Management liability

Jun 10, 2024
Management liability

Management Liability

Management liability insurance is increasingly important in the tech industry, where the pace of change and the pressure to innovate can be intense. This is because tech companies often have complex organisational structures and work cultures that can make them vulnerable to various types of legal risks.

But no matter what, management liability insurance can provide protection to all companies and their directors, officers, and employees in the event of a legal dispute. Especially if your business is a startup or a rapidly growing enterprise, this type of insurance can do wonders in protecting your business.

What is management liability?

Management liability insurance is a type of coverage that helps protect businesses from the risks associated with their employees, vendors, and other stakeholders. It shields you from financial losses caused by errors or omissions of individuals in your organisation. 

It’s important to understand that management liability is different from general business liability insurance. General business liability protects against liabilities stemming from products or services provided by the company. In contrast, management liability protects against liabilities arising from decisions made by executives and managers within the company.

For instance, if an employee makes a mistake that leads to financial losses for the business, management liability insurance can help cover those costs. Likewise, if a vendor or customer sues you over a decision made by your managers, management liability coverage helps keep your business safe.

What does management liability insurance cover?

Management liability policies vary but typically cover losses related to errors and omissions of the company’s employees or directors. This includes financial losses due to:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty: This is when directors or officers of a business fail to act in the best interests of the company, perhaps due to negligence, bad decision-making, or breach of trust.
  • Employment practices violations: Some examples include wrongful termination, wage and hour law violations, or discrimination. 
  • Wrongful acts committed by company executives and managers: For instance, fraud, embezzlement, and other illegal acts.
  • Failure to comply with government regulations: This could include failure to properly register for taxes, improper labor practices, and other violations.
  • Unlawful competition or restraint of trade: Usually referring to anti-competitive practices such as price gouging.
  • Violations of intellectual property rights: Unauthorised use of a company’s intellectual property or copyright infringement.
  • Claims of misrepresentation: When a company makes false or misleading statements that lead to financial losses.

Note that management liability insurance only covers third-party claims against the company or its employees/directors. It does not typically cover losses due to internal disputes or other acts of mismanagement on the part of the company.

Why should businesses purchase management liability insurance?

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The costs associated with errors and omissions of employees or directors can be substantial. Lawsuits, settlements, judgments, and legal fees can quickly add up - and that’s why it’s crucial to have management liability insurance in place to protect you from these risks. 

Management liability insurance helps protect your business from the risks associated with growth and mismanagement. What’s more, it’ll even help you prepare for potential legal action by providing financial protection in the event of a lawsuit or settlement. 

Additionally, having this type of coverage in place may reduce the likelihood of a legal dispute occurring in the first place as directors and officers become more diligent in their decision-making and business practices.

How to know what coverage you need

When it comes to management liability insurance, it’s vital to ensure that you are adequately covered. The first step is to understand your business's risks and determine the type of coverage needed.

For instance, if you are a high-tech startup with rapidly changing operations, you may need more comprehensive coverage than a traditional business that has been in operation for decades. Every company should conduct an assessment of their risk profile in order to know what level of management liability is needed. 

Let’s take a look at the differences in need between a startup and an established company. A start-up might face risks including cyber risks, employee misclassification, intellectual property infringement, and market disruption. On the other hand, an established company may have more traditional liabilities such as breach of contract or negligence.

Don’t forget that the types of coverage you need will differ depending on the size and scope of your business. As such, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable insurance provider who can help guide you in selecting the right coverage for your organisation.

What to look for in an insurance provider

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The next step is to work with an insurance provider who can help you find a policy that meets your needs and fits within your budget. An experienced broker can help you understand the coverage options available, identify any gaps in existing policies, and provide advice on how to optimise coverage for future risks.

When making a final decision, you’ll want to make sure that the provider understands the specific risks that your business faces. They should have a clear understanding of the coverage you require and be able to provide tailored advice on how to effectively manage those risks. 

The insurer should also be accredited by the relevant industry bodies, have a good reputation, and provide excellent customer service. The best way to find this all out? Read up on customer reviews and ensure the insurer is regulated by an accreditation body. For example, the two main bodies in Australia include APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) and ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

The startup specialists

Looking for one of these insurers? Upsure goes beyond boring insurance policies and demystifies the process of insurance - forget the jargon and get the right policy for your business.

As founders ourselves, we know how important it is to have a provider who understands the unique needs of a startup. We provide tailored advice and future-proof your business, helping you to focus on building a successful enterprise. 

Want to learn more about our management liability insurance policies? Get in touch or sign up for free to get started.