Professional Indemnity Risk Assessment and Management

Professional Indemnity Insurance

The following article aims to cover risk assessment and management around Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Comprehensive professional indemnity insurance will cover you if you’re sued because of error, data loss, intellectual property infringement or dishonesty. There are a few things that you can do to help keep your indemnity risk to a minimum:

Avoiding copyright issues

Copyright, trade-marks and other forms of intellectual property are integral parts of modern business, especially in the digital era.

•Be careful what you copy from the internet. Although things online might be used by individuals without any problems, when businesses do this it can cause problems
•Avoid relying on fair use. Some works are allowed to be picked up within ‘fair use’, however this is a complex area of law. To avoid disputes, it’s better not to do this.
•The best advice for avoiding copyright issues is to create your own intellectual property.
Preventing data breaches

One major professional indemnity risk is data breaches. Whether its client data that you’re holding, or your own files – a leak of that data could result in legal action being taken against you. This relates to Data Protection.

  • Make sure you have anti-virus and anti-malware software, and that all your software is up to date. •Encrypt all of your data. While this might not stop highly sophisticated attacks, just using the built-in encryption software on your computer will stop people accessing this information.
  • Be careful about staff bringing their own devices to work. Laptops, phones and tablets could have viruses that will get onto your network when they connect to the Wi-Fi. You should advise staff of this issue and advise them not to bring their own devices to work.Battling theft and negligence

    A third area of indemnity risk is through theft or employee negligence. By losing client information and data or abusing intellectual property, you’re putting your clients and your own business at risk.
  • It might not seem a big deal if someone gets hold of decommissioned laptops, but unless you’ve destroyed or properly wiped the hard drives, criminals could still use that data
    •If your staff have laptops or other portable equipment with work data on, make sure they’re always careful with them. Advise your staff to be careful where they leave their laptops.
    •Make sure everyone is aware of the risks or the dangers of downloading programmes from the internet. Ideally, you should stop employees from installing new software on computers, and have IT or management handle it instead.


Remember: The key to this type of professional indemnity risk management is training and best practice. Most importantly, managers should be informed, and make sure they lead the way in their handling of risky processes.