To what extent is there a gap between the actual or perceived risk factors affecting directors of large companies in the current economic climate and the insurance designed to protect against these risks? That was the question which lay behind our decision to run a survey in conjunction with international legal practice Allen & Overy.
The answers of the 2011 Directors’ liability survey, “Directors in Peril – Insurance and Indemnity in Risky Times,” were rather surprising…
The UK is often regarded as a relatively benign litigation environment for directors, with good statutory and common law protections available to directors in the absence of insolvency. One of the findings which was most unexpected is that some 20% of the over 100 directors, in-house lawyers, risk and compliance professionals surveyed had already had experience of a claim or investigation involving one or more directors of the company.
Developing this theme, the single most significant risk affecting directors according to 84% of respondents was that of regulatory and other investigations and enquiries. That makes sense given the current climate.
In addition to the findings, the report also contains comment on the following key themes and risk factors which emerged from it:
- the need to prepare for regulatory investigations and enquiries
- to what extent are fines and penalties insurable
- what is the interrelationship between D&O insurance and company indemnification
- the need to shape international policies so that effective cover is delivered when and where needed