What is professional indemnity insurance?

Professional indemnity insurance can help businesses cover the cost of compensation claims and legal action should a client sue for negligence. If there is a mistake in any professional service you provide, indemnity cover will prevent you from suffering a financial loss when defending or settling the claim.

For businesses and professionals providing advice or direct services to clients, there is always the risk that your work could be challenged. Professional indemnity insurance (also known as professional liability insurance) will protect against those risks; so if your client looses money or sees damage caused to their reputation as a result of your business activities, you'll be covered.

If you want to get more information before you buy, read more on the definition and purpose of indemnity insurance in our dedicated FAQs.

What does Hiscox Professional Indemnity Insurance include?

When you take out a policy with us, you'll be covered against:

  • Negligence or breach of duty: should you fail in a duty of care to your client, perhaps giving incorrect advice or making a mistake in your work
  • Infringement of intellectual property rights like copyright, trademarks or moral rights, for example if your business uses content from a website or publication without permission.
  • Defamation: producing or supporting libel or slanderous statements about a person or organisation.
  • Breach of Confidence: sharing confidential or sensitive client information without consent
  • Court attendance: the costs to you of your directors or employees attending court in relation to a covered claim
     
  • Advertising: mistakes such as inadvertently making a misstatement that you cannot substantiate
  • Sub-contractors and outsourcers: work undertaken on your behalf is treated as if it was done by you – however, we will reserve the right to recover losses from your subcontractors or outsourcers
  • Dishonesty of your partners, directors, employees, sub-contractors and outsourcers – claims made against you and your own direct financial losses

Our indemnity insurance also includes any other civil liability which we haven't specifically excluded. If a claim or loss occurs because of your business activities and it’s not a criminal prosecution, it’s covered.

We pride ourselves on our specialist knowledge of the risks unique to a huge range of industries. Get a professional indemity insurance quote today in minutes.

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You’re good at what you do and have confidence in the quality of your work. So why do you need professional indemnity insurance?

You may need professional indemnity insurance if you:

  • provide expertise, skills or advice to clients

  • have access to clients' confidential information

  • produce materials that could infringe intellectual property rights
  • provide a professional service and could be challenged on your work.

The reality is that any small business providing a professional service that can be challenged is vulnerable to a claim of negligence when the advice or service fails to meet a client’s expectations. From allegations of a breach of copyright to accusations of defamation, these kinds of claims can be costly and disruptive regardless of whether they’re fair or not.

For some businesses, there is an expectation that you are protected with professional indemnity. It’s required by external organisations, such as clients, chartered groups and other authorities. Hiscox provide tailored PI cover to such businesses, covering a number of trades and professions, including:

  • IT Contractors

  • Management Consultants

  • Teachers, Trainers & Coaches

  • Marketing 

  • Translators

  • Photographers

Get a PI insurance quote by selecting for your profession from the menu below. If you don’t find your business listed, it doesn’t mean we can’t protect you. Simply enter your business details into our quote application and check what’s available for your profession.

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How does professional indemnity protect your business?

Here are some examples of the type of claim your business could face and how your insurance can cover you::

  • A client made some business changes based on advice you gave them. The changes didn’t bring the benefits they expected and cost them money. So they make a claim against you for compensation.
    Professional indemnity insurance would cover the claim for compensation plus the costs of defending or settling the claim.
     

  • You included a case study about a former client in a presentation at a conference. Afterwards that former client makes a claim against you for defamation, alleging that you made a false statement about them, and demands you pay compensation.
    Professional indemnity insurance would cover the compensation payable plus your legal defence costs.

The amount paid out by Hiscox will be dependent on the level of cover you select.
If you want to see more real life examples of indemnity insurance protecting business owners, read our indemnity Claims Stories. These examples may help you get a better idea of the level of cover appropriate for your business.

How much does professional indemnity insurance cost?

Our professional indemnity cover can be tailored to a wide range of professions, so it’s likely we’ll already understand the most common risks your business could face. But we’ll still need you to tell us a bit about your business, like when you started trading, how many employees you have and what your turnover is.

Hiscox professional indemnity quotes start from £100 a year. By filling out a few simple details you can get a quote specific to your business requirements in a matter of minutesChoose a stand alone product or get covered as part of a comprehensive business insurance package.
 

How much professional indemnity cover do I need?

In a worst-case scenario, what’s the maximum amount you’d need to pay out in legal fees and compensation? That’s how much PI cover your business needs. This will hinge on the size of your clients and contracts, and on the nature of your trade. In many cases the amount of cover you need will be stipulated by clients or by the external organisations you work with.

Hiscox offer a level of cover up to £10,000,000. We offer tailored policies to suit the needs of specific professions so that you can be confident you are properly protected.

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FAQs

If you haven't found the information you need, see if we've caught your query in our FAQ section below, or visit our professional indemnity insurance FAQ hub to find answers to questions on policies, quotes, and payments.

Professional indemnity (PI) insurance helps protect your business if there is a problem with the work that you do for a client.

If you discover a problem with your work, or if someone suggests they might make a claim against you, PI insurance can help you defend the claim. We can advise you on the best course of action to fix the problem, defend the claim, or settle the claim to protect your reputation.

At Hiscox we have created over 20 specialist versions of professional indemnity to better cover the claims our customers face. We can offer you cover tailor made for businesses in your industry, including cover for negligence, breach of contract, infringement of intellectual property or defamation.

Find out more on the type of cover provided by professional indemnity in our FAQ guide.

If you provide professional services to clients, you may need indemnity insurance. If there is a problem with your work, professional indemnity can help protect you from the cost of defending yourself from expensive legal action.

Many clients will require you to have professional indemnity insurance as part of your contract. You should speak to your clients and check your contract carefully to make sure you have the right cover in place. You may also be required to hold PI by your professional body.

Find out if PI cover is mandatory in your field

Every business is unique and faces different risks. That’s why we tailor all our policies to your business. Hiscox PI insurance quotes start from £100 a year, though the cost of cover will depend on the type of work you do and the size of your business.

Get your professional indemnity quote online in minutes.

Read more on the key factors that inform the cost of cover in our professional indemnity cost guide.

The level of cover you choose for professional indemnity should be high enough to cover the cost of defending or settling any claims you might face. If you don’t have enough cover you could find yourself having to pay for any claims yourself.

  • Check your contracts - If you have been asked to purchase insurance as part of a contract, this will often specify the minimum level of cover you need.
  • Check the value of your project and contract you are working on. The amount a client is paying you, and the total value of the work you are contributing towards can give you an indication an indication of the potential size of a professional indemnity claim against you should something go wrong.
  • Check with your peers or a professional body - this can give you guidance to the levels of cover expected in your sector.

Read our guide to get a better understanding of the level of PI cover you need or get in touch with our UK-based experts. Call us on 0800 2800 351.

Yes.

It doesn’t matter if you work from an office or your own home, unfortunately it is always possible that a client could be dissatisfied with your work and want to make a claim against you. Professional indemnity insurance will protect you wherever you do your work, to ensure you are properly protected.

Examples of professional indemnity claims can include:

Our customer was a graphic design company, working for a client to produce a brochure of products in time for an upcoming promotion. A problem was discovered with the layout of the brochure after the brochure went to print.
Hiscox helped the graphic designer deal with the client and paid to reprint the brochures in time for the promotion, protecting the reputation of both parties.

Our customer was an IT company who was working on a new website for a client. The client refused to pay the IT company’s latest bill and began a claim against the customer for the return of money paid to date, claiming that the project was delayed and not to specification. The IT company insisted that the delays were due to the client changing their requirements.
Hiscox were able to negotiate with the client, who agreed to drop their claim, in exchange for the customer waiving their outstanding bill. Hiscox paid the customer’s outstanding fee and both parties parted ways amicably.

Read more real life examples of the indemnity insurance claims Hiscox has defened in our Claims Stories hub.

What is your profession?

Find out more about the professional indemnity insurance covers we offer to a wide range of professions in the list below. If your profession is not listed, please see our professional indemnity insurance policy for other professionals.

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Professional Indemnity Guides, Articles & Answers