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Public Company Directors and Officers (D&O)

Public companies are often perceived to have deep pockets that make them a target for litigation. They also have a very strict set of regulated responsibilities to their shareholders that holds management and the board of directors liable for the decisions they make while in charge.

Burns & Wilcox can provide access to Public Companies Coverage that includes D&O and Employment Practices coverage that will limit your clients’ exposure to the financial risks of running a company. Coupled with our extremely fast submission response time and low minimum premiums, Burns & Wilcox is one of the leading providers for wholesale insurance.

Coverage Details and Features

  • Back wages
  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful termination
  • Defense for non-monetary claims
  • Issuance or denial of permits and licenses
  • EPLI coverage extended to law enforcement/firefighting personnel

Ask an Expert

What’s the difference between private and public D&O?
Private and public D&O policies are very similar; the difference is simply whether the policy holder is a public or private company or organization. Directors and officers of both experience similar risks. They are often industry experts or high-ranking executives, held to high standards by shareholders and held accountable for their decisions. We tend to see public companies fielding more claims than private companies because they have more stakeholders.
How can agents assess the risks private and public companies face?
Although there are many factors, agents should be aware of two key pieces of information used to assess risk: Financial statements: Financial statements are the ultimate gauge of an organization’s financial health. They reveal how well the board manages its finances as well as the amount of assets—the larger the assets the larger the risk exposure. Study the industry: Agents should study the industry in which the company operates to recognize risks associated with it.
What are common claims private/public companies need to be wary of?
A common D&O claim we see is infringement of antitrust legislation, which prevents or controls trusts or other monopolies in order to promote competition. Claims can be filed on patent infringement, false advertising, or even slander of another company. Derivative suits are also very common. Essentially a shareholder can file a suite if he/she believes the company’s directors and management are failing to exercise their authority for the benefit of the company and all its shareholders. A derivative suit could be filed when a shareholder believes an incident of fraud, mismanagement, self-dealing and/or dishonesty that is being ignored by officers has occurred. The most common claims typically involve breach of contract or mismanagement of funds.

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