Short-term insurer and financial services provider, MiWay, has launched a new product within its MiWay Business Insurance portfolio offering professional liability cover. The product is aimed at a wide range of professionals and breaks new ground in the direct insurance market. The policy is designed for anyone who would require a qualification to practice his or her profession or trade, including accountants, engineers and architects.
“South Africa’s economy relies on professionals to offer the advice companies and individuals need to make the right decisions. However, professionals face the risk of legal action from dissatisfied clients. Our cover is designed to protect them against this risk,” says Jason Mellow, Head of Business Insurance at MiWay.
The MiWay Professional Liability cover protects professionals against the risk of providing the wrong advice or making errors or omissions in the course of their professional activities. In addition, the policy will cover professionals against defamation claims, lost or damaged documents, as well as fee recovery.
For example, an accountant who calculates the amount of VAT owed to SARS incorrectly would be covered for resulting penalties and interest, and an architect whose drawings are lost in a municipal office would be covered for an amount of up to 5% of the total indemnity.
Professionals face significant risk relating to the withholding of their fees by aggrieved clients, and the policy will cover legal expenses incurred in contesting such an action. Another key risk is when a professional subcontracts work to other professionals. For example, an accountant who gives advice to clients might refer certain issues to a tax attorney. If the tax attorney provided inaccurate advice, and the accountant found herself facing a liability claim, the policy would kick in.
“Given the variety of work that professionals undertake, the document is detailed. However, our consultants are on hand to help professionals understand the terms thoroughly to ensure the cover matches their particular risk profile,” says Mellow.
The cover is suitable for a range of professionals, including accountants, bookkeepers, tax consultants, auditors, management consultants, estate and property agents, architects, general contractors, printing companies, electricians and electrical companies and plumbers.
“This new Professional Liability cover makes it easy for busy professionals to mitigate their business risks using a policy designed with them in mind,” says Mellow.