Professional Indemnity Insurance in South Africa – Are They the Answers to Your Liability Cover?
One of the areas of greatest confusion is the difference between Professional Indemnity, General Liability and Product Liability Insurance. Professional Indemnity Insurance provides coverage for professionals (corporate or individual) for any negligent act, error or omission alleged to have occurred while in the performance of their professional activities and duties. It differs from General Liability and Product Liability Coverage in that the acts covered are those acts performed by an engineer, architect, doctor or attorney in rendering professional services to their clients. To better understand this coverage we will have a brief discussion below of Product Liability, Professional Indemnity and the application of the latter and how it functions.
A. Product Liability
Product Liability is the legal responsibility of a manufacturer to a consumer of its’ product. Liability arises out of the negligent manufacture of a product including defective or faulty workmanship, materials or components. It is a liability that arises from the failure of a manufacturer to properly manufacture, test or warn about its product and occurs when the product departs in a negligent manner from its intended function.
Difference Between Public Liability, Product Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance
When professionals are hired, they are done so with the belief that they have the necessary expertise and knowledge to carry out the task to the best of their abilities. Added to that, there is a certain code of conduct they are expected to abide by while doing their jobs. When professionals fail to meet the standards desired of them and their skill levels fall much below expectations, they are liable to be taken to court for the loss they inflict upon the business of another person. Thus, they need professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance is termed "errors and omissions" liability, when liability is confined to acts of negligence.
There are different types of personal liability insurance coverage. Personal injury covers the client against claims of slander, libel and invasion of privacy. Intellectual property infringement coverage covers the client against claims of copyright infringement. Software processes and systems are commonly termed "intellectual properties." Also, worldwide coverage is provided if the suit is bought in America.
Professional Indemnity Insurance - Does it Help?
Business liability insurance is tailored to protect your business against the cost of litigation and claims resulted from third party damages or bodily injuries caused due to negligence of your business. With respect to liabilities that a business can face, there are three main types of business liability insurances - public liability insurance, product liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.
The above mentioned business insurance types differ from one another, but have their own importance in protecting the business from liabilities. Hence, it is very important for businesses to safeguard their investment and consider the three policies based on the type and need of their business. Before deciding on what to take, understand the differences between them.
Public liability insurance
Public liability insurance protects the insured against the third party claims that are likely to be raised due to damage to property, bodily injury or death occurred because of operation of the business.
Deciding the right package of business insurance is quite hard. You should, however, see to it that you purchase insurance to cover every aspect of the risk involved in your business. The most common insurance cover includes product liability, public liability and professional indemnity insurance. All three policies are different from each other, but they are intended to protect your business from different risks of claims and liabilities. Hence, ensure that you have proper cover for your business against possible liabilities.
Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance Market
Professional Indemnity Insurance is an example of very good, quality contractor insurance, and its effects can be felt instantly from its cover. The policy itself protects a contractor should they make a mistake that leads to financial loss to another party. The reason that this would be costly to a contractor is because in these cases the party will no doubt file a negligence claim against the contractor that could then be very expensive. This is where such a policy would be effective as its vital protection would cover a contractor for all costs and fees in this case. In addition, having the insurance will bolster the perception that a contractor is in business on their own account, therefore aiding their IR35 position. Plus it will give clients the reassurance that there are sufficient resources to handle any recourse in the unlikely event of an alleged breach of duty, adding value to any tender.
When looking at all contractor insurances, it becomes clear that Professional Indemnity Insurance really is an essential policy and cannot be overlooked by contractors and freelancers alike. With its many benefits, not only concerning a professional's protection, but also their IR35 related tax status, it is a vital policy and compared to its many advantages, can be purchased easily and cheaply.