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What is D & O Insurance and why would I need it?

Jul 12, 2022 12:42:00 PM

 What is directors and officers insurance?

Directors, officers, and board members are liable for actions of a fiduciary nature. In the event of a lawsuit brought on by:

  • Breach of duty
  • Misstatement
  • Error or omission
  • Negligence or wrongful act

In your capacity as a director, officer, or board member, you could be held financially liable. Directors and officers insurance can protect you financially in the event of a lawsuit. 


Our organization already has commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, won’t that cover any issues?

While some insurance providers automatically package CGL and D & O together, many providers do not. CGL insurance is not enough to cover the board members in the event of a lawsuit. You need to have specific D & O insurance in order to be properly covered.  

I’m just a volunteer board member, do I really need D & O insurance if I'm unpaid?

Many well meaning individuals take on volunteer board member roles without understanding the gravity of the situation. Regardless of if you're paid or not, you can be held liable in a lawsuit Yes, you absolutely need D & O insurance to cover you and the other members of the board. 

Before agreeing to join a volunteer board, always ask if they have D & O insurance.

I want to join a board, but they don't have D & O insurance, What can I do?

Unfortunately, you cannot insure a single board member. It has to be the entire board being insured together. If you want to join a board that does not have D & O insurance, consider lobbying the board to get D & O added to their insurance policy. Contact one of our commercial insurance experts to get the right coverage for you and your organization. 

Hear From the Experts



Jake McCoy

Written by Jake McCoy


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