New product will offer wider cover

Ace has launched a portfolio of liability products designed to provide more relevant and appropriate protection in addressing the increased exposure of individuals and their personal assets.

Ace Elite Directors & Officers (D&O) responds to the broadening of D&O policies in the market to cover company assets. At a time when individual directors are facing increased exposures arising from their duties being codified in the Companies Act 2006, this broadening of cover could potentially dilute the individual protection provided to them.

In particular, with environmental duties being introduced in the Companies Act, Ace Elite will provide directors with full limit cover for any non-indemnifiable pollution, bodily injury or property damage claims.

Dan Holloway, Ace UK D&O Product Manager said: “D&O was originally developed to provide protection for the personal assets of individual directors and officers. Developments in the market have effectively diluted the emphasis of such protection which we believe sometimes exposes individuals to unnecessary risks.

"The need for this kind of protection has not diminished for directors and officers, in fact, recent changes to the Companies Act have increased the exposure of individuals making it even more vital that this remains the key focus.”

Another area highlighting the potential exposures created by individuals sharing the protection available under an insurance policy relates to pension fund trustees.

The Pension Act 2004 has already created a heightened risk that trustees may breach the increasingly complex responsibilities they face and consequently find their personal assets at risk.

Some markets have removed forward cover for trustees where the sponsoring employer merges or is acquired or where the fund goes into run-off. The additional exposures this creates place an unacceptable burden on trustees, said Ace.

Emma Watkins, Pension Trustee Liability (PTL) specialist and Product Manager at ACE said: “PTL insurance offers wide cover for the individual, sponsoring employer and the pension scheme itself. However, there is a risk that when insurers focus on providing cover for the company this can divert protection away from the individual, therefore exposing trustees to unnecessary risk. ACE Elite PTL adopts a more direct approach and backed up by our robust underwriting and pricing strategy, we aim to redress the balance for trustees.”

ACE will be targeting growth from the ACE Elite portfolio in the UK regional broker market using ACE Online which has already proved successful amongst brokers with the launch of a D&O cover earlier this year

ACE Elite will include new policy wordings for D&O and PTL cover. New products including Initial Public Offering (IPO) and Charities are planned for launch in 2008.