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Accountancy Insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance for Accountants

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Professional Indemnity Insurance for an Accountant 

Professional accountants work in a very complex and complicated field. There isn’t any room for mistakes or negligence, and any problems or issues with the professional accountancy services provided could lead to a lawsuit or worse.

UK accountants should all consider professional indemnity insurance that protects their finances against the risks that operating in the accountancy sector poses. It offers protection to both the accountant and their clients. 

Quotezone.co.uk provides quick and easy access to insurance products from a wide range of trusted UK insurance providers. We aim to make it as easy and cost-effective as possible for accountants to find the necessary professional indemnity insurance to protect themselves and their businesses. 

What exactly is accountancy insurance? 

Accountancy insurance is a specialised type of insurance designed to provide professional indemnity insurance to accountants. What this means is that accountancy insurance provides protection and coverage for a range of risks and legal liabilities that are found in the accountancy sector.

These risks could cause financial harm and distress to clients and professional accountants alike. And can arise from acts of negligence, misconduct, errors, or other scenarios resulting from the professional activities of an accountant. 

Do accountants have to have professional indemnity insurance by law? 

Accountants operating in the United Kingdom are not forced or required by the law to have professional indemnity insurance for accountants. However, even though it is not mandated by law, accountants typically need to have cover in place to operate under any regulatory body or membership association.

They may find it difficult to find clients or businesses who will work with an accountant who doesn’t have professional indemnity insurance. In summary, accountants will find that to belong to, or be registered with the majority of reputable organisations and regulatory bodies, they will have to have professional indemnity insurance for accountants as a criterion for membership. 

Do accredited bodies like the ICAEW, ICAS, ACCA and CIMA insist that their members have chartered accountant insurance? 

Accredited bodies like the ICAEW, ICAS, ACCA and CIMA do require that their members have professional indemnity insurance for chartered accountants. 

Although it is mandated that members have professional indemnity insurance, the exact details of the insurance requirements can vary from one organisation to another. Each of these organisations or bodies has its own set of guidelines and rules that have to be adhered to.

For example, to become a member and to maintain your membership you may be required to have PII (professional indemnity insurance) with a specific minimum level of coverage. And breaking these rules can result in censure, penalties or expulsion. 

How likely is it that an accountant might actually be sued because of their accountancy work? 

Accountancy work is complicated and the consequences can be far-reaching should a mistake be made. Dealing with people’s money is a delicate business that needs to be given the care and attention it is due 

The likelihood of an accountant being sued can depend on several different factors starting with the level of expertise and knowledge an accountant has. The more mistakes and errors an accountant makes the greater the likelihood of being sued. 

Other factors like the complexity of the work, the expectations of the clients, the local regulations and the litigious nature of the business environment can increase the risk of being sued.  

What sorts of issues or incidents does accountancy insurance protect accountants against? 

Accountant professional indemnity insurance affords protection for a wide range of risks and legal liabilities that accountants may encounter whilst performing their professional duties. 

Although coverage can be tailored to suit an accountant’s specific needs, accountant insurance typically covers the following issues and incidents: 

  • Professional services-related issues like negligence, unintentional mistakes and errors and other related situations.
  • A range of legal costs, compensation payments and court fees. 
  • Not fulfilling their duties correctly. For example, failing to detect fraud or misrepresenting information.

What isn’t covered under accountancy public liability insurance? 

There are always circumstances and situations that are too risky for insurers to cover or are simply uninsurable. 

For professional indemnity for accountants policies, the exclusions usually include: 

  • Intentional acts of criminality and other illegal activities. This can include crimes like fraud and theft.
  • Deliberate and intentional acts of negligence, misconduct and omissions. 
  • Fines, penalties and punitive awarded payments. 
  • Some types of contractual disputes. 
  • Public liability, injuries, property damage and employee disputes are all covered under their specific insurance policies. 

How much does accountants’ insurance cost, on average? 

The cost of accountants’ insurance is typically established on a case-by-case basis. For a clear idea of the costs of accountancy insurance, you can get free personalised quotes on accountancy insurance using Quotezone.co.uk. 

The areas that can affect the costs of insurance the most in terms of your policy specifics are: 

  • The coverage levels you require  
  • The deductible  
  • Your past claims record 
  • Accountancy services  
  • Size, type and nature of the businesses you are involved in 

These factors and their impact on costs will be different and unique for different policyholders. 

How is the premium for accountants’ PII calculated? 

Premiums for indemnity coverage for accountants are calculated using a range of risk factors that insurance companies believe are important and will affect the cost of providing insurance to the accountant. 

The most impactful factors are the following: 

  • The nature of the professional services provided by the accountant, as well as the level of the complexity of the services.
  • The unique characteristics of the business like its size, annual turnover, and number of employees. 
  • The coverage requirements and the accountant’s claims history. 
  • The location from which the accountant provides their services. 

Does an accountant’s business insurance claims history affect the premium for this policy? 

Yes, the accountant’s claim history will typically have an impact on the costs of professional indemnity insurance for an accountant. 

The elements of the accountant’s claims history that are of particular interest and have the most significant influence on the costs of insurance are the number of past claims, the size of these past claims and how frequently claims have been made in the past. 

The reason why these three elements have the greatest impact on costs is because they give an insurer a very accurate idea of what insuring a particular accountant will entail in the future. 

Does the size of my accountancy firm affect the cost of insuring it? 

Insurance companies want to know how big your firm is because it impacts the insurance rates. The bigger the firm the more risk the insurance company has to carry and therefore they have to charge higher rates. 

The number of employees and yearly turnover as well as other factors will determine the level of risk your firm poses to the insurer and will be reflected in your insurance rates. 

How can I reduce the cost of my accountancy insurance? 

There are a  couple of options that could help you reduce your accountancy indemnity insurance costs. 

Quotezone.co.uk can help you compare policies from a wide range of trusted UK insurance companies to help you find the coverage you need at a competitive price.  

Alternatively, you can make adjustments to your current policy. Adjusting your excess, changing your coverage levels and updating your insurer with any educational advancements or improved risk mitigation processes can all potentially generate savings.