Whether you work as an independent accountant or own an accounting firm, your clients rely on you everyday to keep their personal and/or commercial finances in order. Not only is this an important responsibility, but it also opens you up to a wide range of perils. Undoubtedly, you provide a valuable service to your clients and are diligent and excel at what you do. However, whenever finances are involved, even the smallest error or lapse in judgment can have monumental consequences.
To mitigate these risks, it's essential that you have the right accountant insurance. It's important that your unique policy is completely tailored to your specific needs. That way, you can have peace of mind knowing you'll be properly covered in the event of a damaging allegation. Not to mention, whether you work from a home office or own a commercial space, accidents do happen. Protect your assets from theft, fire damage and more with the right insurance policy.
While you may have to worry less about physical risks than other industries, there are still many problems that could pop up throughout the course of your work day. For example, say you are filing taxes for a client but make a mistake. The client gets audited, and you land in a pool of hot water. The client may decide to sue you for financial damages.
Another issue that could arise is if you miscalculate a client's annual revenue, suggesting they made more than they actually did. This could lead to financial losses down the line, and give the client grounds to sue you. Without accountant insurance, either of these situations could lead to serious financial expenses that could ultimately force you out of business if you aren't insured.
Accountant insurance protects you and your business from a range of perils that may occur during your daily operations. Not only should you insure against professional liability, but also consider protecting your commercial office space, against a cyber attack, and more. Not to mention, if you have employees it's up to you to protect them as well. While there are coverages you can purchase to help protect your employees' interests, it's also important to note that workers' compensation insurance is actually provided by the government.
Likewise, if you work from home then you should consider insuring your office space. While a house-fire may be covered under your home insurance policy, replacing office furniture and supplies may not be—dependent on the policy. Since policies vary from insurer to insurer, it's best to have your Morison Insurance broker walk you through the specifics of your policy—so you can make sure there are no gaps and that you're adequately covered.
Any individual working as an accountant should have the necessary insurance. In fact, many firms require accountants to have at minimum professional liability insurance. While we'll dive into this type of insurance further momentarily, it essentially covers you in case you're accused of losing a client money due to your professional services. Ensure you protect yourself, and your employees, with the best insurance policy tailored to your needs. Individuals falling into the following categories need accountant insurance:
While you may be prepared to purchase at minimum professional liability insurance, there are a range of other coverages available to accountants that will offer further peace of mind. Remember, in the event of an accident or disaster that destroys your office or where you're facing a lawsuit, the expenses will be incredibly high. Having to pay for said expenses out-of-pocket is a stress most savvy business owners will choose to avoid.
No matter the size of your company, accountant insurance is integral to protecting you, your employees and your assets. At Morison Insurance, we'll help you protect your company with an insurance policy that works for you. Each of our licensed, qualified brokers will shop around for the best policy possible, ensuring you can breathe easy knowing you're properly covered.
Beyond the basics, there are many coverages available to accountants and those working in related fields. When you partner with a Morison Insurance broker, we'll ensure that your policy is created especially for your unique needs. Much like how you know the unique ins and outs of your different clients' finances, we know how to help you find a comprehensive accountant insurance policy designed to provide the best coverage possible.
If you don't own a commercial space, but operate out of a home office, you still need insurance. Relying on your home insurance policy may not be enough if something were to happen to your home. In this case, you need a home-based business insurance plan to cover your office equipment and off-premise business interruption insurance. The latter protects you financially in case you're unable to work due to something happening to your home (permitting the event is covered by your policy). A home-based business policy will also cover you for additional liability for clients, delivery personnel and employees that visit your home office.
Also known as errors and omissions insurance, this coverage is one of the most important for accountants. Since you provide a professional service, and often give advice to your clients, it's foolhardy to operate without professional liability coverage. This coverage protects you from client claims alleging financial loss due to misconduct, negligence, failure to deliver promised service and due to bad advice. If you make a mistake, or provide advice that winds up costing your client money, you could be in serious legal trouble. An errors and omissions policy will help off-set legal fees—including settlements. Furthermore, this type of insurance can protect you against alleged advertising injury, depending on the policy. This is where a client feels your services were not delivered as advertised.
Professional liability may protect you against claims related to your professional services, but it won't protect you from third-party injury or property damage claims. For this, you need commercial general liability coverage. This policy provides financial coverage for legal costs in the event of a lawsuit due to third-party injury or property damage. For instance, say a client is on their way to your offices and slips and falls on ice on your premises. You could be held liable for their medical fees and may have to settle if found responsible for the injury.
If you own an office building, having to replace the building and/or its contents after an accident or natural disaster can be a devastating financial loss—without the right insurance coverage. With commercial property insurance, your office is protected against physical loss or damage to the property and/or its contents due to theft, vandalism or an external disaster like a fire. This policy can be a lifesaver, as rebuilding a commercial property can be incredibly financially taxing. It's important to note that not all policies provide coverage for flood damage, so ask your Morison Insurance broker to clarify about what is and is not included in your commercial property insurance policy.
If you work at a large accounting firm, then you should have directors and officers insurance. Also called D & O insurance for short, directors and officers liability insurance protects the personal assets of corporate directors and officers, and their spouses, in the event they are personally sued by competitors, investors, customers, employees, vendors or other parties. This policy is important, because it protects your management from actual or alleged wrongful acts while running the company.
As an accountant, you're responsible for managing highly sensitive and confidential information. In our digital age, most of your client's information will be found on the computer. If even one hacker infiltrates your system and finds this confidential information, the results can be devastating. But with cyber liability insurance, you can protect yourself in the event this valuable information is lost.
As a professional accountant, you are likely well aware of the possibility that the Canada Revenue Agency could assess you with third-party penalties (TPPs), and that those penalties can easily start at hundreds of thousands of dollars and, in theory, continue to climb from there. That's what makes civil penalties coverage such an important addition to package of insurance for accountants. If you are assessed with a third-party penalty, the civil penalties portion of your accountants insurance coverage will get you insurance compensation to pay the penalty, up to the limits listed on your policy. While this may not account for the entire penalty, it will help considerably to reduce the amount you are responsible for paying.
Throughout the course of your career, there will likely be many times when you need legal advice or services but don't necessarily want to file an insurance claim to access them. Legal expenses insurance for accountants is the perfect solution, as it gives you access to a legal hotline that you can call anytime to speak with an attorney and get advice on a wide range of legal matters, from small claims issues and employment matters to compliance with government directives and contractual problems. You can get the information and qualified advice you need from a licensed attorney and you don't have to pay a service fee or file an insurance claim. Some types of legal expenses insurance will also give you access to legal services such as document review and can cover part or all of the litigation process, including investigation, pleadings and discovery, mediation and arbitration, settlement and appeal.
As an accountant, you may not need to use a vehicle for business purposes as many accounting professionals have their clients visit them at their office. But if you do travel to your clients or need a company-owned vehicle for other work-related purposes, it should be covered by commercial auto insurance to ensure you have legally-mandated car insurance.
As we mentioned, there are many different coverages available to accountants beyond what is listed here—and different insurers offer different policies. Depending on your needs, you might include a few add-on policies such as disability insurance and/or life insurance.
Not only do most firms require you to have professional liability insurance, but if you don't have insurance and make a mistake while working on one of your client's finances, you could wind up in serious legal trouble. Without insurance, being forced to pay out-of-pocket for these legal costs can be financially devastating. Not to mention, you should also protect your office, assets and employees from the worst-case-scenario with proper insurance.
While commercial insurance for accountants is not legally mandated by the government (with the exception of commercial auto insurance, should it be necessary), that doesn't mean it's not required at all. In most cases, accountants are required by their professional association to have CPA liability insurance, and the association likely has rules about how much coverage is necessary for professional liability insurance. CPA professionals should consult with their association to make sure the liability coverage they purchase for their accountant insurance package is compliant with the association's requirements.
Finally, it's important to understand that many clients will simply refuse to work with an accounting professional who does not have the right accountants insurance, and will require you to provide proof of coverage in the form of a certificate of insurance. You will likely also be required to provide proof of property coverage before you can rent or lease a commercial space.
Like any insurance policy, there is no set rate for your unique policy. There are numerous factors that influence what the final cost will be—including, of course, what additional coverages and floaters you choose to add onto your policy. Other influencing factors include:
When you choose to purchase insurance through Morison Insurance, we ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. After all, we're taking on the work of shopping around for insurance rates—and we relish helping our clients find the absolute best insurance coverage for their needs. We want our clients to feel as comfortable and prepared as possible throughout the entire process. To that end, we believe preparation is key. While applying for an accountant insurance quote, your Morison Broker is going to ask you a series of questions. By knowing your answers in advance, you can usher along the application process. A few questions your broker may ask include:
In addition to knowing what questions your insurance broker will ask in-advance, there are also a few proverbial ducks in a row you should get organized before applying for insurance. This will likewise make the process much smoother. Be sure to gather the following information:
Malpractice insurance is another term for professional liability or errors and omissions insurance. This term refers to the type of coverage that will offer financial protection should you wind up facing a lawsuit due to allegations of negligence, malpractice, poor advice and failure to deliver services as promised (breach of contract).
At Morison Insurance, we always put our clients first—and it shows through our loyal clientele choosing our services time and time again. We take great pride in providing outstanding services and finding the best insurance coverage available for our clients. As a family-owned and operated business, we treat all our clients with that same family-oriented mindset. We're in the business of building long-term relationships with all our clients, so you can have peace of mind knowing the Morison team is always in your corner.
To learn more about accounting insurance and to get in touch with our expert brokers, give our team a call at 1-800-463-8074. You can also inquire about a quote online.