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Get the best value for money from your accountants professional indemnity insurance

Accountants insurance cover that includes professional indemnity (PI) is a vital part of your business insurance, but it can be complicated comparing different PI insurance policies and choosing the most appropriate for your accountancy firm. Many policies may meet the minimum requirements for your ICAEW membership. So, which is the best value for money?

In this article, we highlight some key differences between PI policies. We also reveal some additional benefits available to you under the ICAEW members' PI insurance scheme.

How are PI insurance premiums calculated?

When calculating the cost of your PI insurance, insurance underwriters consider risk factors such as your business activities, claims history, number of employees, annual turnover, along with what level of cover you need. Every business is different, and there isn't a one-size-fits-all PI insurance policy. Your broker may ask you for your firm’s gross fee income for the previous financial year, or the average over a number of years. All these factors can determine the PI insurance premium you will pay.

To determine whether you’re getting value for money, check the policy type and terms. Find out whether the policy comes with any added benefits for you to enjoy. We explain some of the key differences below.

Key differences in professional indemnity insurance policy types and terms

Cover for all civil liabilities vs professional negligence-only

There are two types of PI insurance policy. In short, chartered accountants need a policy that covers all civil liabilities. The alternative, a negligence-only policy, will not provide adequate cover.

Any one claim limit vs aggregate limit

Does the indemnity limit refer to a single claim or the sum of multiple claims within the policy period? If your indemnity limit is for ‘any one claim’ - this means your insurer will offer the full amount for each claim. An ‘aggregate’ limit is the total the insurer will pay for claims during that policy period.

We recommend a policy with an ‘any one claim’ limit to ensure that your insurance cannot be exhausted.

Legal defence costs

You will find 'defence costs' covered in many PI policies. This refers to the cost incurred by an insurer for defending a PI claim against you - for example, for financial loss or negligence. You may find yourself requiring legal defence for another reason unrelated to a PI claim. For example, an ICAEW investigation or allegations of professional misconduct. Get value for money by choosing a PI policy that provides cover for wider legal costs involved.

Great benefits available under the ICAEW PI insurance scheme

Marsh Commercial is proud to be the appointed PI insurance broker for ICAEW members. We offer members an exclusive PI insurance policy packed with valuable benefits. Here are what our clients love about the ICAEW members’ PI insurance scheme:

Tax, legal and medical helplines

Access specialist advice on all UK direct taxes free of charge using a free helpline provided by Markel tax. This service can be used for your own tax queries or to help you handle queries from your clients. Legal, medical, and counselling helplines are also provided free of charge under the policy.

PR and reputational management

A PI insurance claim could cost you more than the defence costs and compensation payable. A claim has the potential to damage the reputation of your business if not managed correctly. Public relations (PR) and crisis management support is available under the ICAEW members' scheme. This benefit offers peace of mind during difficult times.

Six-year block run-off facility

Run-off cover provides continuing protection after you retire or cease trading. That way, if a client makes a claim for work you have done in the past – your liability is covered. ICAEW requires two years of run-off cover, however claims can still be made after much longer periods. Not all insurers will grant a longer period of run-off insurance, let alone a block policy. Outside of the ICAEW members’ scheme, you may have to apply for cover every year and accept whatever terms and premiums are offered.

Our exclusive ICAEW members’ scheme offers a six-year block run-off policy for members who have retired or ceased trading. The premium is calculated as a percentage of the average annual premium over the preceding three years.

Irrecoverable fees/disputed fee cover

The insurer behind the ICAEW members’ scheme may pay fees you’re trying to collect from your client if it helps to resolve an incident and close the claim. This is helpful if a client alleges your error is the reason they aren’t paying the fees. The sooner a claim is closed, the better for you – so this is a fantastic benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The insulation provided by an insurance scheme

Did you know that an insurance scheme operates as a separate 'market' or 'risk pool’? It provides you with a level of insulation from market cycles and price volatility. If a scheme insurer wants to increase premiums, they first need to negotiate this with Marsh Commercial and ICAEW. Furthermore, being part of a scheme can help you achieve better policy terms and claims outcomes for your accountancy business.

To ensure you get the best value for money when purchasing PI insurance:

  • Use an experienced PI insurance broker.
  • Ensure you’re getting the right PI insurance policy for your business.
  • Select a policy that comes with value-added benefits – like the ICAEW members’ PI insurance scheme.

Talk to our team today about the ICAEW members’ PI insurance scheme, call 0330 8184 867 or complete an enquiry form and we’ll call you.

Other insurance covers you may want to consider

Chartered certified accountants who operate from designated business premises may also want to think about:


Talk to our team today about the ICAEW members’ PI insurance scheme, call 0330 8184 867 or complete an enquiry form and we’ll call you.

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