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You might consider director and officers insurance a public company’s burden, but it’s a crucial part of many large businesses. Any business, organization, or non-profit with an advisory committee or corporate board is at risk of legal actions by third-party members and thus should consider getting D&O insurance.
This article will discuss everything about this policy and how it can help you and your business in times of need.
What Is Directors and Officers Liability Insurance?
This insurance policy applies specifically to directors and officers of any business or non-profit organization. When serving in this high capacity, these positions are at risk of legal actions for decisions that resulted in perceived damages on the complainant’s side.
Whether these allegations turn out to be true or not, directors and officers will usually be directly responsible for mounting their defense and all the expenses that come with it, such as
- Investigation costs
- Legal fees
- Settlements, etc.
The accused party will then be liable to pay with their assets, and if the situation becomes serious enough, it could harm the business.
Thus, any kind of organization has the incentive to protect its highest-ranking decision-makers or advisors. Directors and officers liability insurance serve this role.
There are several types of D&O insurance, commonly called Side A to C.
Side A Coverage
This type of coverage covers specific circumstances where claims against the directors and officers cannot be paid by their company or organization. These circumstances often stem from bankrupted organizations, which don’t have the resources to protect their officers.
Under this type of coverage, the insurance protects the officers from financial damage to their assets.
Side B Coverage
When companies can afford to pay for the protection of their offices, Side B coverages are usually what they get.
Because the company will provide the expenses for the director or officer, Side B coverage will reimburse the organization for all the costs this has incurred.
Thus under this coverage, the company is protected from losing its corporate assets.
Side C Coverage
This coverage will ensure that the corporate entity will not spend anything when cases against a director or officer have been filed.
Side C coverage protects the company entity from the loss of any of its corporate assets, with all necessary expenses coming from the policy provider.
Thus, this type of coverage is often called “entity coverage.”
What Does D&O Insurance Cover?
When deciding to get directors’ and officers’ insurance, parties must be well aware of what this policy does and does not cover to better evaluate their risks.
This policy indemnifies directors and officers against damaging accusations. High-ranking organization officials are usually at risk of being sued for the following reasons.
Breach of fiduciary duty.
Violation of fiduciary duty is a complex and serious issue. Simply put, fiduciary duty is a legally binding relationship between two parties that calls for unique dependability and power. This type of relationship can occur under many legal circumstances, but the most relevant example is between a corporation and its client.
Thus, whether true or not, you can expect the courts to be meticulous, time-consuming, and expensive. A sufficient D&O insurance policy will ensure that financial damages be constrained to a minimum, if at all.
Regulatory compliance failures.
When companies and nonprofits fail to comply with state or national regulations, the directors and officers will be held liable. When a third party files a case of this nature, your D&O policy will kick in to protect you from financial damage.
Failures in corporate governance
There are many types of corporate governance failures that might lead third parties, or even stakeholders, to file cases against the directors or officers of the organization. Complainants can perceive ineffective governance, auditing biases, misrepresentations, nepotism, etc., within the company and can easily file cases.
D&O coverage will protect the company against losses generated by the cases levied against its directors or officers. In extension, it also protects the individual from losing his assets.
Here are the specific coverages of this type of insurance.
Cases against directors and officers tend to be long and very complex. When this happens, the costs to mount an effective defense will
- Lawyer fees
- Legal costs
- Administrative costs
- Court judgments
Any expenses incurred from settlements will also be included under this policy coverage, whether within or outside the court.
Employment practices liability insurance (EPL)
Many insurance providers now also include employment practices liability in their D&O policy.
What Does D&O Insurance Not Cover?
Even if you have D&O insurance, it’s important to remember that this will not cover all of your risks as an organization. This type of policy covers a specific range of risks to your directors and officers, but it has limits that you need to know about.
Director and officer insurance does not cover:
- Illegal acts
- Wrongful actions
- Property damage
- Bodily injury
How Much D&O Insurance Do I Need?
The degree of protection your directors and officers need depends on the amount of risk they are in.
Some small corporations start with a yearly fee of $2,000.00 to cover $500,00.00 insurance limits. Larger corporations tend to go for a $1 million or more policy limit to cover their decision-makers fully.
Nevertheless, this type of assessment can only really be accurately described by a thorough evaluation. Magnum Insurance can provide high-quality evaluations that won’t cost you any more time than necessary. All you have to do is reach out to us, and we’ll do the rest.
How Much Does D&O Insurance Cost?
Your D&O monthly premium is made to fit your particular needs, so it’s rare for companies to have the same premiums.
Nevertheless, these premiums are affected by several factors, such a:
- Company size
- Operating history, and
- Financial position
D&O Insurance: Wrap-Up
D&O coverage is critical for any organization. This protection allows decision-makers to make bold decisions to act for the benefit of the company or non-profit without the fear of personal ruin.
Whatever kind of organization you have, if you have higher-level decision-makers, you must get a D&O liability insurance policy as soon as possible. Call us today at Magnum Insurance to learn more about D&O and other types of liability insurance!
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