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Professional indemnity insurance

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What is professional indemnity insurance?

When you deal with clients they may make important business decisions based on the advice or data, which you give them.

Professional indemnity insurance, or PI insurance, is designed to protect your businesses if a client loses money because they claim you were mistaken, incorrect or negligent in your professional services or advice. 

Professional services can include:

  • design work

  • advice or consultations

  • accountancy and financial advice

  • marketing and graphic design

  • engineering

  • surveyors

  • healthcare workers

You might not think that you need professional indemnity insurance, but a wide range of service companies are potentially at risk.

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What does professional indemnity insurance cover?

PI insurance covers the legal and compensation costs if a third party sues you because they suffered a financial loss as a result of the professional services you provided. The types of risks covered could include: 

  • Breach of contract

  • Professional negligence 

  • Design errors

  • Intellectual property and trademark disputes

  • Plagiarism

  • Defamation and libel

With PI insurance, you can buy cover up to £10 million for legal fees or compensation costs. Bear in mind that even if the claim against you is unsuccessful, you will probably incur legal costs while fighting it.

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Do I need professional indemnity insurance?

PI insurance isn't compulsory.

However, if a claim is made against you, a PI policy would cover:

  • Legal defence fees to defend your company

  • The compensation costs if the claim was successful

Some clients may ask whether you have PI insurance before they will work with you. It can be a requirement before entering a contract.

If you're a member of a professional or trade body you're also likely to need PI insurance as a condition of membership.

You should consider PI cover if you have access to confidential client information, you give advice as a consultant or freelancer, or you deal with software or intellectual property.

Professional indemnity insurance costs

The cost of professional indemnity insurance varies depending on factors such as:

  • your turnover

  • industry

  • number of employees

  • your business’ location

Professional financial advisers might pay £50 a month for their PI policy. Whereas specialist architects or engineers might have to pay much more, because the potential claims against them could be much larger. 

You can see how much your professional indemnity insurance will cost by starting an online quote – it takes less than 10 minutes.


Getting the right professional indemnity insurance policy

As professional services vary widely. Find an insurer who specialises in your industry.

A flexible policy can be tailored to your business needs, so that as your company expands, more cover can be added on if necessary.

You may need protection against issues such as:

  • Negligence

  • Data loss

  • Failing to protect client confidentiality

  • Cyber breach

  • Financial loss

You may also be able to get cover for claims around defamation and intellectual property. This is particularly important now that businesses are actively promoting themselves on social media.

When you take out a professional indemnity insurance policy you cover starts from the day your policy begins.

Therefore, you can't buy cover for an event, piece of advice or issue that arose before the insurance policy came into force.

Comparing professional indemnity quotes

When you compare quotes, look at:

  • The level of cover – does the policy cover everything you need it to? 

  • Flexibility – can you add to or change the policy as your business changes or expands

  • How long do you need cover for? 

  • How does the insurer handle claims and how quickly might you receive a payout?

The best PI insurance is not necessarily the cheapest. Instead, you need to find a policy that covers your industry needs, and provides sufficient cover to protect you in the event of a claim.

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Public liability insurance is a popular type of business insurance. It provides cover for legal and compensation costs in relation to a claim made against a business due to injury or property damage inflicted on a non-employee.

Employers' liability insurance

Employers’ liability (EL) cover is a legal requirement for any UK business that hires employees, including full-time, part-time, contractors or temporary staff.

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance, or PI insurance, is designed to protect your businesses if a client loses money because of a mistake you made in your professional services.

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Travel insurance is a form of cover to protect you while you are away on holiday or travelling abroad. it can also provide monetary compensation for other loss or inconveniences you may suffer when your travels don't go to plan.

Professional indemnity insurance

Fast and flexible monthly cover
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