Professional Indemnity Insurance is not a legal mandatory requirement, but many industry bodies and business sectors require it, for example, engineering, surveying and accountancy. In addition, many professionals working on a contract basis will need PI insurance in order to be awarded contracts – Archaeologists and Archaeological businesses are likely to fall into this category.
Where you are providing advice, services or designs to a client, PI insurance will protect you against legal costs and compensation potentially resulting from your actions:
· Professional negligence (including poor advice or mistakes)
· Defamation and libel
· Loss of documents and / or data
· Unintentional breach of copyright and / or confidentiality
· Loss of goods and / or money (your own or your client’s for which you are responsible)
Of course, your strive to provide the very best service, but, unfortunately, there is always a chance that you or one of your team might make a mistake.
With PI insurance you are insuring against the possibility of having to pay out thousands of pounds in compensation and legal fees to defend a claim – as well as the opportunity cost of time spent defending the allegations.
Do you need professional indemnity insurance?
If you provide your clients with advice or services, then yes. Most archaeological consultancies do have PI insurance. Most organisations engaging your services will require you to have PI insurance.
What limit of professional indemnity do I need?
If a specific contract requires PI insurance, it's likely that your client will specify a minimum amount.
Otherwise, you industry body may suggest a minimum requirement. If not, it is worth considering a worst case scenario which might occur if you make a mistake in a piece of client work for a client. In UK legal fees can be huge, and your client may incur additional losses too. Levels of cover range from £100,000 and upwards
Understanding Liability Insurance
Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability Insurance covers against any legal liabilities arising from any bodily injury or property damage caused by you to a third party. Like Professional Indemnity insurance, it is not mandatory for archaeologists to have Public Liability Insurance.
However, legal costs and compensation payments can be very large if, for example a member of the public were to die or become injured as a result of your work / activities. Think of the fees, the costs and the expenses incurred during a coroner’s inquest, for example. Again, you will do your very best to make sure that such serious accidents do not occur during the course of your work, but again, mistakes can be made – so it is a good idea to have Public Liability Insurance to protect you and your business. Slips and trips don’t sound very serious, but they could kill your business.
Again, think about the sort of level of cover you need in terms of the maximum claim which could be made against your business. Do large numbers of people visit your ‘attraction’? Heritage sites can be very busy and potentially dangerous.