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Fiduciary Liability Insurance: The Importance for Businesses

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Directors, officers, and employees carrying out fiduciary duty are likely to be sued for mismanagement of employees’ benefits plans and retirement. Hence, businesses are advised to prepare for a potential lawsuit by purchasing fiduciary insurance.

What is Fiduciary?

A Fiduciary can be a person, committee, or organization working on behalf of employees by taking care of their retirement funds or benefits. A fiduciary or a group taking the role will act in the best interest of the employees in the company. In cases where a third party handles the employees’ plans, the company must employ officers to oversee the activities.

Companies that offer benefits like employee welfare and retirement benefit plans need a fiduciary to manage these plans. A retirement plan is payable to an employee after they retire. So, it must be managed from the time the employee enters into the agreement till retirement. Employee welfare, which is separate from wages, is also managed by the fiduciary committee.

Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Fiduciary liability insurance is designed to protect individuals handling fiduciary duties when a claim of mismanagement or breach in the agreement is filed. For example, there may be a claim that the administration managing retirement or employee benefits has failed to manage the funds adequately, made errors that lead to loss, or was unable to act in conformity with governmental laws. When any of these claims are filed against a business, the costs of legal battles and settlement or fine, as the case may be, will be covered by the fiduciary policy.

Sometimes, a third party may handle employees’ benefits and retirement plans. Yet, an employer must have officers who oversee the service provider. When issues arise, employees will sue the employer, not the third party, since they don’t have direct dealings. The employer can lose a lot of money or go bankrupt, depending on the number of claims. And this is because fines levied can be huge, and when there are multiple claims, the penalty is more significant. However, if a business is prepared, a fiduciary liability insurance policy will cover the cost and protect the company from taking the hit.

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Fiduciary Liability Insurance: The Importance for Businesses 2

What Does Fiduciary Insurance Cover?

The policy covers an extensive list of errors and mismanagement acts as examined below:

• If a fiduciary committee took an irrational investment step with employees’ benefits and retirement funds and resulted in a loss, the policy will cover the legal cost. It will also take care of penalties or fines.

• Additionally, the policy also covers poor supervision of third-party companies handling employees’ retirement and benefits that result in a loss. The settlement or fine is part of what the policy will cover.

• Omission and errors or going off course from the agreement with employees may result in a lawsuit. It’s also under the coverage of a fiduciary policy. The legal fees, settlement costs, and fines incurred are under fiduciary insurance.

As you purchase a reliable fiduciary policy for your Business from reputable brokers like Insurance Direct Canada, keep in mind that the policy covers not all things.

What Fiduciary Insurance Doesn’t Cover

As much as a good fiduciary plan covers a lot, fraudulent or criminal actions are exempted from the coverage. It means embezzlement is not included in the policy.

Also, losses incurred by a third-party service provider will not fall under the policy. For businesses with employees’ funds in the care of a third party, the insurance policy can’t function if something goes wrong.

When a business has welfare and retirement packages for employees, a fiduciary policy is essential because errors or mismanagement can always occur. Indeed, sometimes a company may not have issues related to fiduciary duties, yet, it’s best to stay prepared.

Cost of Fiduciary Insurance

The cost of purchasing a fiduciary insurance policy hinges on many factors. At Insurance Direct Canada, we recommend that businesses get a policy that will give adequate cover. And this is not limited to fiduciary liability insurance alone. The same principle is applicable when buying other types of insurance. Always get a policy that has high worth to get extensive coverage. It helps to take adequate care of all kinds of legal cases — even the costly ones.

The policy can cost $1000 – $5000 annually and may be worth up to $25m, depending on the amount paid. Some factors that may influence the cost are: 

The Size of the Business

The size of the Business is about the number of workers and not the physical space. The bigger the size of employees, the higher the chances of lawsuits. A company with twenty employees can expect more legal troubles than another with just five. So, when the company size is big, the worth of the coverage needs to be huge. Hence, the cost of the coverage will be expensive.

History of Claim

The history of the claim also influences the cost of coverage. A business with many claims in the past may pay more than a business with fewer claims. For new companies, this history is not applicable; rather, the focus will be on the measures in place to minimize risk.

In conclusion, businesses with a sizable number of employees and offering benefits separate from salaries must have a fiduciary insurance policy to deal with potential lawsuits because mismanagement of employees’ benefits or retirement funds can cost a business a fortune.

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