ǿմý

Professional Indemnity Insurance Claims: Report & Insights

Report | July 2023

Professional indemnity insurance, sometimes called professional liability insurance, protects professionals from losses that could arise from a breach of their professional duties across all global industries. It provides cover for management consultants, auditors, accountants, architects, engineers, insurance brokers, agents, solicitors and lawyers, surveyors and other professionals, as well as those working in communications and the media. The risks that professionals like these need to shield themselves against include civil liability actions as a result of negligent duty or omission, the unintentional breach of intellectual property rights or confidentiality, libel or slander, dishonest or malicious acts by former or present employees, loss of documents, regulatory investigation and action, and many more.

Over the past 20+ years ǿմý Global Corporate & Specialty (now part of ǿմý Commercial) has processed and handled over 93,000 professional indemnity claims to date from different regions and jurisdictions, with a total value of €2.2bn. Every year, our experts draw on a breadth of experience across a range of claims segments to shed light on claims trends, causes of loss, and geographical variations they have observed in the professional indemnity risk landscape. The information they gather provides underwriting teams with critical insights, which, in turn, supports a data-informed culture and offers added value for customers.

This activity is led by the Professional Indemnity Claims Global Practice Group (GPG) at ǿմý Commercial, an international team of six claims professionals.

“It is just one of 16 such groups at ǿմý Commercial and includes senior experts from the organization who are authorities in settling large, complex and multinational losses,” explains Diego Assef, Head of Global Practice Group, Professional Indemnity Claims at ǿմý Commercial.

“With this publication, our goal is to share this knowledge with customers and bring them up to speed with what’s going on in the market; what we have observed from our claims data, as well as our analysis of emerging risks and trends. We indicate which professionals might be particularly vulnerable, discuss what’s on the horizon, relay key risks and possible developments, and rate them from 1 to 4 according to their level of impact.”

Professional indemnity insurance (PII), also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, covers a range of liabilities that professionals may face due to errors, omissions, or negligence in the course of providing their professional services. The coverage is designed to protect professionals from financial loss resulting from claims made by clients or third parties who allege they suffered harm due to mistakes or failures in the professional's work. 
We have categorized the risks below according to our assessment of a combination of factors, including the likelihood and timing of the risk, the expected magnitude and frequency, and the likely ease with which the risk may be mitigated. This categorization is necessarily broad and high-level. In reality, impact will be more nuanced across professions and jurisdictions. The complexity of each risk has been simplified for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute professional or risk management advice.

1) Very high

Critical impact to operations or loss severity could be expected.

  • Evolving legislation related to building safety
  • Cyber crime, social engineering, and data loss

2) High

Major impact to operations or loss severity could be expected

  • An increase in high-profile litigation – a public policy evolving issue?
  • Growing focus on professionals’ supervision duties, internal controls and monitoring systems
  • Evolving regulatory environment and risk landscape
  • Innovation and technological developments in the construction industry

3)ѱ徱ܳ

Moderate impact to operations or loss severity could be expected.

  • Geopolitical, economic and market volatility
  • The inflationary environment
  • Covid-19 legacy and new ways of working

4)Ƿ

Minor impact to operations or loss severity could be expected.

  • Use of new technologies
  • Increased focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics
Insurers assess professional indemnity insurance claims by examining policy coverage, evaluating professional duty and negligence, reviewing evidence, considering pre-claim efforts, and taking into account severity, claims history, expert opinions, mitigation efforts, and legal/regulatory factors. This comprehensive assessment ensures fair and accurate resolution of claims, maintaining the integrity of the insurance coverage.

Emerging technologies such as digital claim submission, AI, blockchain, predictive analytics, and communication tools are being leveraged by professionals to streamline the professional indemnity insurance claims process. These innovations enhance efficiency, accuracy, transparency, and communication, leading to faster claims assessment and resolution while reducing administrative burdens.
The claims process for professional indemnity insurance (PII) differs from other liability insurance due to its focus on errors in professional services, legal complexity, policy customization, involvement of experts, potential third-party financial losses, and a tailored approach to addressing professional risks and liabilities.