Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) provides cover for practitioners against claims for professional negligence or loss through fraud or dishonesty. Having adequate PII is a mandatory requirement and if you hold an AIA practising certificate you must obtain a minimum level of insurance cover. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate cover with a reputable insurance company or underwriter.
"The public can rest assured that AIA members in practice are qualified to the highest standard; undertake continuing professional development, comply with practising regulations, have current and adequate professional indemnity insurance and abide by the International Federation of Accountants' code of ethics."
When applying for a practising certificate you need to provide evidence that you have appropriate indemnity cover for claims against you arising out of your professional work, this cover must be in force for the period for which the certificate is intended to be valid. The insurance must include two years’ retroactive cover for liabilities arising from circumstances not known at the time the policy was first taken out. You must ensure that your relevant insurance documents are available for inspection by AIA at any time.
LEVELS OF COVER
The level of PII cover you require is calculated in relation to your annual fee income. PII must provide cover in respect of all civil liability incurred in connection with the conduct of a firm’s business by the partners, directors or employees. The limit of PII you require is dependent upon your total income for the previous accounting year. Your total income is the cumulative total of your professional charges and all other income received through your business, including commissions retained.
The regulations set the minimum level of PII you are required to hold. You should consider the risk profile of your work and your clients and decide whether you need to hold PII in excess of the minimum requirements. The minimum limit of indemnity on PII for all Members in Practice must be:
- If your total income in the previous accounting year is less than £400,000 (exclusive of VAT etc.), the minimum amount of indemnity must be equal to two and a half times the total income, or £50,000 in the case of a sole practitioner, or £100,000 in any other case, whichever is the greatest.
- If your total income in the previous accounting year is over £400,000, the minimum amount of indemnity must be equal to £1 million. The maximum permitted excess for PII is £20,000 or two percent of the level of indemnity for each and every claim, whichever is the lowest amount. It is your responsibility to ensure that the PII cover remains in place throughout the period your practising certificate is in force and that cover is maintained for two years following cessation of your practice. This is to cover instances where claims are made at a later date for work undertaken while you were in practice.
- If you are acting as a Liquidator in the Republic of Ireland under the terms of the Companies Act 2014 the amount of indemnity must be equivalent or in excess of €1,500,000 as required by Statutory Instrument 127 2016.