity insurance
Cover against mistakes
We all make mistakes from time to time - that's just life. But when you or your employees give bad advice or make a mistake it can end up costing your client, and you, big time! Professional Indemnity (PI) will cover you for the costs arising from negligence claims made against you.
Protect your reputation
For most of us, reputation is a key element of ongoing success. Our cover provides public relationship and crisis management, to help protect your brand and reputation when things go wrong.
Intellectual property infringement
With today's rate of content creation, your chances of accidentally breaching copyright and intellectual property (IP) are increasing. With our cover, you're not only covered for your mistakes, but we'll pay up to £25,000 in legal costs defending your business from others.
Who needs professional indemnity insurance?
Businesses that provide advice, consultancy, or offer a professional service should consider Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance. If you handle data or intellectual property belonging to your clients, it's often a contractual requirement. Learn more
Professional indemnity insurance guide
What is professional indemnity insurance?
Even the most experienced advisors can end up making a mistake, and when there's money and reputations involved, things can get nasty.
Professional indemnity cover is for situations where a client suffers (or claims to have suffered) financial loss as a result of your advice or service – even if you weren't at fault. It will cover any legal costs for fighting your case, plus any resulting compensation, as well as supporting with reputational and financial damage to your own business.
Not to be confused with public liability insurance, which covers you against accidents, injury or property damage to a member of the public, professional advisors and services must also consider PI insurance, otherwise known as indemnity insurance, meaning you're covered for financial and reputational damage caused.
Who is professional indemnity cover for?
Professional indemnity insurance (PI) is designed for businesses that offer a professional service, advice or consultancy - including small businesses.
That includes software developers, IT consultants, financial advisors, PR consultants and designers. Any business where you're selling your knowledge and expertise, or handling data or intellectual property on behalf of clients, PI offers valuable cover if anything goes wrong.
Plus, many of your clients are likely to ask for PI as a condition of working with them. So, as with some other business insurance policies, it could even help you close the deal!
What risks does PI cover you for?
However careful and dedicated you are, there are some days when the world conspires against you, resulting in mistakes or errors in your work. Client relationships can lose their shine without warning, projects can go pear-shaped and, even if you've done nothing wrong, you can face claims of breach of contract or professional negligence - particularly if the client loses money as a result.
If you're a software developer, you could be held liable if the software you've built falls over a few months later. Or as a communications consultant, you could accidentally leak confidential information.
Either way, if your actions lead to reputational or financial damage to the client, you'll not only have legal costs to pay, but potentially compensation and loss of earnings on top. Professional indemnity insurance can cover these risks, helping your business stay above water.
Things you can do
Nobody wants to face a PI claim, so there are various risk management practices that will reduce your exposure.
First off, invest in a lawyer to draw up watertight contracts and T&Cs for your client work, so both parties are clear on their professional duty, the scope of the work agreed, and any stipulations regarding what you can and can't be held liable for. This should be supported by thorough internal checks and procedures to ensure you are consistently meeting your responsibilities and maintaining a high quality of work.
And if you subcontract work, it is vital that your suppliers are also held accountable, through a contractual agreement, and a requirement to have PI. That way, if they make a mistake, you have the option to hold them liable if necessary.
What to watch out for
There are two different types of indemnity cover. The first is negligence-based and relevant to more traditional professions, such as solicitors or accountants.
The second covers civil liability and a much broader scope of risks. For media, tech and other service businesses, the second option is most likely the right one. Make sure you declare exactly what your business does to your insurer, as this will influence the specific policy details that you need. And be vigilant about updating them if anything changes, so your business insurance can be revised to reflect this.
If you're unsure about what level of cover you need, think about the worst possible scenario that could occur in the course of your work and the financial impact that would have. Your clients or industry body may specify a limit so check that, while also taking into account the potential cost of your own legal fees on top and the possibility of facing multiple claims at once.
Before purchasing, also check that your policy will cover you for liquidated damages, i.e. penalties specified in a client contract. So if you're found in breach of an agreement – to deliver the project by a certain deadline, for example – you won't need to foot the bill.
Another aspect to consider is where your clients are based. If they are abroad – particularly the US or Canada – you might need a more specialist cover, so check this before choosing a policy. And if you operate in the financial, medical or legal services sector, you should seek out specialist advice as you may require more tailored cover.
And finally, if disaster does strike, make sure that you notify your insurer as soon as possible after you become aware of a possible issue that might lead to a claim. This is often specified within the policy wording and if you don't, again you won't be covered.
- How much cover do I need?
- Can I change my cover or add policies?
- What to do if I have multiple business activities?
- How do I know what my policy covers?
- How do I cancel my policy?
- How long is a quote valid for?
- Is business insurance tax deductible?
- What do I do if my business type isn't on the list?
- Will I be covered straight away?
Other covers to consider
Covers your liability to employees for bodily injury or work-related sickness.
Covers your liability for failing to protect data, as well as penalties for not complying with data protection law.
Contents and equipment
Protects your property against theft, loss or damage.
Covers you for negligence in media content and advertising, including website, blogs and social media.
Covers your liability to members of the public for bodily injury or damage to their property.
Commercial legal protection
Covers compensation awards, professional fees and legal costs associated with a range of legal disputes.
We're the British Insurance Awards 2018 Insurance Start-up Winner - recognised for our innovative range of covers, online customer experience and flexible subscription model, which make buying and managing insurance easy and accessible for businesses in the digital industries.
Professional indemnity insurance FAQs
Professional indemnity insurance, or PI for short, protects your business if a client claims to have suffered damage or financial loss as a result of your service or advice. This might be due to neglect, a misunderstanding or a genuine mistake, but whatever the situation, a legal dispute could be costly.
If that happens, professional indemnity insurance would cover the costs of your legal defence, any compensation costs, and some policies will pay for other incidental costs, like engaging a PR specialist to manage the situation post incident.
Digital Risks covers a broad range of business types. Whether you have an established company, a small startup, or you work as a contractor or freelancer, we can certainly take care of you.
Though not legally required for most industries, it’s good to cover all bases. You should think of all the possible "what ifs" and how to ensure peace of mind for your clients, investors, as well as yourself and your team. Nobody’s perfect and mistakes do happen.
PI insurance covers everything that comes as the result of professional oversights, from costly legal support to the compensation you might have to pay. You may also find that your trade or industry association requires PI as a condition of membership, and all the benefits that brings to your business. Either way, make sure you check the contracts entered, as many will include it as a requirement. Bear in mind, that it is really industry-specific: certain businesses are legally required to be PI-covered.
Most businesses are not legally required to be PI covered, so there’s no need to have the certificate.
However, as soon as you take out cover with us, we will send you out a certificate (or a policy schedule) for each element of the cover you’ve purchased. This will show the level of cover you have, along with the start and end dates of its active period, and the costs involved.
Though it covers a lot of bases, professional indemnity insurance will not protect you from the following types of claims:
- Personal injuries and property damage not caused by a professional mistake or service provided (this can be covered by public liability or employers liability insurance)
- Claims made against managers, board members or other people in charge (this is covered by directors and officers insurance).
- Damage inflicted as a result of a third party cyber attack on your business (which can, of course, be covered by a separate cyber liability cover).
When we talk about ‘level of cover’, we mean the maximum amount that would be paid out in the event of a claim. Estimating how much PI cover you need and therefore what it will cost you depends mostly on the nature and size of your business.
Digital Risks can provide cover ranging from £100k to £5 million, so whatever it is you need, we’ve got your back. We can even protect your business for work you’ve completed in the past - barring any known issues which will of course not be covered by new policies. The fastest way to wrap your head around it is to get an online quote.
At Digital Risks, we don’t like to put constraints on anyone, especially our customers. All of our policies are sold as flexible pay-monthly subscriptions, helping you to manage your cash-flow, and giving you the freedom to change or cancel your cover at any time.
Invoices for your monthly payments are available on request, so all you need to do is give us a call (or drop us a line), and we’ll get the requested documents sent out to you as quickly as possible. Alternatively, we can set up your account so that you automatically receive these on a monthly basis.
Our monthly subscription model gives you ultimate flexibility, with the option to cancel or change your cover at any time. A small business can grow and change quite frequently, which is why we made it incredibly easy to amend your policy - just get in touch with us by phone, email or webchat in the bottom right corner of this page.
Same goes for making a claim with Digital Risks. We won’t burden you with loads of processes and paperwork. All you need to do is let us know what happened and we’ll start the process for you. Simple as.
There is no excess to pay when you make a claim on professional indemnity cover. Everything is handled from our side.
Whether you’re in it alone or you have a team of employees, no-one is immune to making mistakes. But when this mistake affects a client, leaving them out of pocket, things can go south pretty quickly. When a loss of any kind is caused by your professional advice or an error in your service, you can end up liable. Here are a few examples of what can go wrong:
A. Intellectual Property Dispute
Whether in your marketing, website design, or any form of content creation, the issue of creative ownership touches most businesses today.
Even if it’s something small like using an image for your client’s social media post, if you don’t have the permission or license you need, your client could find themselves facing a claim from the owner for copyright infringement - and guess who the finger will be pointed at.
B. Negligence by a partner or supplier
If you’re running an IT consultancy but outsource web hosting to a third party, any mistakes on the supplier side will still fall on you.
Say, a client’s website goes down due to a web hosting issue, and the client loses revenue as a result. It will be your business that will have to deal with their complaint, as well as any legal claims and demands for compensation.
C. Confidentiality Breach
There’s nothing worse than clicking ‘send’ on an email, only to realise seconds later that you’ve entered the wrong email address, or copied in the wrong person. Disaster! And things get even more serious if the email contains confidential information about a client or customer. If that happens, and the information gets into the wrong hands, your client will have grounds to take legal actions against your business, leaving you with some hefty legal fees and compensation to pay, not to mention the reputational damage on top. If that happens, professional indemnity cover gives you the peace of mind that you can pick up the pieces.
Before anything else, we would recommend getting employers liability insurance, which is a legal requirement for any UK business that employs one or more people. Another key consideration is contents and equipment insurance to cover the equipment you own, and public liability insurance, which covers you for any physical injury to a member of the public, or damage to their property which is caused by your company.
At Digital Risks, we have a number of packages available with all the most important covers you need, but whatever your requirements you can tailor your protection perfectly for your business needs. Just start an online quote, tick the appropriate boxes and you’ll be covered in no time!
If you’re still not sure whether you should include PI cover in your insurance package, have a think of any possible damage you can cause your clients. It might seem minimal on the face of it, and naturally, it depends on the nature of your business. But if you dig deep, there’s probably more than you think! Sometimes just an email sent out to the wrong person can cause a hell of a sprawl. And if you’re worried about getting stuck into a long contract - don’t be. The best thing about Digital Risks is, if you do change your mind, you can cancel the service and remove it from your plan at anytime.
Professional indemnity insurance cover isn’t subject to VAT, however you do have to pay insurance premium tax - although this is considerably lower than VAT. The insurance premium tax currently stands at a standard rate of 12% (correct as of 01/01/2019). Please visit the UK Government website page to find out more about IPT (insurance premium tax).
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Excellent value at an affordable monthly cost. I have not needed use the services. But its good to know I have the insurance there to allow me to get on with my work.
James, J. Black Photography
Flexible. simple, easy, immediate. As a busy freelancer I need flexibility to potentially change the policy month by month - very handy and a feature I didn't find with other providers.
Tim, Graphic Design Freelancer
Excellent service, and really lovely people. Completely understanding of small or start up businesses, and a willingness/ability to be flexible. I'm very happy.
Lorna, Magic Penny Gifts
A super slick interface and all around great experience. Thumbs up Digital Risks! Having spoken to a number of "large" insurers, the pricing I received from Digital Risks was much more competitively priced for "like for like" cover. Highly recommended.
Authorised by the FCA
The FCA supervises UK financial services firms to protect consumers. We are directly authorised and regulated by the FCA and our Firm Reference Number is 656459. These details can be confirmed on the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk or by calling the FCA on 0845 606 1234.
A-rated financial strength
Our insurance products are underwritten by Standard & Poor’s A-rated financial strength or higher. This means the underwriter has been independently assessed by the world’s leading credit rating provider and found to have a strong capacity to meet financial commitments (pay claims).
Protected by the FSCS
If you are a business with an annual turnover under £1m, charity with an annual income under £1m, or trust with net assets under £1m, then you will be entitled to compensation from the FSCS in the unlikely event we cannot meet our obligations. Full details and further information on the scheme are available at www.fscs.org.uk