A Delhi-based hospital was asked by the Apex Consumer Court in 2013 to pay a compensation of INR 4.1 lakh to the husband of a woman who died due to the doctor’s negligence during childbirth in the Delhi-based Parmarth Mission Hospital. This is not just one incidence where the service provider had to pay a heavy amount in order to compensate for the mistake. Such incidences of claims for compensation against negligence and errors have made health professionals and others more aware of the need of having a professional indemnity insurance policy.
Professional liability insurance in India is for those professionals who don’t want to feel unprepared and unarmed while defending against a claim for reimbursement made by clients. Clients can make claims against any type of loss, be it financial or bodily injury.
Though any professional who deals with clients is at risk of a professional indemnity claim, there are certain professions that need this insurance more than others.
Any negligence or malpractice can prove fatal for the well-being of the patients but can prove equally detrimental to the reputation of the doctors. The number of legal cases against doctors for negligence and errors has gone up by 400 percent in the Supreme Court of India. With doctors more likely to face the risk of financial liability in their course of practice, the coverage under professional indemnity insurance becomes even more important.
To err is human, and accountants are not the exception to this phrase. The work nature demands them to deal with complex data on a daily basis, creating possibilities for errors and miscalculations. There are also the chances of document misplacement or theft at the end of the accountants. Any form of error by an accountant can lead to a significant financial loss for the client, for which he or she can claim reimbursement. Only professional indemnity insurance can save accountants from coming out strongly from such claims made by clients.
Lawyers are more prone to claims brought against them for any incorrect advice, breach of confidentiality, or conflict of interest. The client has the right to raise claims even against the infringement of the intellectual property, making them even more difficult to sustain in the field without professional indemnity insurance. Though inclusions under this insurance policy vary from one insurer to another, most of them provide coverage to the lawyers against any type of claims made for their errors, negligence, or omissions.
Engineers & architects
Though engineers and architects are the main hands behind infrastructural development in any area, they are not immune to errors. If a client trips over a tool kept in the work area, he or she can easily make a claim against the engineer for the bodily injury incurred. Only by taking professional indemnity insurance, engineers and architects can protect themselves from such financial claims made by clients.
A minor mistake by a software professional, and a website may shut down for many hours. Such negligence cannot be controlled fully by IT professionals, but professional indemnity insurance can definitely save their grace in such cases. A client who loses out on the potential business just because of website failure or data loss may make claims for financial loss against such IT professionals, so professional indemnity insurance becomes even more important.
The need for professional indemnity insurance for financial advisors is quite obvious, as they are in the business of giving advice, which may go wrong sometimes. A flaw in the advice can lead to huge financial loss for the client, who may retaliate with a claim for compensation. The first thing that financial advisors need to do is to get coverage under this insurance policy to survive for a long in this field.
With professional indemnity insurance in India becoming compulsory after the Companies Act 2013, awareness of it has increased considerably. It’s an insurance that acts as a savior in the true sense when reputation and sustainability are at the stake. While taking a Professional indemnity insurance policy, the professionals must gain clarity about the various inclusions under it, so that they do not face any claim rejection when they need it the most.