Our guide to insurance for project managers
What is project manager professional indemnity insurance?
In essence it is a legal protection cover that comes to your aid if you face an accusation of making a professional mistake by an unhappy client who demands some kind of compensation.
If you have the good sense of protecting your business with professional indemnity insurance, you will have access to legal advice and defence paid for by the insurers. You will also gain that peace of mind knowing that someone has your back and works towards a resolution to save your business reputation. And of course your bank balance will not get eroded by legal fees and compensation amounts if you become liable.
Professional indemnity insurance for project managers is widely available in the UK and the extend of cover or the price you will pay will depend on the industry in which you work. For example architects are considered a much higher risk than IT project managers.
Your industry will also determine how many questions you will have to answer during professional indemnity application and whether you will be able to buy cover online.
Why is professional indemnity for project managers important?
By the title of your job, as a project manager you have responsibilities and the extent will vary depending on the size of the project and its future impact on your client.
There have been numerous examples of project managers getting involved in client disputes. One of the most common ones are delays or the final capability delivered is deemed not fit for purpose.
But there are some less common accusations which can lead to legal claims as well. Such as your communication style that could upset a client or their staff. Another example is revealing sensitive information to the public or direct competition. You could face serious reputational and financial damage if a situation of this kind isn’t handled professionally.
As a project manager you juggle several balls at any given time, especially on a multi stream project. Despite doing everything right there are always unpredictable circumstances such as unexpected staff turnover or a change in a third party supply chain that can affect the outcome of your work.
Whether or not the issue is your fault may not stop a dissatisfied client coming to you for a financial remedy. You are their project manager and they will be looking to you for answers and solutions, very often at your own cost.
What to look for when selecting pi insurance for project managers
Price is everyone’s concern and most buyers start with that aspect. However, since professional indemnity insurance is a service, it’s important to understand who you are buying your cover from, how they do business and what will happen in the event of a claim.
The cost of insurance is the primary concern of every buyer in the UK but reviews revolving around cover changes and claims often reveal that it may not be the best strategy.
Fees and charges
Make sure you understand how easy it will be to make changes to your cover and whether it will cost you anything. Also watch for any APR if you select monthly. The interest rate should be reasonable and in proportion to your premium. Is there a policy fee?
Is it clear to you what is required of you if you find yourself in a difficult situation with a client. Who will be handling your claim, will you have to pay anything toward the legal costs, is compensation part of the deal? Make sure you understand the level of service behind the cover you select.
Can you cancel or ‘hibernate’ your cover when you are in between contacts or decided to finish? Some insurance providers make it lengthy, charge a fee and demand a month's notice. All these are extra costs that you may not want to pay.
All insurance providers have the duty to provide access to full cover documentation before you buy. Legal covers contain complex and, let’s be honest, makes for very boring reading. However, the product summary is something you should always read through as minimum. It should outline the basis of cover but also what is excluded.
Business legal protect
- Provides qualified advice on business related legal, tax and negative publicity matters
- Pays legal costs & expenses including appeal costs if you or your business face a legal threat or an HMRC/IR35 enquiry
- Chases up business debts over £200 if your credit control procedures didn’t work
- Included with your Professional Indemnity cover
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