Professional Indemnity Claims

The reporting procedure for professional indemnity claims is fairly stringent. Any claim, or circumstance that may give rise to a claim, of which you become aware during the policy period must be reported to insurers immediately. If you are in any doubt as to whether a matter ought to be reported we recommend that you notify ourselves and we will advise accordingly.

Reporting professional indemnity claims

  • Contact us to notify us of the incident/circumstance:
  • T: 01270 252 252
  • E: claims@johnheath.com
  • Notify your Insurers if your policy conditions require you to do so.
  • Read your policy conditions to ensure that you have complied with ALL applicable claims notification procedures as these do vary between Insurers. We will of course assist and advise you if required.

Claims Information

Policyholders should be aware that professional indemnity insurance is almost invariably written on a ‘claims made’ basis (in contrast with most other liability policies, which tend to be written on a ‘claims occurring’ basis). This means that a professional indemnity policy will only cover those claims or circumstances (i.e. matters which could give rise to a claim in the future) which are first notified during the policy period.

It is immaterial when the negligence or breach of professional duty occurred (subject to any retroactive date). What is important is the date the intimation of a claim, or allegation of negligence or breach of duty is made against you. The insurance covers the policyholder for claims made during the life of the policy and, subject to the retroactive date on the policy, regardless of when the original act, error, omission or loss occurred.

NOTE: Once a policy has been lapsed or is cancelled, no further cover will operate, notwithstanding that cover was in place at the time of the original act, error or omission.

Your duty at Renewal or Quote stage

For the reasons stated above it is imperative that professional indemnity claims, or a circumstance of which you become aware during the policy period which may lead to a claim, is notified to Insurers immediately. This is true not only during the policy period, but also when ‘renewing’ a policy or taking out a policy with another insurer. Unless the policy is written on a ‘continuous’ basis, each new policy period will usually represent a ‘new’ contract and allow Insurers to avoid claims which should have been notified during the previous policy period, especially where late notification has prejudiced their position.

A full disclosure of all professional indemnity claims and circumstances needs to be made to any new insurer should you be looking for an alternative quotation with us. Therefore if you are aware of any previous claims or circumstances (whether it led to a formal claim on your policy or not) you must let insurers know in your application.

Failure to disclose a claim either in good time or at all may lead to insurers declining to accept the claim and meet any defence costs or third party payments. Failure to disclose any prior claims or circumstances to an insurer may lead to them voiding the policy and cancelling cover.

It should also be noted that for certain professions there are additional obligations in notifying disputes likely to be referred to adjudication under the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. You should be familiar with these obligations and the strict time limits imposed.

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