Professional Risks

Why do I need Directors and Officers Liability Insurance?

Why do I need Directors and Officers Liability Insurance? 1920 1280 James Hallam

Directors and Officers have a significant role in helping to keep businesses running smoothly, but mistakes can happen. Directors and Officers Liability insurance applies to anyone who serves as a director or officer of a for-profit business or nonprofit organization. In the event that the individual within the business falls short of their obligations, this insurance is intended to protect them from personal losses if they are sued as a result. It can also cover the legal fees and other professional costs of defending yourself against such claims.

Who can sue?

  • The Company
  • Shareholders
  • Third Parties
  • Employees
  • Creditors
  • Regulatory Bodies
  • Competitors

Directors and officers can be sued for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Misrepresentation of company assets
  • Misuse of company funds
  • Improper disclosure
  • Failure to comply with workplace laws
  • Negligent
  • Theft of intellectual property or poaching of competitor’s customers
  • Lack of corporate governance

What does Directors and Officers Liability insurance policy cover?

The purpose is to provide protection for the directors and officers of the company for any alleged wrongful acts that are committed in the course of their duties. A Directors and Officers Liability Insurance Policy is comprised of two sections; officers and directors liability which pays any loss they are liable to pay and which arises from their having committed a wrongful act while acting as such. The second section refers to company reimbursement, if the company is legally liable to indemnify its directors and officers for their actions, this section will reimburse the company in respect of such liability.

Why does my business need to purchase D&O insurance cover?

Any business with a corporate board should consider investing in D&O insurance. While you may not be legally required to have D&O insurance if you are alleged to have acted wrongfully, you could face claims for compensation or criminal proceedings. Regardless of the size of your company, directors and officers can still be personally sued over their management of company affairs. Smaller businesses with fewer assets may need as much protection as larger corporations with higher revenues. There are so many decisions to be made for your business as we navigate through these uncertain times and whilst there is a wealth of professional advice out there, this won’t necessarily prevent allegations being brought against you or your business. It is for this reason that many company directors tend to have D&O cover in place.

D&O Insurers are aware that the current crisis has resulted in more claims, which is causing a hardening market. This means that insurers are likely to revise the D&O cover they provide and increase their premiums. This trend is probably going to continue for the foreseeable future so purchasing a policy now makes sense, even if your other insurance policies are not yet due for renewal.

Reduce Data Exposure to Cyber Threats

Reduce Data Exposure to Cyber Threats 1920 1280 James Hallam

In our current world, protection against cybercrime is needed more than ever. Cyber criminals will be using COVID-19 to increase their activities to attack individuals and organisations. The National Cyber Security Centre has reported a rise in online scams exploiting the pandemic with the aim of obtain money from victims. It is critical for organisations to re-assess their data protection practices to cyber security and help protect themselves from experiencing data exposure and breaching GDPR.

Why is cyber security important?

• Damage to IT systems
• Loss or impairment of critical business data
• Loss or compromise of customer data
• Loss of use of customer facing websites
• Damage to brand or reputation and loss of public trust.

The increase in the number of individuals working from home poses even more risk to businesses as they become more reliant on their IT systems and employees often working on their own devices.

What steps can I take to be prepared for a cyber attack?

1. Protect data using strong passwords and encryption. Make sure you avoid using predictable passwords and provide secure storage for passwords.

2. Secure your computer, wireless network and mobile device. Often cyber criminals will gain entry by exploiting your software. To prevent this, ensure you keep all your applications and operating systems up to date.

3. Provide training against cyber treats. Your employees should know your cyber security policies and know how to report suspicious activity. Providing training on these topics should assist employees in reducing the risk of data exposure.

4. Consider having an offline back up. Back up your data regularly in more than one place and do not leave your backup connected to your device when not in use.

5. Understand phishing threats and how to respond. Phishing is a method cyber criminals use to gather information. They often send victims emails with links that will direct you to fraudulent websites, asking you to provide sensitive information. Providing real life examples through training can help employees understand what to look for and how to best deal with them.

6. Create an incident response plan. While cyber security programmes secure an organisations digital assets, an incident response plan provide steps in case a cyber attacks occurs. This will allow organisations to notify impact customers quickly and limit financial and reputational damages.

7. Use multi factor authentication. This adds a layer of security to protect against compromised credentials. Users must confirm their identity by providing extra information when attempting to access networks, e.g. phone number or security code.

What if my business becomes victim to a cyber attack?

Taking these steps can reduce the chances of you becoming a victim of a cyber-attack but it is impossible to eliminate the risk entirely. Cyber Insurance can help your business deal with and recover from any cyber attacks.