Directors & Officers Insurance

Directors & Officers Insurance (D&O) provides financial protection to company leaders.

Empower your executives with peace of mind. Directors & Officers Insurance: where leadership meets protection.

What is Directors & Officers Insurance?

Directors & Officers insurance (D&O) is designed to protect the people who serve as directors or officers of a company, from personal losses if they happen to be sued by a third party. These individuals could be sued by employees, customers, vendors etc. D&O insurance will cover the cost of compensation claims, which may arise from decisions and actions taken as part of their duties.

Who Needs Directors & Officers Insurance?

Directors & Officers insurance is essential for those in leadership roles, whether titled as partner, director, or officer. Responsibility levels are important in many ways but especially if you shape company protocols or investments, D&O coverage is crucial if issues arise. Even in seemingly minor roles, like a tech firm director, personal liability can arise from workplace accidents or mismanagement claims.


Things such as shareholder claims against managing directors for inadequate investment diligence are also common risks. While not legally mandated, lawsuits targeting executives are rising, making this insurance vital to protect both company and personal assets from legal and reputational damage.

What’s Covered with Directors & Officers Insurance?

Invest in your company’s future with Directors & Officers Insurance – securing the path for visionary leadership.

Directors & Officers insurance is a vital component of risk management for companies and their leadership teams. D&O insurance provides financial protection for directors and officers against claims alleging wrongful acts in the performance of their duties. But what exactly does D&O insurance cover?:

  • NFacing claims from investors, shareholders, or directors
  • NDealing with a compensation claim from an injured employee
  • NMaking errors in pension or benefit scheme administration, leading to regulator investigations
  • NFacing defamation actions due to incorrect statements about competitors
  • NDealing with claims of breaching duty under Health and Safety or Corporate Manslaughter Acts
A-One In-house claims shield

Our in-house claims department

Here at A-One, we benefit from an in-house claims department. This means that should you need to make a claim on your policy, you will be appointed a dedicated claims handler to manage your claim from start to finish. Our handlers will bridge the gap between you and your insurer. Working to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf.

This means you'll have one point of contact to manage your claim from start to finish.

Types of Directors & Officers Insurance Claims

Navigating the complex landscape of Directors & Officers insurance claims requires a keen understanding of the diverse array of risks that company leaders face. From shareholder disputes to regulatory investigations, the spectrum of potential claims is vast and ever-evolving. Let’s delve into the different types of D&O insurance claims, exploring scenarios ranging from employee litigation to fraud allegations. By shedding light on these various claim types, we aim to equip you with the knowledge needed to protect your leadership team and your organisation from potential liabilities.

Shareholder Claims
Shareholders may bring claims against directors and officers alleging breaches of duty, mismanagement, or failure to act in the best interests of the company. These claims often arise from decisions related to corporate governance, financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, or dividend distributions.

Employee Claims Employees may file claims against directors and officers for wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, or other employment-related issues. These claims can result in significant legal costs and damages if not properly addressed.
Regulatory Investigations Regulatory agencies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or other governmental bodies may initiate investigations into alleged violations of laws or regulations. These investigations can stem from compliance failures, insider trading, accounting irregularities, or other misconduct.

Lawsuits from Competitors
Competitors may initiate legal action against directors and officers for unfair competition or infringement of intellectual property rights. These claims can result in damage to the company’s reputation and financial standing.

Breach of Duty Claims Directors and officers owe a duty of care and loyalty to the company and its stakeholders. Claims may arise if they breach this duty through negligence, conflicts of interest, or other misconduct, leading to financial losses or harm to the company.
Criminal Proceedings Directors and officers may face criminal charges for white-collar crimes such as fraud, or bribery. Criminal proceedings can have serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and reputational damage.

Mergers & Acquisitions
Claims may arise from mergers, acquisitions, or other corporate transactions, alleging breaches of duty, self-dealing, or conflicts of interest. These claims can delay or jeopardise the completion of the transaction and result in significant legal expenses.

Real Examples of Directors & Officers Claims

Sexual Discrimination & Harassment

The claimant was officially dismissed from her employment for gross misconduct on the grounds of her failure to pass a test. The claimant subsequently sued her former employers, together with a number of her former colleagues. One of whom was deemed to be an Officer of the company, alleging sexual discrimination and sexual harassment. The complaint was ultimately settled for £50,000, but the insured also incurred defence costs. Insurers contributed to both the settlement as well as the defence costs.

Corporate Manslaughter

A driver fell asleep whilst driving for a family-run haulage company as an employee. Two motorists were killed. The court held that the operations manager should have ensured that his driver adhered to the relevant driving regulations. He had also failed to keep in close touch on these matters with his Co-Director. Both Directors therefore incurred substantial defence costs before both were convicted of corporate manslaughter.

Insufficient Controls as a Director

14 Directors of a privately owned delivery business were banned, after the company went into insolvency and was the subject of a subsequent DTI investigation. Only two Directors ran the business on a day to day basis. However, all Directors were found to be responsible for the books and records not being up to the correct standards. Defence costs were incurred to defend the legal actions against the Directors.


The estate of a deceased employee claimed that a Director of the company employing her, was responsible for arranging her death-in-service life insurance cover and had negligently failed to do so. Defence cost: £16,000.

Frequently Asked D&O Insurance Questions

What does Directors & Officers insurance cover?
D&O Insurance typically covers legal defence costs, settlements, and judgments for claims related to alleged wrongful acts, such as mismanagement, breaches of fiduciary duty, or financial misconduct.
Does Directors & Officers insurance cover all legal expenses?
D&O insurance typically covers legal expenses incurred in defending against covered claims, but coverage may vary depending on the policy terms and conditions.
How much D&O cover do I need?
The amount of coverage needed depends on various factors, including the size of the company, its industry, the potential exposure to risks, and the company's risk tolerance.
How can I keep our D&O insurance costs down?
Strategies for reducing D&O insurance costs may include implementing strong corporate governance practices, maintaining a clean claims history, and working with a knowledgeable insurance broker to negotiate favorable terms.

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