What is ‘A Price Worth Paying’ for Your D&O Policy?

"A Price Worth Paying?" by Dechert LLP

Last month Willis London hosted a screening of the film “A Price Worth Paying,” produced by the international law firm Dechert, in which actors assume the roles of board members in the context of an imaginary (but far from unrealistic) scenario raising serious liability issues in the context of  a foreign operation acquired by the company.

The event was attended by well over 100 delegates, who were given the opportunity at various key stages to submit electronic votes on issues surfacing in the story, which were then debated by an expert panel. The issues included senior executive remuneration packages, boardroom dynamics, liability issues relating to sanctions, whistleblowing, concerns relating to bribery and corruption and (last but not least) D&O insurance.

Gaps in D&O Understanding

At the end of the film, the audience were asked:

  1. To what extent they felt they had an adequate understanding of what was covered under their D&O insurance
  2. Whether they thought that most D&O policies were unnecessarily long and complicated.

The answers were quite revealing. Only 39% of those present thought they had an adequate understanding of what was covered under a D&O policy and over half  (57%) felt that their policies were unnecessarily long and complicated.

Given that the audience was made up principally of senior executives, non-executive directors and risk managers, all of whom have a direct interest in the sector, this may seem hardly a ringing endorsement of the industry as a whole.

That said, efforts are always being made to come up with new products. Indeed it is the stated aim of some products to simplify and clarify the nature of the cover. One way of skinning that particular cat is of course our very own concept of Directors All Risks cover (DARCstar).


About Francis Kean

Francis is an Executive Director in Willis Towers Watson's FINEX Global, where he specializes in insurance for Dir…
Categories: Directors & Officers

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