Thursday, August 06, 2020

From the P&C Files: D&O insurance heads' up

It's been a while since we've blogged on Directors and Officers (D&O) liability coverage, and both of those times had to do with churches. But D&O coverage is for pretty much any business or charitable enterprise with boards of directors (or elders, or council members, etc), among others. And just what is this type of policy?


"Think of D&O insurance as coverage for management decisions ... Who makes the decisions? That’s who needs protection."

That's from a recent post over at the Cincinnati Insurance Company's blog, and it's really quite interesting. As the author notes, many organizations, and especially small businesses, hear the term and automatically (and erroneously!) presume it refers exclusively to organizations with a  "Board of Directors," which, if you're a sole prop or very small business, you don't have. But turns out that that kind of thinking can get a small business in a heap o'trouble:

"Anyone who believes they have been harmed by the actions of a company can take legal action against the company and its decision makers."

And who might comprise this list of possible litigators?

That would be folks as diverse as vendors and suppliers, customers, even competitors (and the list goes on).

Absent this coverage, a small business owner (or owners) could be left with some pretty big expenses, even if they prevail at trial.

How's that?

Well, attorney's aren't free, and they aren't cheap (well, you do get what you pay for, one supposes). And those legal costs are going to be out-of-pocket without proper coverage in place, including D&O.

So if you're a small business owner, make sure you discuss this with your agent. It could save you a major headache (and wallet drain) down the road.

[Hat Tip: FoIB Deb C]
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