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What is not covered by professional indemnity insurance?

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Professional Indemnity (PI) is a key type of business insurance for many freelancers and contractors who provide a professional service to clients.

No matter how meticulous you are, mistakes can happen. When you find yourself facing legal action, it can be daunting and worrying, especially where finances are concerned. That is exactly why many freelancers and contractors choose to protect their business with Professional Indemnity insurance from Caunce O’Hara.

If a client you have worked for takes legal action against you for a financial loss they’ve suffered, because of an alleged mistake or carelessness in the work you’ve completed for them, Professional Indemnity insurance will cover the cost of your legal defence and the cost of putting the mistake right.

If you already have Professional Indemnity insurance or you’re considering taking out a policy, it’s wise to familiarise yourself with the potential risks it does not cover.


Here’s a list of what Caunce O’Hara’s Professional Indemnity Insurance does not cover.

Fines and penalties
Including non-compensatory damages.

Radioactive contaminations and sonic bangs
A loss caused by:

  • ionising radiations or contamination by radioactivity from any nuclear fuel or from any nuclear waste from the combustion of nuclear fuel
  • the radioactive toxic explosive or other hazardous properties of any explosive nuclear assembly or nuclear component
  • pressure waves caused by aircraft and other aerial devices travelling at sonic or supersonic speeds and in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland only
  • riot, civil commotion, strikers, labour or political disturbances, vandals or malicious persons.

War risks and terrorism
A loss caused by:

  • war and/or terrorism
  • any action taken in controlling, preventing or suppressing war and/or terrorism
  • any unlawful or malicious act committed maliciously by a person or persons acting on behalf of or in connection with any unlawful association regardless of any other cause or event contributing concurrently or in any other sequence to the loss
  • contamination due to terrorism.

A loss if it’s caused by or arises in any way from mould.

Other insurance

You will be not be covered where you have a right to payment under any other insurance.

If you have a right to payment under any other insurance, we will contribute in excess of the payment provided by that insurance. If the other insurance is also provided by us then the amount that we will pay under this insurance will be reduced by the amount that we pay under the other insurance.

Legal action

  • where the claim is brought in a court of law within the United States of America or Canada
  • where action for damages is brought in a court within the United States of America or Canada to enforce a foreign judgement.

Employers liability

Where your legal liability arises in any way from:

  • injury to any employee that results from their employment by you
  • a breach of your responsibility as an employer to any employee or prospective employee.

This would be covered by Employers Liability insurance.


Where your legal liability arises in any way from the ownership, possession or use by you or on your behalf of any:

  • land
  • buildings
  • aircraft
  • watercraft
  • mechanically propelled vehicle.

Dishonest and malicious acts

Where your legal liability results from any dishonest, fraudulent, criminal or malicious act or omission committed by any person after the discovery of reasonable cause for suspicion of that person.

Penalties or liquidated damages

Where your legal liability arises from any agreement you have entered into, to pay penalties or liquidated damages if your liability is increased beyond that applicable in the absence of the agreement.

Joint ventures

If you are part of a joint venture or consortium, you will be covered for your legal liability arising from your own acts or omissions only.

Circumstances known at inception

If you knew or should have known of any circumstances that existed prior to the date that this section of cover started, then you will not be covered for any legal liability that arises from these circumstances.

Retroactive date

Where your legal liability arises from the carrying out of your professional services prior to the retroactive date.


Legal liability arising from or involving pollution.

Design and construct / supply

Where your legal liability arises from or involves:

  • the supply of any hardware other than when you provide advice in connection with its supply
  • the recommendation of any product not in accordance with the product’s manufacturer’s recommendations.

Insolvency or bankruptcy

Where your legal liability arises in any way from your insolvency or bankruptcy.

Financial interest

A claim made against you by:

  • any parent company, ultimate holding company or subsidiary company
  • any person or entity having a financial, executive or controlling interest in your operation
  • any company or entity in which you or any director, member or partner of yours has a financial, executive or controlling interest.

Trading losses

Where your legal liability arises in any way from any trading losses, trading liabilities, or debts incurred by any business managed by or carried on by you.

Directors and officers

Where your legal liability arises in any way from or involves the performance or non-performance by you, any director or member of yours, or any employee of any duties as a director or officer of any company.


Where your legal liability arises in any way from or involves the:

  • manufacture
  • mining
  • processing
  • distribution
  • testing
  • remediation
  • removal
  • storage
  • disposal
  • use

or exposure to asbestos.


Claims alleging any infringement of patent.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Any loss that is caused by or arises in any way from the following:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • a mutation or variation of SARS-CoV-2
  • a threat, fear or likelihood of infection with any of the above.


For any Caunce O’Hara policy holders, full details of what your insurance does not cover can be found in your policy document. Please be aware that the exclusions stated in this article are specific to Caunce O’Hara’s Professional Indemnity insurance. Terms may vary from insurer to insurer.

If you would like a quote for your professional indemnity insurance, please call our friendly award-winning team on 0333 321 1403 today or click to get a quick online quote in minutes!


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