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Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance covers your business against claims for financial and reputational damage.

  • We guarantee to beat your new business quote or renewal premium from any other insurer.

    Excludes van. New customers only. Cover on an equivalent basis to ours. Qualifying criteria apply. Terms & Conditions.

What is professional indemnity insurance?

Professional indemnity insurance covers the costs you are required to pay if a client accuses you of negligence and makes a claim against your business. For example, if the client believes that following your professional advice caused them to lose money or suffer reputational damage.

Professional indemnity insurance covers the costs of correcting mistakes, settling a claim, and any legal fees that you face when defending your business.

Professional indemnity insurance can cover you for:

Breach of professional duty

When you or your business fail to live up to your duty of care, e.g. giving incorrect advice or making a mistake in your work.

A dishonest, fraudulent or malicious act or omission of any former or present employee.

This includes employees lying, stealing or withholding information from your clients as well as revealing confidential information.

Libel or slander

Using or producing written or spoken statements or materials that damage a client’s reputation.

Unintentional breach of confidentiality

When confidential data or information is accidentally disclosed to a third party without the client's consent, such as sensitive data being accidentally sent to the wrong person.

Unintentional infringement of intellectual property rights

Examples include: accidentally violating intellectual property, copyrights, and trademarks, including imitation or passing another’s products or services off as your own.

Loss of, or damage to, documents

This includes documents that are lost in the post or even stolen while in your care. It also covers the cost of recovering the documents, if this is possible.

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or call us on 0345 878 5603

What kind of work does professional indemnity cover?

Professional indemnity insurance can cover you if your business deals with the following:

  • Consultancy, advice or training services
  • Design services
  • Software development
  • Professional services

Who needs professional indemnity insurance?

Professional indemnity insurance is important if you offer advice or professional services to a client. If a client believes your work has harmed their business or caused them a financial loss, they could make a claim against you.

Even the most seasoned professional makes mistakes. You could accidentally email confidential information to the wrong contact, release the wrong version of new software or make an error in the design of a new garden. Each of these human errors could leave you open to legal action.

Even if you believe you haven’t done anything wrong, you will still need to pay for the legal costs of defending yourself in court. So having the right cover in place is important.

If you run a digital company, you may also want professional indemnity cover to safeguard your business against claims for copyright infringement.

Do I need professional indemnity insurance?

You are not legally required to hold professional indemnity but a number of professional associations won’t let you join their ranks without it. Here’s a list of organisations that require you to hold professional indemnity cover:

  • The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)
  • Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
  • Architects Registration Board (ARB)
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Even if these groups are not relevant to your business, if you work as a professional consultant or have any dealings with local authorities, it is advisable to add professional indemnity to your insurance policy. Certain clients won’t hire you if you don’t have cover, so if you want to avoid missing out on work, it makes sense to have professional indemnity in place.

Some clients will also state the value of the cover required as a condition of business, which will give you some guidance on how much cover you might want to take out.

How much professional indemnity cover should I take out?

We offer cover from £100,000 all the way up to £5 million, for certain trades. To get an idea of the amount of cover you need, review the following:

  • Size of the project — how much would it cost if you were liable for something that needed replacing or completely redoing?
  • Size of your clients — smaller businesses tend to make smaller losses. If you’re working for a big client, they potentially have more to lose and your cover should reflect this
  • Local authority requirements — you may be required to hold a minimum level of cover before you’re even allowed to embark on a project

How much does indemnity insurance cost?

The price of professional indemnity insurance depends on your business and personal circumstances. You can add professional indemnity to your policy by clicking on our online quote finder. Just answer a few questions about your business and we’ll provide you with a rundown of the cover we can offer.

Get a quote
or call us on 0345 878 5603

Does Direct Line for Business offer a professional indemnity insurance policy?

You can add professional indemnity cover to your business insurance policy. Here are some key features of our cover:

  • We offer from £100,000 and up to £5 million of cover, for specific trades
  • Provision for your defence costs, such as lawyer and court fees. This cover is in addition to your policy limit
  • Access to our legal helpline
  • If you need to make changes to your policy, we won’t charge you admin fees
  • Retroactive cover — if you kept a record of your previous policies, we can cover you from the date you took out your first one, even if it was with another insurer. This is subject to you holding unbroken cover for the entire claim period.

Does Direct Line for Business offer professional indemnity insurance for all trades?

We can offer professional indemnity insurance to the majority of trades. You can find out whether professional indemnity insurance is available for your business by starting the quote journey and selecting your trade from the menu.

Some examples of trades we cover for professional indemnity insurance include:

  • Accountants and bookkeepers
  • Business consultants
  • Media professionals
  • IT consultants
  • Construction consultants
  • Estate agents, letting agents and property managers

Some examples of trades we do not currently cover for professional indemnity insurance include:

  • Solicitors
  • Engineers
  • FCA authorised trades
  • Mortgage brokers
  • Financial advisors
  • Personal trainers
  • School teachers

It is likely that we can cover you for other aspects of your business. You can check what’s available for your trade by starting a quote with us and we’ll let you know right away.

What are the excesses for professional indemnity cover?

The excess on your policy will vary depending on your circumstances. Your individual excesses will be found on the quote page once you have completed the ‘Your Business’ section of the quote process.

How can we help?

Get a business insurance quote by searching for your profession above or calling us on 0345 878 5603.

Visit our contact us page to view our opening hours.

Policy documents

View and download policy documents here

Legal Document Service

Included as standard when you buy or renew a policy from 1st February 2016.

Register or log in to Direct Line for Business Legal Documents Service.

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