The D&O Policy: Why It’s Important for Administrators of Orders and Colleges

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How does the D&O policy protect administrators?

The Directors & Officers (D&O) liability insurance policy is a type of insurance that covers the financial and legal risks associated with the decisions made by the board members, executives, and senior officials of an organization.

This policy is designed to protect the assets of the administrators and senior officials against legal actions that could be brought against them due to their actions or omissions.

D&O policies are particularly important for administrators of Orders and Colleges, where the management of activities is the responsibility of the board and senior officials. These bodies are made up of volunteer members who dedicate their time and expertise to serving the interests of the professional community.

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The D&O policy ensures that board members and senior officials are protected from any legal actions that might be brought against them due to their decisions or actions during their tenure. The D&O policy is a liability policy, which means it covers damages caused to third parties. This means that if a board member or executive causes harm to third parties due to their decisions or actions, the D&O policy will cover the costs associated with such damages.

The D&O policy also covers the costs associated with legal actions brought against board members or senior officials for any violations of regulations or internal policies of the organization. The D&O policy is composed of several sections, each covering specific risks.

The main sections of the D&O policy include: Civil Liability Section: covers damages caused to third parties due to the decisions or actions of board members or senior officials. Civil Liability for Legal Violations Section: covers the costs associated with legal actions brought against board members or senior officials for any violations of regulations or internal policies of the organization. Legal Defense Section: covers the costs associated with legal defense in case of legal actions brought against board members or senior officials. Loss Compensation Section: covers the losses suffered by the organization due to the actions of board members or senior officials.

Customized D&O Policy: to meet the specific needs of the organization.

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What kind of insurance is it?

The policy insures professional liability for unintentional damages to third parties caused in the performance of the Activities of administrators of Orders and Colleges insured under the policy with a claims made basis.

What is insured?

D&O Policy coverage: The covered activities are all those permitted by law and by regulations governing the exercise of the duties assumed as administrators of Orders and Colleges, which are declared in the questionnaire, except for what is expressly excluded by the policy conditions. The insurance keeps the insured indemnified: for what they are required to pay, as civilly responsible according to Law, for involuntary pecuniary losses caused to third parties and attributable to the

COMPANY ALWAYS CONSIDERS THE FOLLOWING GUARANTEES IN COVERAGE:

Legislative Decree No. 81 9/4/08, privacy code, loss of documents, costs, and expenses (Art. 1917 of the Civil Code). For the complete list of guarantees, please refer to the policy conditions. The insurance is provided in the form of “claims made”, i.e., it covers compensation claims made for the first time against the Insured during the current Insurance Period and reported by him to the Insurers during the same period, provided they are a consequence of events, errors, or omissions occurred or committed not before the agreed retroactivity date. Once the Insurance Period has ended, the Insurers’ obligations cease.

The Insurers compensate damages up to a maximum amount established in the policy (so-called limit, sub-limit).

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What is not insured?

Damages resulting from malice and fraud by the Insured. Deductibles, policy exclusions, and the part of the damage that exceeds the agreed indemnity sub-limit or limit. Activities other than those indicated in the questionnaire/proposal form. Damages resulting from pollution or contamination of any kind. For all fiscal obligations, for social security contributions, fines, and penalties of any kind, penalties, surcharges, exemplary sanctions, or multiple damages inflicted directly on the Insured. Damages caused by war, terrorism, and natural events.

Damages caused by the insolvency or bankruptcy of the Insured; Bodily harm or material damage resulting from acts not directly attributable to a professional obligation. Damages caused by insult and defamation committed by the Insured and by the people who at the time of the fact were staff and/or collaborators of the Insured.

Damages resulting from toxic mold or asbestos. Consequential damages. Criminal justice expenses. Granting of loans, guarantees, or warranties, management of current accounts, real estate brokerage activities, consultancy services, employee infidelity, management, sale, promotion of financial or insurance products. In no case are the Insurers required to provide insurance coverage if doing so exposes them to possible sanctions, prohibitions, or restrictions.

Are there coverage limits?

The Insurers compensate damages up to a maximum amount established in the policy (so-called limit, sub-limit). Deductibles and uncovered amounts remain the responsibility of the Insured. Insurers have the right to recover from the Insured the sums paid to the injured third parties (regress), primarily in the case of actual or presumed malicious or fraudulent acts or omissions. The insurance does not operate for compensation claims advanced by or in the interest of any person or entity that, for any reason, has control of more than 25% of the company’s capital or promoted by the company on the initiative of any person or entity that, for any reason, has control of more than 25% of the company’s capital.

The insurance does not operate for compensation claims brought by, or on behalf of, or in favor of shareholders who directly or indirectly hold more than 25% of the participating shares of the contracting Company.

The Insurers do not respond to compensation claims arising from: circumstances already known to the Insured before the policy commencement; acts committed before the retroactivity date; activities carried out without the authorizations and requirements demanded by the competent Authorities or by existing laws; non-compliance with obligations voluntarily assumed by the Insured contractually; advanced by any subject not considered a third party or having a direct or indirect participation of the Insured except in cases where such Requests are originated by third parties.

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Who are the “Directors & Officers” and what responsibilities do they have within an organization?

The “Directors & Officers” (D&O), or Administrators and Executives, are key figures within an organization, playing prominent roles in management and corporate decision-making. These positions may include, for example, board members, chief executive officers, financial directors, and other high-level roles. Their main responsibility is to lead the company to success, making strategic decisions and overseeing daily operations. The responsibilities of administrators and executives include:

  • Corporate Governance: Ensuring that the company is managed effectively and responsibly, in compliance with applicable regulations and laws. Strategic Decisions: Making decisions that influence the long-term direction of the company, such as expansions, acquisitions, or restructurings. Risk Management: Identifying, assessing, and mitigating business risks, including financial, operational, and reputational risks.
  • Corporate Representation: Representing the company to external stakeholders, such as investors, partners, customers, and regulatory authorities. Legal and Ethical Compliance: Ensuring that the company operates in compliance with current laws and regulations and promoting an ethical corporate culture. Due to these responsibilities, administrators and executives are exposed to significant risks.

They can be held personally responsible for a variety of issues, such as corporate decisions leading to financial losses, non-compliance with laws and regulations, or even legal actions by shareholders, employees, customers, or other parties. These risks justify the need for specific insurance coverage, such as the D&O policy. This policy provides protection for administrators and executives from claims and legal actions arising from their decisions and actions in the context of their corporate role. Without this protection, they could face severe personal financial consequences, which could deter them from making bold but necessary decisions for the company. The D&O policy ensures that they can perform their duties with greater security, knowing they are protected against potential legal and financial risks arising from their leadership role.

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Legal risks and responsibilities that administrators may face in the exercise of their duties, such as managerial decisions that can lead to lawsuits or sanctions.

Administrators and executives of a company, in the exercise of their duties, are exposed to a variety of legal risks and liabilities. These responsibilities stem from their position of authority and the ability to make decisions that affect the entire organization.

Here are some of the main legal risks and liabilities they may face:

  • Breach of Fiduciary Duties: Administrators have a fiduciary duty to act in the interest of the company and its shareholders. Breaching these duties, such as failing to exercise due diligence or loyalty, can lead to legal actions.
  • Non-compliance with Laws and Regulations: Companies must operate within the framework of applicable laws and regulations. Administrators can be held responsible for violations of laws related to issues such as workplace safety, environmental protection, labor law, antitrust, and financial security.
  • Errors in Managerial Decisions: Wrong strategic or operational decisions can lead to significant financial losses. Administrators can be held accountable if it is proven that they did not act with due diligence or competence in making such decisions. Issues Related to Mergers and
  • Acquisitions: During M&A operations, administrators are under close scrutiny and can be liable for incorrect valuations or for not identifying significant risks. Inappropriate Management of Information: Inadequate management of confidential or sensitive information, such as financial or personal data, can lead to legal risks, including liability for data privacy violations.
  • Conflicts of Interest: Administrators must avoid situations where their personal interests conflict with those of the company. These conflicts can lead to legal actions, especially if it is believed they influenced corporate decisions. Liability for Public Statements: Misleading or false public statements, such as those related to the financial health of the company, can lead to legal actions by investors or other stakeholders.
  • Actions of Discrimination or Harassment at Work: Administrators can be held responsible for corporate policies or practices that lead to discrimination or harassment in the workplace. These risks underline the importance of the D&O insurance policy, which provides vital protection for administrators and executives against the financial and legal consequences arising from the exercise of their responsibilities.

The D&O policy helps to ensure that they can focus on leading and growing the company without the constant concern of personal legal risks.

Contact us directly online for a real-time response: you can also reach us on WhatsApp: +39 339.71.50.157  Send a message, and we’ll reply during business hours, within 5 minutes.​

Or call one of our closest offices +39 055 49.32.199+39 02 667.124.17 o r send email at: info@italiafideiussioni.it

Why not take a look at our clients’ testimonials? You’ll be surprised to see how effective we’ve been in meeting their needs

Case studies or real examples where the D&O policy played a crucial role in protecting administrators.

The D&O (Directors & Officers) insurance policy has played a fundamental role in numerous real cases, protecting administrators and executives from significant legal and financial liabilities. Here are some examples and case studies that illustrate the importance of this coverage:

Enron Corporation (2001): One of the most well-known cases is the collapse of Enron, one of the largest corporate frauds in history. Several Enron executives were prosecuted for fraud and other crimes. The D&O policy was crucial in providing coverage for the legal expenses of the administrators and executives involved, as many of them faced personal legal actions.

Lehman Brothers (2008): With the collapse of Lehman Brothers, one of the largest banking failures, followed numerous lawsuits against its executives for allegations of negligence and breach of fiduciary duties. The D&O policy provided essential coverage for the legal expenses arising from these allegations.

WorldCom (2002): In this case, involving another major corporate fraud, the D&O policy allowed the administrators and executives involved to face numerous lawsuits and regulatory investigations without having to directly bear the enormous legal expenses.

Volkswagen Emission Scandal (2015): During the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the company’s executives were accused of manipulating vehicle emissions tests. D&O policies were useful for covering the legal expenses and defense costs of the executives involved.

HP and Autonomy Corporation (2011): After HP’s acquisition of Autonomy Corporation, allegations of financial fraud emerged. Autonomy’s executives were legally pursued, and the D&O policy played a fundamental role in providing coverage for their legal expenses.

These examples demonstrate how the D&O policy is essential for administrators and executives. In situations of corporate crisis, scandals, or simple managerial errors, D&O policies can make the difference between an effective legal defense and the potential personal financial ruin of the administrators and executives involved. It is important to note that the D&O policy does not cover acts of fraud or intentional criminal behaviors, but is crucial for protecting executives from accusations of negligence or unintentional errors in their management role.

How to choose the appropriate D&O policy, what factors to consider, and how to evaluate different offers.

Choosing the right D&O (Directors & Officers) policy requires careful consideration of various factors, as coverage and conditions can vary significantly between different providers. Here are some tips on how to choose the most suitable D&O policy and evaluate different offers:

Evaluate the Specific Needs of the Company: Every company has unique needs depending on its size, sector, corporate structure, and specific risks. It’s crucial to assess the particular coverage needs of the company and its executives.

Level of Coverage: Carefully examine the level of coverage offered. This includes the maximum coverage limits, deductibles, and in what circumstances the policy kicks in. It’s important that the coverage limits are adequate for the potential risks that executives might face. Exclusions and Limitations: Every policy has its exclusions and limitations. Read the terms carefully to understand what is excluded from coverage, such as Fraudulent acts, intentional illegal behavior, or claims arising from issues known before the policy was taken out.

Coverage for Legal Defense: One of the most critical aspects of a D&O policy is the coverage of legal expenses. Ensure that the policy provides adequate coverage for legal defense costs, which can be significant. Reputation and Financial Stability of the Insurer: Choose an insurance provider with a good reputation and financial stability. This is crucial to ensure that the insurer is able to meet its obligations in the event of a claim.

Coverage Extensions: Some policies offer coverage extensions for specific situations, such as coverage for employment practices, environmental liability, or global coverage. Evaluate whether these extensions are relevant for your company. Renewal Terms: Consider the renewal terms of the policy, including any increases in premiums or changes in coverage conditions.

Professional Advice: Consider consulting an insurance broker or a legal advisor specializing in D&O insurance. They can provide expert guidance and help you navigate the various complex options and terms.

Compare Different Offers: Do not limit yourself to considering only one provider. Compare offers from several insurers to find the best combination of coverage and costs.

Read the Details: Finally, read all the details of the policy carefully before making a decision. Make sure you fully understand the terms, conditions, exclusions, and notification requirements of the policy.

Remember that a D&O policy is an investment to protect the personal interests of executives and the financial health of the company. The right choice depends on a careful assessment of specific needs and business risks.


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