In February 2016, increased fines were introduced for breaches around corporate manslaughter, food safety and hygiene offences, and health and safety offences. Within the first twelve months, the number of health and safety prosecutions against directors and officers tripled, yet many UK businesses still believe they do not need Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance.
Recent industry research shows that only 26% of SME businesses have D&O insurance, leaving almost three-quarters of UK businesses vulnerable to potentially costly risks. The research also identified that 69% of SMEs do not fully understand the policy, in terms of what is and is not included. This is because D&O insurance is much broader than many people realise, and covers numerous benefits for business owners.
A standard Director and Officers liability insurance policy covers:
• Employment practices and HR issues
• Shareholder actions
• Reporting errors
• Inaccurate or inadequate disclosures
• Misrepresentations in a prospectus
• Decisions exceeding the authority granted to a company officer
• Failure to comply with regulations or laws