Buyers back use of indemnity insurance among procurement professionals

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
28 May 2015

Buyers overwhelmingly support the use of indemnity insurance by self-employed procurement professionals, an SM poll has found.

When the SM Jury was asked: “Should self-employed procurement professionals have professional indemnity insurance”, members voted by 11 to one that they should.

The result follows research by constructaquote.com that found a third of self-employed people in the UK did not know what professional indemnity insurance was, while two-fifths who were aware of it had not obtained the cover.

The insurance provides cover in the event of a claim for damages from an employer based on work or advice a professional has provided.

Emma Goodwin, a procurement manager in financial services who voted "yes", said: “Any self-employed business person should have a suitable levels of insurance – it’s part of good business practices. While the risk of a claim if you are acting as a professional is low, the cost of such insurance is relatively low but the benefits high.”

Lee Parkinson, director at Parkinson Procurement Solutions, voted "yes". "In many public sector contracts it is a mandatory minimum requirement," he said.

John Brooks, managing consultant at ANJO Global Consulting, was the only jury member to vote "no".

“It is rare that clients require professional liability insurance, generally because the action plans come about with shared responsibility, that is, between myself and the client,” he said.

“However, in the case where the client relies fully on the expertise of the professional, for example an engineer, then it is essential that the engineer, or any similar professional, carries adequate professional liability insurance.”

John Milne, procurement consultant at Hampco, voted "yes". “Everyone has an opinion and some who consider themselves as better informed might contemplate setting themselves as independent consultants," he said.

“Those with more vanity than sense will term themselves as experts and could be drawn into contentious areas. Thereupon they may actually be involved in decision making processes that affect business projects, strategies and, remember this, real people. The consequences are fraught with danger and only a fool would continue without the cover of indemnity insurance.”

Want to have your say on procurement's hot topics? Email Will Green to join the SM Jury

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