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Does Professional Indemnity Insurance Cover Negligence

When a solicitor, surveyor, doctor or other professional fails to meet the standards that should reasonably be expected of a competent person in their position, this is referred to as professional negligence. In some cases, professional negligence can cause serious harm - a negligent surveyor could give incorrect information about property damage and cause their client to purchase a home that is not suitable for habitation. A negligent solicitor might fail to secure compensation payments for a client who was involved in an accident, leading to financial loss and hardship during their recovery.

When you have suffered harm in this way as a result of professional negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. This can help to cover your losses, whether the harm you suffered was financial, physical or emotional. However, many people fail to understand this, or feel that there is no point in making a compensation claim because they do not believe the professional who failed them has the money to pay compensation.

While this is a reasonable concern, it is rarely the case, because many people and businesses who provide professional services have a professional indemnity insurance policy that is designed to cover compensation claims and legal fees for victims of negligence.

Here, the team at Clough & Willis Solicitors explain how professional indemnity cover works, outline what it is for, and offer examples of professional negligence for which people may be eligible to make compensation claims.

How does professional indemnity insurance work?

Professional indemnity insurance is specifically designed to cover claims made against professionals for negligence in the course of their work. This type of insurance is also known as professional liability insurance, and is intended to provide financial protection for professionals who provide advice or services, in case they make a mistake, fail to perform their professional duties, or are found to be negligent in some way.

In order to make a claim, a person must demonstrate that the professional service they received fell short of the expected standard and that they suffered harm as a result. This means that liability in these cases is established in two parts - if financial advisers provided poor business advice to a customer, but the customer ignored the advice and it did not result in any financial loss, there is unlikely to be any scope for a compensation claim.

The amount of compensation that a victim could receive depends on the nature and scale of the harm they suffered. This means that compensation payments in these cases range from relatively small amounts of money to hundreds of thousands of pounds in the most extreme cases. This is why most professional institutes have professional indemnity policies: to avoid having to pay for these losses from their own pockets.

The coverage provided in a professional indemnity policy typically includes legal costs, as well as any damages or settlements that may be awarded to the claimant. However, the specific terms and limits of coverage can vary widely depending on the policy and the insurer, so it is important for professionals to carefully review their policy documents and speak with their insurance provider to understand exactly what is covered. It is also worth noting that professional indemnity insurance does not typically cover intentional wrongdoing, criminal acts, or claims arising from a breach of contract (unless the breach is due to negligence).

If a professional body or individual does not have appropriate cover, this does not mean that victims of negligence cannot make compensation claims. To learn more about your eligibility to claim, speak to the team at Clough & Willis today about the nature of the negligence you experienced and the harm it caused.

What are the most common examples of professional negligence?

Many people do not realise that they have been a victim of professional negligence, but in fact, there are many circumstances under which you may be eligible to make a compensation claim. Some of the most common examples of negligence include:

  • Legal negligence: when a solicitor fails to provide adequate legal advice or representation, this can lead to financial loss or other damages for their client. Negligence in these cases might involve missing crucial deadlines, failing to properly prepare for a case, providing incorrect advice, or settling for a lower compensation amount than the client should reasonably expect to receive.
  • Architectural and engineering negligence: if an architect or engineer provides flawed designs or specifications, this can result in structural failures or other issues that cause financial loss or safety hazards.
  • Financial advisor negligence: when a financial advisor provides poor or incorrect investment advice, leading to financial losses for their client, this may be considered negligence.
  • Accountancy negligence: an accountant may make errors in tax calculations or financial reporting, resulting in financial losses or legal issues for their client that amount to negligence.
  • Surveyor and real estate agent negligence: if a surveyor provides an inaccurate property valuation or fails to identify structural issues, this can affect their client’s financial decisions and lead to losses. A real estate agent may also misrepresent a property or fail to disclose important information, leading to financial loss or other issues for the buyer in a negligent manner.

These are not the only examples of negligence, but almost all professional bodies in these sectors will invest in professional indemnity insurance to make sure they are covered against the risk of compensation claims.

If you believe that poor treatment by a professional caused you harm, speak to the expert professional negligence team at Clough & Willis Solicitors today to learn more about whether or not you are eligible to claim compensation. Call us on 0800 083 0815, or use our online enquiry formto request a call back at your convenience.

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