In today’s society Directors and Officers liability is one of the most relevant insurance products, with directors facing an increasingly litigious society and an ever evolving legal environment. Directors and Officers are now coming under increased scrutiny from Shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to act in the best interests of the company and comply with their statutory duties. The current economic climate has led to an increase in claims, yet surprisingly, the majority of UK directors and company officers may not have adequate liability insurance in place or even purchase the cover.
Claims can come from all directions
Failure to act in the company’s best interests, harassment or negligence – there are hundreds of ‘wrongful acts’ that directors and officers can be accused of. They may not even be aware they’ve done anything wrong.
Unfair dismissal, failure to promote, negligent evaluation, harassment or discrimination – there are thousands of claims brought against directors and officers every year.
Companies face investigation from legal bodies such as the Health & Safety Executive and Department of Trade & Industry and other industry-specific regulators, and the associated costs can be significant, even if no wrongdoing is proved.
Following some high-profile claims, shareholders now scrutinise the activities of directors ever more closely, and there are more requirements for transparency of directors’ decisions.
Directors and officers must ensure their company does not breach any European legislation, but with such diverse responsibilities it can be difficult to stay up to date on the latest directives.
These types of claims are being brought more frequently, and directors and officers can be singled out for such claims.