Accountants insurance

Specialist insurance for accountants from as little as £5 a month

  • Fast, easy online quote in 90 seconds

  • 24hr legal advice helpline included

  • No hidden fees or cancellation charges

As a specialist insurer of accountants, we offer unrivalled knowledge of the risks facing accounting professionals and practices, including members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) and Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

What is accountants insurance?

Accountants insurance is designed to protect your business against the unexpected. It can protect you against the costs involved in defending allegations of professional negligence (such as making a mistake in a piece of work), causing injury to a third party, or damage to vital equipment (or property) you use for business.

Why do accountants need insurance?

Even with many years' experience in accountancy, an unexpected circumstance could see a claim brought against you. Without comprehensive cover in place, your business could struggle to survive a claim.

Most accountancy associations (including the ACCA, AAT, CIMA and ICAS) require members to hold a minimum level of accountants professional indemnity insurance to protect you if a client alleges you have made a mistake in your work - such as not filing their accounts on time, making an error in a VAT return or providing poor advice in relation to a self-assessment.

Examples of other claims that could be made against accountants include:

  • A breach of client confidentiality (professional indemnity insurance)
  • An injury suffered by a client during at visit to your office (public liability insurance)
  • The theft of computer equipment containing confidential client accounts (business equipment insurance)
  • A fire or flood at your business premises, resulting in you being unable to work from your usual office (office insurance)

Our specialist accountants insurance can be tailored to provide cover against all these risks and more, as well as giving you complementary access to a 24 hour legal advice helpline and legal hub for any business-related legal issues.

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What insurance do accountants need?

Accountants professional indemnity insurance is often considered a priority for accountants. It pays for your legal fees as well as any compensation which you may be liable for in the event of an allegation of professional negligence.

Public liability insurance for accountants is another important cover to consider, protecting your business in the event someone is injured (or their property damaged) as a result of a mistake you make.

If you employ staff, even on a part time or casual basis, employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement (to hold a minimum of £5m cover), covering against allegations of injury or illness suffered by employees.

Other covers you may want to consider include office and business equipment insurance, cyber insurance and directors and officers insurance.

How to arrange accountants insurance

Arranging accountants insurance with Markel Direct is fast and easy. Our simple quote form will collect a few details about your business and provide you with a quotation for a range of covers.

You can then select which covers you want to include in your policy, ensuring you only ever pay for the cover you want and no unnecessary extras. There are no hidden fees or cancellation charges when you arrange cover with Markel Direct, and you can spread the cost of your policy over 10 interest free instalments.

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Cover starting at £5 a month

Tailor your accountants insurance in minutes with these covers

  • Professional indemnity insurance

    Professional indemnity insurance for accountants covers the cost of defending your business against allegations of professional negligence (such as giving your client incorrect or wrongful advice). If your defence should be unsuccessful, it also covers the cost of damages awarded against you. Making a mistake in a piece of work could cause a financial loss to your client, and they may take legal action against you to recover their losses. This cover is generally considered essential protection for accountants and is usually a requirement of your regulatory body or membership association.

    Examples of claims that accountants professional indemnity insurance could protect against include:

    • Failing to comply with filing deadlines
    • Failing to inform a client that their business has breached the VAT threshold
    • Failing to properly prepare and file end of year accounts
    • Providing incorrect advice regarding a company structure

     Insurance is available with limits ranging from £50,000 to £5m.

  • Public and product liability insurance

    Public and product liability insurance provides cover if someone is injured, or their property damaged, in the course of conducting your accountancy business. This could be, for example, if a visitor to your office were to slip on a wet floor, or if you were to accidentally damage a client's laptop during a meeting (e.g. by knocking it off a table). It covers the legal costs involved with defending your business, as well as any compensation that may be due to third parties. Limits range from £1m to £5m.

  • Employers' liability insurance

    If your accountancy practice has employees, employers' liability insurance is essential cover. It protects against allegations of injury or illness suffereby employees in the course of their employment with you. Legally, you are required to hold a minimum of £5m worth of cover (we provide £10m cover as standard), and it should be arranged for anyone who works for you - including temporary or casual staff.

  • Legal expenses insurance

    Legal expenses insurance covers a wide range of legal costs and expenses that could be incurred in the course of your business - including contract disputes, tax enquiries, attending jury service, debt recovery, personal injury, as well as any award you are required to pay following an employment dispute with an employee. Limit of £100,000.

  • Directors and officers insurance

    If your accountancy firm operates as a limited company, you may wish to consider directors and officers insurance. It protects you in your capacity as a director or officer of the company against against allegations of wrongful acts and any damages subsequently awarded against you. Cover is also provided to defend you against disqualification as a director, investigations and extradition proceedings. Limits range from £100,000 to £5m.

  • Office insurance

    If you own a premises, office insurance covers your office buildings, contents and computer equipment against accidental damage (including theft) whilst on your business premises. In addition, you can insure portable business equipment (such as laptops and mobile phones) on a worldwide basis, and protect your business against loss of income or additional trading expenses with business interruption insurance.

  • Occupational personal accident insurance

    Occupational personal accident insurance can provide you with a weekly payment in the event you are injured (resulting in temporary total disablement) in the course of your work (subject to a 14-day deferment period) and unable to work. Many self-employed professionals choose this cover to maintain a regular source of income should an unexpected accident at work happen.

    Additionally, it can provide you with a lump sum payment in the event of:

    -       Loss of hearing

    -       Loss of speech

    -       Loss of limb(s)

    -       Loss of sight

    -       Permanent Disablement

    -       Death 

  • Cyber and data risks insurance

    Cyber and data risks insurance is an important cover that protects against the costs involved with a cyber attack, including:

    • restoring data and equipment
    • informing clients
    • meeting ransom demands
    • loss of your net profit

    It covers your defence costs, as well as any damages you are liable to pay third parties. You may wish to consider this cover to protect against confidential information about your clients' finances being stolen from internet-connected devices.

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Cover starting at £5 a month

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the AAT insurance requirements?

    The AAT's require licence holders to hold professional indemnity insurance which:

    • is on an 'any one claim' basis
    • includes civil liability cover
    • is fully retroactive

    The limit of professional indemnity insurance the AAT require licence holders to hold is dependent on the firm's gross fee income, and:

    For sole traders, the required professional indemnity limit is the higher of:

    • 2.5 times the firm's gross fee income; or
    • £50,000

    For partnerships, the required professional indemnity limit is the higher of:

    • 2.5 times the firm's gross fee income; or
    • £100,000

    For limited companies, the required professional indemnity limit is the higher of:

    • 2.5 times the firm's gross fee income; or
    • £100,000

    Additionally, if the gross fee income of your firm is greater than £400,000, the maximum level of cover required is £1,000,000.

    Please note this is provided for information purposes only and members should refer to the AAT website for full details.

  • What are the ACCA insurance requirements?

    The ACCA's minimum professional indemnity insurance requirements is calculated in relation to your business' annual fee income.

    If your annual income is less than or equal to £200,000, the required professional indemnity limit is the higher of:

    • 2.5 times the firm's income; or
    • 25 times the largest fee raised by the firm during the relevant accounting year; or
    • £50,000

    If your annual income is £200,000 - £700,000, the required professional indemnity limit is the higher of:

    • the aggregate of £300,000 and your total income; or
    • 25 times the largest fee raised by the firm during the relevant accounting year

    If your annual income is over £700,000, the required professional indemnity limit is the higher of::

    • £1,000,000; or
    • 25 times the largest fee raised by the firm during the relevant accounting year

    Please note this is provided for information purposes only and members should refer to the ACCA website for full details.

  • What are the CIMA insurance requirements?

    A CIMA Member in Practice is required to hold professional indemnity insurance, however CIMA does not advise on the level of cover your business is likely to need.

    We offer a range of limits of professional indemnity insurance for CIMA members, and our article 'how much professional indemnity insurance do I need?' may assist with your decision.

    Please note this is provided for information purposes only and members should refer to the CIMA website for full details.

  • I need proof of cover to start work, do you provide this?

    Yes. We provide a dedicated 'Confirmation of Liability Insurance' document which gives full details about the cover you have with us. This gets emailed to you once your policy is purchased.

  • Is there a limit of cover I should choose?

    Many industries state that you need a minimum level of cover before you can undertake any work for a client, so be sure to check this before you take out any cover. If you're unsure, or it's the first time you have arranged cover, consider the worst-case scenario and what costs could be involved in putting your mistake right.

  • Why should I choose Markel’s insurance?

    With over 25 years of experience insuring contractors, consultants and self-employed professionals, Markel has proven experience in ensuring you have the cover you need. We insure over 200,000 micro businesses and are highly rated by our customers at Feefo.com.

    We are a division of Markel International, a Lloyd’s of London market insurer.

    To discuss your insurance requirements and better understand what cover we can provide, call us on 0371 705 3182 or get a quick quote online.

  • How are Markel regulated?

    Markel International Insurance Company Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Find out more on the Financial Services Register.

Access specialist business services as part of your policy cover

As a specialist insurer of accountants and bookkeepers, we provide a range of useful services for you to access, included as standard with certain covers:

24 hour legal helpline 24/7 legal advice helpline manned by qualified solicitors

Access to our fee-dispute service to assist with unpaid invoices

A specialist cyber response helpline for help in the event of a cyber attack

Legal hub access Legal templates and resources with Markel's Law Hub

 Discounted IR35 contract reviews with your policy

Expert management of public relations crises with The Counsel House

Discover more about help services

Cover starting at £5 a month