How to get professional indemnity insurance

What is professional indemnity insurance?

It’s a type of insurance that protects you and your business if you are sued by a client because your recommendations, advice, or professional services caused them financial loss.

If you offer professional services in your line of work, like designs, specifications, advice, or instructions, then you should consider getting professional indemnity insurance because it could protect your business against a claim for negligent work or professional advice.

The types of businesses that may need cover typically include architects and lawyers. However, it can also apply to businesses in the construction industry, as well as tradespeople.

Must I have professional indemnity insurance?

That depends on the nature of your business. Some professions, such as architects and lawyers, are legally required to have it.

While builders and tradespeople may not be legally required to have it, we would always recommend being insured.

Why should I consider getting cover?

If you are sued for a service you provided, such as a building plan or professional advice, the costs involved can amount to thousands or hundreds of thousands of pounds.

If you don’t have insurance, your business will be liable to pay these costs. This can cause major cashflow problems or, worse, lead to bankruptcy.

Many trade associations require members to be insured before they can join. Some clients may also require you to have cover as a term of the contract.

Failure to have cover can therefore impact on your credibility and ability to attract new clients.

How do I get cover?

You should choose a reputable insurance broker that has experience of the construction industry. Make sure you check their credibility and experience first.

How do I apply?

You can usually apply online, using a form, or by speaking to an experienced member of staff at your chosen insurance provider. They will need certain information from you, typically:

  • The specific industry you work in
  • The types of services you provide
  • The types of businesses you work with
  • Your level of experience
  • The size of your business
  • Your claims history
  • The amount of cover required
  • Any specific requirements you may wish to have included in your cover.