Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance for Members


AIMS is pleased to announce a partnership with Austbrokers Countrywide to provide insurance products and services to its members. Austbrokers Countrywide is a leading Insurance Broker providing services to professional associations with specialized insurance products for thousands of consulting professionals right across Australia.

If you would like to arrange an insurance quote or simply have a discussion with Austbrokers Countrywide for Professional Indemnity, Public Liability or any other insurance product please click on the link below. It will take you to the Austbrokers Countrywide website where you can find forms and additional information relating to the insurance offerings tailored for AIMS Members. 

 

  Click here for an insurance quote or enquiry   

 

What is the professional liability of a Marine Surveyor ?

 

In Australia professionals have a legal duty to do their work to the standard of their profession. Where they perform work without due care, resulting in damage, the consultant (or their employer) can be held liable to pay compensation. Professional liability is the term used to describe the liability professionals have for any act or omission that is in breach of a duty of care that they owe. It is also known as professional negligence. 

 

The potential liability is to compensate for damage caused by negligence. The damage may be physical damage (damage to a vessel), economic loss (money lost by a person who no longer has use of the vessel or debt over a vessel) and physical injury (caused to a person due to professional negligence).

What is Professional Indemnity Insurance and what does it cover?

Professional indemnity (PI) insurance is designed to cover a Marine Surveyor for errors and omissions associated with the advice and services provided to clients including advice included in reports and surveys. PI insurance covers your legal liability for claims arising out of an actual or alleged breach of professional duty.  PI will not just provide cover for the damage caused by the mistake, but also the legal costs and expenses of investigating and defending the consulting advice and conduct. Payment of the legal costs associated with defending an allegation of negligence or similar is often the part of the insurance cover most appreciated by the Marine Surveyor. It would be fair to say that a good fifty per cent of costs incurred by Insurers in defending Marine Surveyors in professional negligence claims is purely the cost of legal fees. In a number of circumstances it is legal fees incurred to clear the Marine Surveyors name and get them extracted from ongoing litigation. Legal defence costs are a large part of PI insurance claim costs.

Professional Indemnity insurance can also include extensions that provide additional protection for:

  • reconstituting a client's documents if lost or destroyed (“loss of documents cover”);
  • loss of money due to fraud or dishonesty committed by an employers employees; or
  • the costs of appearing in official investigations by tribunals, ombudsman bodies or even royal commissions (“Inquiries costs cover”).

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance covers you against legal liability for any unexpected and unintended event that results in damage to property or bodily injury to third parties. The majority of claims arise out of ‘negligence’ which has been defined as the omission to do something which a reasonable person would do. Whilst the majority of claims arise from negligence they sometimes arise out of nuisance which is the ‘interference with the enjoyment of the land’. We often refer to Public Liability insurance as cover for accidents. An example might be a member of the public slips over a surface which has become wet or been washed and is injured as a result. This policy covers the costs of the bodily injury or property damage caused as a result of the accident.

What is Run-Off Cover Insurance?

Run-off Insurance applies to ‘claims made’ insurance. If your PI Insurance is allowed to lapse or cease and a claim is made against you after the lapse date, the insurer will not cover the claim and argue they have been notified after the policy has lapsed. This is even if the claim arises from work completed while the policy was active. PI Insurance is known as a ‘claims made’ policy where claims can only be notified and accepted by the Insurer on a current and active policy. Run-off Insurance is essentially a continuation of insurance (even after retirement) in order to maintain protection against past consulting work. It is common for Marine Surveyors to purchase ‘Run Off Cover’ Professional Indemnity insurance which commonly runs for six years after they cease offering Marine Surveying services. It is important Marine Surveyors are aware of this additional cost of insurance after they stop consultancy work so they need to include additional charges whilst consulting to save for the cost of Run Off cover insurance once they cease consultancy work.

Public Liability Insurance is an ‘occurrence-based’ insurance policy. This insurance covers loss arising from an act that took place at the time the policy was in effect, regardless of when the claim is made. Due to this fact you are able to let your Public Liability Insurance lapse as soon as your consulting work has been finished and you are not planning any future work. The existing policy will still be able to be notified of future claims from events that took place while the policy was in place.

It is only the PI Insurance (claims-made policy) which requires Run Off Cover Insurance to be purchased once you cease the marine surveying work.

Further information on all insurance products you can go to www.abcountrywide.com.au. In relation to obtaining quotes for PI and Public Liability insurance specifically designed for AIMS members click on the link below:

 

  Click here for an insurance quote or enquiry   

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The largest industry body in the Australasian region for professional marine surveyors. Established 1986.
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