ACE Europe has announced an extension to its Elite IV Directors & Officers (D&O) liability insurance cover. “The ACE Elite IV Entity Endorsement responds to the increased exposures faced by Irish companies, their directors and senior managers as a result of The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005,” said the bulletin.
Under the Act, which is similar to the one that came into force in the UK last year, company directors and senior managers face prosecution for workplace health and safety offences. This can result in directors and senior managers being held personally responsible for organizational breaches of health and safety law. ACE’s response is to extend the protection available to Irish SME companies under its Elite IV policy.
New wording in the coverage now provides the following:
— separate limits of liability for claims of wrongful acts taken against the company itself, maintaining the individual protection of directors and senior management;
— cover for legal representation expenses incurred by the company for investigations under The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, and
— public relations costs incurred in limiting the damage to the company’s reputation, following prosecutions under the Act.
In addition ACE noted that “specific cover is provided for employment practices liability claims against the company, providing balance sheet protection against defense costs and awards incurred defending claims for actual or alleged employment related wrongful acts.
Damien Toal, ACE’s Financial Lines Manager for Ireland commented: “The legal and legislative environment for small and medium sized companies and their directors is constantly evolving – as a leading provider of D&O insurance, it is vital that our cover continues to reflect these changes.
“Under the Act, individual directors are increasingly at risk and it is important that they have cover in place that will protect their individual assets. The addition of separate limits of liability for claims against the company itself is vital protection for small and medium sized companies where the directors, officers and senior managers are likely to have a substantial financial interest in the company.”
Source: ACE Europe – www.aceeuropeangroup.com
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