The most common misconception about Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance is that this coverage is only a necessity for large, publicly traded companies. Smaller companies with fewer shareholders may think their exposure to these types of claims may be minimal or nonexistent; however, private companies can face “professional liability” claims from several sources: employees, investors, creditors, customers, competitors, and government agencies just to name a few. The cost alone of defending such claims can sometimes be enough to cripple a business, with settlements and payouts being even more financially devastating.
D&O Insurance Defined:
Directors and Officers insurance is a type of liability insurance (payable to the directors and officers of a company or the organization itself), which covers these individuals/companies for claims made against them while serving as an officer of the company or on the board of directors for any alleged wrongful acts in their capacity as directors or officers.
What are some of the top reasons for private companies to carry D&O insurance?
- Employment Practices Liability. Claims of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful dismissal can happen regardless of a company’s size or stature. These situations can be even more pronounced in smaller companies with a more hands-on management team.
- Peace of mind when taking on investors. Those investing in a business expect to eventually see a return on their investment. However, if a business ends up failing and investors lose their money, they will look to recover it by way of legal action against top executives.
- Personal asset protection. Directors and officers of private companies may have a fair bit of their own money and assets invested into their company, which can subsequently get dragged into defense costs, settlements, and judgements if found liable for any wrongful acts while operating in their duties.
- Legal expenses. Companies can still get drawn into litigation even if claims of alleged wrongful D&O acts are groundless, and the costs to defend such unfounded claims can add up quickly.
- It is now more affordable than ever. The market for D&O insurance has grown substantially over the past decade, with most insurance providers offering some form of coverage. Depending on the size of your company, D&O insurance premiums may only represent a small additional cost in proportion to the rest of your insurance coverage.
Perhaps most importantly, having a sound D&O insurance program in place offers peace of mind to management, allowing them to better focus their efforts on other important areas such as business growth and smooth operations. Getting a quote is easy – speak to one of our commercial insurance experts today about what options make sense for your business.
Since our origins in 1954, The Hull Group has positioned itself as a boutique brokerage that focuses on serving the insurance needs of clients in select industries, allowing us to hone our expertise and develop partnerships that continue to be strengthened over time. Although we have successfully served clients from a broad range of industry sectors, our core focus remains on serving the insurance and risk management needs of the following industries:
- Communications and Media. Considered a pioneer in this space, The Hull Group has served the insurance needs of major industry players across telecommunications, TV broadcasting, film production, entertainment, and marketing. Serving the likes of Canada’s largest provider of cellular voice and data, one of the most prestigious and internationally recognized film festivals, as well as Canada’s largest cable television provider for several years has deepened our roots in these industries.
- Information Technology. In today’s day and age, this is arguably an industry that ties everything together. Our particular focus stems from the recognition that IT is one of the largest and fastest growing industries, whereby competency in this area is fundamental to understanding business opportunity and risk in general. Keeping pace in such a fast moving space involves experts dedicated to staying abreast of trends and active involvement, such as The Hull Group’s sponsorship of industry organizations like AceTech Ontario, and our partnership with IT cyber security experts Watsec.
- Professional Services. When most consumers think about insurance, mostly property damage and liability for bodily injury come to mind. However, for service oriented businesses, a primary loss exposure is the failure to perform or a defect in a service provided, resulting in financial injury to a customer. Working with clients across a broad spectrum of services, including one of the Big Four auditors, as well as one of Canada’s largest providers of talent management and staffing solutions, has solidified our position as a brokerage of choice when it comes to professional liability protection.
- Manufacturing and Large Retail. Many businesses operating in this space are faced with several challenges when it comes to foreign sales, distribution and operations. Having an expert to guide you through the complicated waters of foreign regulations while still keeping your business fully protected is integral to maintaining smooth operations and continued growth. The Hull Group has held longstanding partnerships with industry leaders in food packaging and distribution, electronic product development and manufacturing, as well as numerous other product retail and manufacturing categories.
Taking a specialist (rather than a generalist) approach has not only allowed us to continually hone our expertise and build longstanding industry partnerships, but it has also allowed us to develop specialized insurance programs with a pool of preferred insurers who have supported us in tailoring these programs to the unique needs of clients who operate in our areas of focus.
To find out more about our specialized insurance services, contact one of our experts today.
Cyber crime is quickly becoming the number one threat to business in the 21st century. According to Insurance Journal, a recent survey conducted by The Risk Management Society (RIMS) cites the top three first party cyber exposures as: reputational harm, business interruption, and data breach response/notification costs.
The insurance industry has been quick to respond to these evolving threats by continuously innovating new coverages to help mitigate any financial burden once a cyber loss occurs. However, some damage, such as reputational harm to a business, can be irreparable, as the transfer of risk via insurance can only go so far when it comes to these “intangible” types of losses. Recent high profile examples of catastrophic data breaches, such as Ashley Madison, Home Depot, and Sony Pictures highlight the need to focus on cyber risk management and prevention.
The Hull Group has recently partnered with Watsec Cyber Risk Management to offer a comprehensive and practical cyber risk reduction solution: TUF. TUF is not an IT solution, but rather a senior leadership solution designed to provide clear insight into an organization’s true cyber risk exposure and the effectiveness of its teams’ efforts to reduce this critical business risk. The TUF program has three different options: TUF for Small Business, TUF Standard Plan for Business, and Customized TUF for Higher Risk Clients. All TUF plans include:
- Access to Watsec’s cyber risk awareness online module
- Vulnerability Assessment of network connections exposed to the public internet
- High level network focused security assessment
- Cyber Resilience Roadmap & Review of critical security policies
- Secure access to Watsec’s client portal for your reports and results
- Quarterly consultation with Watsec’s security specialists
- Quarterly Executive Summary Report (QESR) and review with their executive team
TUF cyber risk reduction plans are designed to complement any cyber risk insurance policy already in place. For more information on “getting TUF” and exclusive discounts offered to Hull Group clients, contact one of our Commercial Risk experts today.
Insurance is catching up with modern day business risks and evolving to address current trends. Unfortunately, data breaches have been an issue for some time, but cyber insurance is available and shaping up to be an effective tool to mitigate certain damages.
In response to the rise of smartphones, mobile payments, cloud computing, and widely publicized data breaches over the past few years, parliament recently passed the Digital Privacy Act (DPA) which expands the powers of Canada’s Privacy Commissioner and increases the burden on businesses to notify persons whose personal information has been exposed as a result of a data breach. Once the new mandatory provisions come into effect (likely sometime this summer), what will it mean for your business?
- Increased burden and privacy breach reporting costs
- Increased potential for third party and regulatory litigation
- Increased risk of reputational damage as breaches will be made public
- Increased need to talk to us about your insurance protection
Cyber Insurance can make a crucial difference in how your business continues to operate and the impact to your revenue and reputation following a data breach.
To learn more about how you can protect yourself and your company against a data breach, contact one of our Corporate Risk representatives today.
To read more about Cyber Risk in the news, click on the following articles below:
From CanadianUnderwriter.ca: Poised for Change
From Insurance Journal.com: Top 3 Reasons Firms are Buying Cyber Insurance
Similar to the way you protect your car and home with insurance, the right type of insurance for your business can provide you with peace of mind in your personal and business life. To protect your assets and your business from potential risks, you should consider obtaining business insurance.
Business insurance can protect your new or growing business in a number of ways, including insurance for business property, earnings, and liability. Insurance policies can provide coverage in the event that a disaster or emergency destroys part or all of your business premises and/or assets, and can protect your business from the legal costs resulting from a lawsuit for personal injury or property damages. Some of the most common types of business insurance coverage available today are Commercial General Liability (CGL), and professional liability coverage, known as Errors and Omissions.
Commercial General Liability protects your business if you are found legally liable for injuries or property damage caused by your product, completed work, or accidents on your premises involving visitors or customers.
Errors and Omissions coverage is designed to protect professional individuals and companies against claims for financial loss associated with negligence, malpractice, errors, and omissions resulting from their professional services.
Insurance needs can vary greatly which is why it’s best to get advice from a trusted broker like The Hull Group who is familiar with your specific type of business and can guide you towards the right protection. Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your business with the right type of insurance.
What is risk management?
Risk management is the forecasting and evaluation of financial risks together with the identification of policies and procedures to avoid or minimize their impact.
The role of insurance in risk management
A successful corporation understands risks and takes precautionary measures so that if the unexpected were to occur, it will be addressed with little to no negative impact, and bottom line damages will be mitigated.
It is important for every growing corporation, or one that is developing new operations, to seek the experience of an insurance and risk consultant who can assess the financial exposure of known risks, and discuss risks that might not have been identified.
Buying an insurance policy is not a holistic approach to risk management. There are a number of strategies, within a risk management plan, that can be discussed. This type of partnership will result in identifying, prioritizing and quantifying the risks, then identifying the most efficient use of insurance policies in managing those risks which are insurable.
Consider this guide for dealing with risk from ClearRisk and contact one of our Risk Management experts today.
1. Create a risk register. Brainstorm with your team about what risks you have: Operational, Hazard, Financial and Strategic.
2. Prioritize your risks in a risk map.
3. For each risk, assess what you are already doing about it. Is it enough?
4. If not, what else can you do to manage the risk? What are your options and what will be the cost and effectiveness of each alternative?
5. Implement the chosen risk management solution(s).
6. At least annually go back to the team and assess the list of risks, their priority, the efficacy of the risk management solutions in place.
7. Consider whether these changes will require an adjustment to your risk management plans and make the required changes.
The Hull Group understands the evolution of cyber attacks: the extreme vigilance required, adaptive security measures, awareness of new levels and types of business risk, and the rising demand for customized insurance products that mitigate service disruptions, defend profits and maintain image.
It has become increasingly clear that traditional insurance policies no longer adequately protect against the hazards of cyber attacks. “Protect the Perimeter” technology strategies are insufficient. Cyber attackers are gaining ground and many organizations don’t have enough knowledge of the types of business exposures or effective responses during an actual attack.
Damage that results from an inadequate response to a breach can sometimes be worse than the breach itself.
The problem does not end there. In fact, the cyber security environment is getting more risk-prone in the eyes of customers. Early elements of a backlash against digital transactions are already occurring and negative economic implications are beginning to materialize.
To learn more about how you can protect yourself and your company against Cyber Risks, contact one of our Corporate Risk representatives today.
To read more about Cyber Risk in the news, click on the following articles below:
From CFO.com: The Rising Strategic Risks of Cyber Attacks.
From Canadian Underwriter.ca: Cyber risk landscape quickly evolving, need to prepare with appropriate coverage.