A guide to Management Liability insurance

June 11, 2021

Legal actions may be brought against companies for a variety of reasons ranging from allegations of financial mismanagement, to alleged liability for injury/illness or for loss of or damage to property. Therefore, board engagement with Management Liability insurance is critical to protect your business.

What is Management Liability Insurance?

Management Liability insurance is a suite of covers designed to offer legal protection for you, your fellow Directors and Officers and your company for wrongful acts you have, or are alleged to have, committed. There are three sections to this suite of covers:

Directors & Officers Liability (core) - Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance provides protection for the Directors and Officers of a company for claims against them for wrongful acts committed solely by reason of their acting as a Director or Officer of a company.

Employment Practices Liability (optional) - Employment Practices Liability Insurance protects your company against financial loss from claims made by employees for a wide range of employment practice violations, including unfair dismissal or discrimination on grounds of sex, race, disability, religion, belief, or sexual orientation.

Corporate Legal Liability (optional) - CLL is similar to D&O but provides indemnity in respect of costs and awards for any allegations/claims made against the company (entity) as opposed to individuals.

Your Management Liability insurance questions, answered.

Why do we also need Corporate Legal Liability?

As claimants will want the best chance of success, they will deploy a scattergun approach against you (the individual) and the company you work for. Therefore, purchasing CLL ensures an all-encompassing protection.

What is the need for Employment Practices Liability cover?

It is anticipated that there will be a wave of claims post-pandemic, particularly as Government support schemes such as furlough are withdrawn and if employees are laid off. These immediate issues aside, EPL is a vital cover as it defends your business against the allegations of wrongful dismissal, discrimination and harassment to name a few.

What is a wrongful act?

Examples of wrongful acts include:

  • Inland revenue investigation
  • Flouting regulations
  • Making a poor business decision that effects income &/or shareholders or brings the business in to disrepute
  • Making an acquisition with no/scant due diligence that then puts your core business at risk
  • Closing business locations and causing loss to the landlord
  • Sanctioning a site clearance without an environmental survey putting protected wildlife at risk
  • Taking over a business and its obligations but not fulfilling them

In short, anyone can make an allegation of a wrongful act for any number of reasons and Management Liability cover will defend you, as long as you have not acted fraudulently or committed a criminal offence.

Who is covered under a Management Liability insurance policy?

All past, present, and future:

  • Executive Directors
  • Non-Executive Directors – (The liabilities of non-executive directors are the same as those of executive directors)
  • Shadow Directors - A Shadow Director is someone who is not a registered Director of a company but exercises control or influence over a business and on whose instructions the Directors of the company act. Professional Advisors are not regarded as Shadow Directors. A Shadow Director is treated in many ways as a real Director of the company concerned and so will be bound by the same duties and obligations
  • Officers – Managerial and Supervisory roles
What is the most common type of claim under the policy?

Whilst claims can be brought by anyone, the most common claims relate to allegations of Employment Law failings such as:

  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Failure to Promote/Recruit
Are there any exclusions under the policy?

Generally speaking, cover is broad and designed to pay defence costs and awards, irrespective of cause. However, certain types of risk are typically excluded, such as deliberate acts, criminal acts, wilful misconduct or damages for bodily injury and property damage.

Read more Management Liability insurance FAQs here.

A risk management checklist for Directors and Officers

Our specialist team have drafted the following guidance to protect yourself as a Director/Officer:

  • Educate yourself on the risks that drive litigation and regulatory actions
  • Invite subject experts to board meetings to discuss emerging risks
  • Draw on the expertise of insurers and learn from D&O claims trends
  • Reduce risk by developing robust governance and strong culture
  • Encourage diversity of knowledge and experience at board level
  • Carry out due diligence on business partners for corruption, ethics, and cyber risks
  • Do not be afraid to question and challenge the conduct of others
  • Take red flags seriously and act on them

Next steps

We recommend that you catch up on our recent webinar “Directors and Management Teams – what is your personal exposure?” to hear from a panel of recognised experts in this specialist area to help you understand the risks you are personally exposed to and how businesses should be responding. Click here to watch the webinar on demand or click the button below.

For more information on how you can protect yourself and your fellow Directors and Officers within your organisation, please get in touch.

Directors and officers, catch up on our Management Liability webinar Speak to one of our Directors and Officers liability specialists

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