The Best D&O Insurance for 2021 – Investopedia

Final Verdict

D&O insurance can be a wise choice for any type or size of company. When choosing D&O insurance, consider variables such as the terms and conditions of the D&O policy, the financial strength of the insurer, company history, and cost. Travelers Insurance is a solid option for D&O coverage with 165 years of experience in the insurance industry, a strong financial strength rating, and a wide range of insurance products.  


Compare the Best D&O Insurance

Company Year Founded AM Best Rating Customer Service Options Other Available Business Policies
Travelers
Best Overall
1853 A++ Phone, email Commercial auto & trucking; cyber; general liability; property; small business owner’s policy; surety bonds; workers compensation
Founder Shield
Best for Startups
2012  N/A Email, chat, phone Cyber, E&O, crime, fiduciary, general liability, employment practices liability, product liability, property insurance, workers compensation, and more
CoverWallet
Best for Nonprofits
2015  A (Aon Company) Phone, email, chat General liability, workers compensation, business owners policy, commercial property, professional liability, umbrella, errors and omissions, employment practices liability insurance, fiduciary, cyber, island marine, product, special events, liquor liability, and more
HUB International
Best for Small Businesses
1998  N/A  Email, phone, chat Commercial property, liability, workers’ compensation, EPL, commercial auto, cyber, aviation, marine, medical malpractice, surety bond, and more
AIG
Best for International Businesses
1919  A Email Accident and health, casualty, environmental, management liability, cyber, kidnap and ransom, political risk, mergers and acquisitions, property, warranty, and more
The Hartford
Best Combined EPLI Policy
1810 A+ Phone, email Business owner’s property, general liability, commercial auto, commercial flood, umbrella, cyber, marine, multinational, risk engineering, surety and fidelity bonds, and more


Frequently Asked Questions

What Is D&O Insurance? 

Directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance is a way for a company to protect its leaders from financial losses as a result of a lawsuit. More specifically, D&O insurance is meant to protect directors and officers, and their spouses, from claims made against them while serving on the board of directors or as an officer of a private or not-for-profit company

A business leader may benefit from D&O insurance in the case that the company fails to adhere to certain regulations or laws or if there is a claim against the company in regards to employment practices. 

What Is Covered Under D&O Insurance? 

D&O liability insurance covers individuals for claims made against them while they are serving as a director or an officer. D&O liability insurance consists of three different coverages called “sides.” 

  • Side A: Provides individual coverage to the companies directors and officers when the company can’t indemnify the individuals
  • Side B: Provides reimbursement to the company for costs incurred while defending the individual director or officer in a lawsuit
  • Side C: Provides entity coverage to the company for claims made against it

Typically, any illegal or intentional wrongdoing will not be covered by D&O liability insurance. 

When Does a Business Need D&O Insurance?

D&O insurance is not required, however, many businesses that have a corporate board or advisory committee may benefit from D&O insurance. It’s not just large public companies that can benefit. Even small businesses, not-for-profit, and start-ups can get D&O insurance.

How Much Does D&O Insurance Cost?

The cost of D&O insurance can vary greatly based on a number of factors including:

  • Age of company
  • Size of company
  • Number of employees
  • Amount of coverage required
  • Past claim history
  • Industry sector
  • Domestic and international activity
  • Revenue  

According to ballpark estimates made by Founder Shield, a company with annual revenue ranging from $1 million to $10 million can expect premiums in the ballpark of $6,000 to $7,000 and a deductible of around $25,000. Companies with annual revenue of $10 million to $25 million can expect an average premium of $10,300 with a deductible of around $50,000, and companies with $100 million to $250 million in revenue can expect ballpark premiums of $52,800 with a deductible in the range of $125,000.

What Is the Difference Between D&O Insurance and E&O Insurance?  

Both D&O and errors and omission (E&O) are types of professional liability insurance. However, D&O insurance is typically for leaders who are higher on the corporate ladder, protecting their personal assets from claims and lawsuits against them. Errors and omission insurance is available for employees at all levels of a company. It is often purchased by professional service providers or companies to protect them against client claims of negligence, misinformation, or inadequate work.  

Does an LLC Need D&O Insurance?

A limited liability company (LLC) may not necessarily require D&O insurance and it is not mandatory for an LLC to have D&O insurance. However, it still might be something to consider. If you have a board of directors or officers, then your company might benefit from the protection offered by D&O insurance coverage. Similarly, if you are trying to recruit board members, you might want to consider D&O insurance. Without a D&O policy board members would be responsible for covering themselves should they encounter a legal issue while working on your behalf. 


Methodology 

We researched 12 companies offering D&O liability insurance and evaluated insurers based on variables such as company longevity and reputation, terms and conditions of insurance, the financial strength of the insurer, and customer reviews. When selecting insurers, we also considered the other types of business insurance offered. Finally, we also took into consideration the usability of the company website and how easy it is to get a quote.