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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’ from claims made against them while serving on the board of directors or as an officer of a private or not-for-profit company.
The best D&O insurance is easy to purchase, has comprehensive coverage, and comes from a reputable company. Customer service and cost also play a significant role in the purchasing process. Read on to see which companies we think are best.
Best Overall : Travelers
We chose Travelers as the best overall D&O insurance because of its long and strong history and its demonstrated leadership in the insurance industry.
Longevity in the industry
Strong financial strength rating
Offer a breadth of insurance coverage options
No online quote
No online chat option
Travelers is an insurance company that has been around for more than 165 years. It employs more than 30,000 employees and 13,500 independent contractors in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Travelers has won numerous awards including an award from Forbes for America’s Best Employers for Diversity and America’s Best Employers for Women, to one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies. Its longevity and leadership in the insurance industry are why we chose Travelers as our best overall choice for D&O insurance.
Travelers offer a wide variety of insurance products from individual home, car, and umbrella insurance to business insurance including cyber, general liability, and management and professional liability. Directors and officer insurance is one of the management and professional liability insurance policies offered by Travelers.
No matter what type of organization you work for, Travelers has you covered with D&O insurance for public, private, and nonprofit. Travelers can help to cover you and your company and also help you to understand how D&O insurance can protect you. To apply for a policy, you can search for an insurance agent in your area and contact them directly. Or, you can request a quote by filling out an online form and an agent will contact you to follow up. The cost of your policy will depend on the size, type, and risk level of your business so you will need to speak with an agent for more details.
With AM Best financial strength rating of A++, you can trust that you are in capable and reliable hands with Travelers.
Best for Startups : Founder Shield
Founder Shield was an easy choice for the best D&O insurance for startups because it is focused on protecting rapidly evolving and venture-backed startups.
Strong customer service
Can access all insurance information from online portal
Lacks the longevity and history of many other providers
No online quotes
Founder Shield was launched in 2012 and is headquartered in New York. It leverages technology to make the insurance application and purchasing process seamless and simple. Founder Shield wins our spot for the best D&O insurance for startups because it is focused on providing risk management solutions for rapidly evolving companies.
The cost of Founder Shield D&O insurance will vary greatly between companies based on a number of variables including the company's claim history, funding, industry, as well as revenue and financials. Founder Shield does provide some average premiums based on the size of a company.
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 $60,000, 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.
Founder Shield has made getting D&O insurance easy. All you have to do is sign up by providing details like your name and email, and then you can start the online application process. Once you submit your information you will then be paired with a specialist to provide additional details about your company.
Best for Nonprofit : CoverWallet
CoverWallet is our choice for the best D&O insurance provider for nonprofits because it recognizes the specific needs and risks faced by nonprofit organizations and has the insurance solutions necessary to protect these organizations.
Breadth of business insurance
No physical branches
Lacks the longevity and history of some of the other companies
Launched in 2016, CoverWallet is a commercial insurance agency and brokerage headquartered in New York. In 2020, CoverWallet was acquired by Aon Company, a global professional services firm that provides risk, retirement, and health solutions.
CoverWallet wants to make it as simple and convenient as possible for you to get the insurance coverage you need for your company. They do this by allowing customers to buy and manage their insurance completely online. CoverWallet is our choice for the best D&O insurance for nonprofits because it understands the unique needs of nonprofit companies and has the D&O insurance solutions to help you mitigate your risks.
When it comes to the cost of CoverWallet insurance, the exact amount you pay will be based on the specifics of your company. However, CoverWallet suggests that coverage for a startup nonprofit corporation will start at $400 annually. For its Standard nonprofit coverage, which bundles general liability and D&O, CoverWallet offers starting rates of $149 per month. You are able to pay your premium in full or in monthly installments and you make and manage your payments online.
You can get a D&O insurance quote in a matter of minutes, completely online. You will need to answer a series of questions about your business including the type of industry you are in, your annual revenue, and questions about your financials and assets. You will be given an annual quote and you can then follow up with an advisor by calling, chatting, or emailing.
Best for Small Businesses : HUB International
We chose Hub International as our choice for the best D&O insurance for small businesses because it doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all insurance. Instead, it works with clients to tailor its insurance programs and provide customized coverage.
Customized insurance options
Offers breadth of business insurance coverage
Shorter history than many other insurance providers
No online quote
In 1998, eleven Canadian brokerages merged to form what is now Hub International Limited. Today, Hub International is a leading insurance broker headquartered in Chicago managing over $93 billion in assets.
Hub International is our choice for the best D&O insurance for small businesses because it provides customized insurance options to properly address the specific needs of your company. Hub International will work with you to determine your coverage priorities by asking specific questions, such as whether you want to insure all of your employees or just the board and executive team. In addition to D&O insurance, Hub International also offers other forms of professional liability insurance including Employment Practices Liability Insurance and Cyber Insurance.
Hub International’s D&O insurance offers its customer coverage features including personal asset protection, claims protection, and workplace and employment protection. To get a quote for D&O insurance, you need to fill out an online application with personal information including your job title, email, company name, number of employees, and type of industry, and select your method of contact, either by email or phone. A Hub International broker will then reach out to you to assist you with the process.
Best for International Companies : American International Group (AIG)
We chose AIG as the best D&O insurance for international companies because of its extensive international presence in 80 countries and jurisdictions around the world.
Longevity in the industry
Wide selection of business insurance options
No online quote
Might not be best for small startups; prefers companies that are financially stable with experienced management teams
AIG was founded in 1919 in Shanghai, China. Today, AIG is a leading global insurance organization with a presence in approximately 80 countries and jurisdictions. The company has specifically been helping organizations to create protection for senior leaders with over 40 years of offering D&O insurance.
AIG is our choice for the best D&O insurance for international companies as it offers businesses multinational service with one of the largest global networks in the industry. It also provides expansive claims capabilities seeing over 25,000 claims per year and paying out $1.5 billion in claims annually. According to AIG, it is also the world’s #1 ranking D&O insurance provider based on market share.
AIG expresses a preference for companies that are financially stable with experienced management teams and does not prefer risky industry sectors such as high tech, life sciences, energy, and healthcare. It offers a number of different D&O insurance products including primary D&O liability, side-A D&O liability, and primary D&O endorsement.
To sign up for D&O insurance with AIG, you need to submit an application form. AIG does not provide online quotes and you must speak with an AIG representative.
Best for Combined EPLI Policy : The Hartford
The Hartford is our choice for the best combined Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy because it makes buying insurance easy, and potentially more cost-effective, by bundling products such as D&O and EPLI insurance.
Over 200 years in the industry
Strong financial strength
24/7 customer service
Online quotes only available for certain products
No online quote for D&O insurance
The Hartford Financial Services Company got its start in 1810 as a fire insurance company. Today, The Hartford is a leading investment and insurance company headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut.
With The Hartford, you can choose to purchase D&O insurance as a separate policy or you can choose to bundle it with other types of coverage. The Hartford wins our selection for the best combined EPLI policy because it offers a bundled D&O and EPLI policy as a potential way for smaller companies to get more cost-effective insurance.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is meant to cover employee-related claims including harassment, discrimination, or wrongful termination. A more comprehensive EPLI is also available which includes crime and fiduciary coverage.
For some types of insurance, you can get a quote in a matter of minutes by filling out an online application form. You will have to answer a number of questions about the size of your business including the number of employees and your annual revenue. You will also be asked about where your business is located and the type of work you do. After filling out the online application form, The Hartford will send you an email with a link to your quote. For other types of insurance (including D&O), you must speak with a Hartford representative to get a quote.
The Hartford states that the cost of D&O insurance varies greatly on factors including the type of business, company revenue, and prior legal claims. However, they reference a report from Advisen to suggest that “the average annual cost per million dollars of coverage paid by private companies with revenues up to $50 million falls in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.”
With over 200 years in the insurance industry and an AM Best financial strength rating of A+, you can feel confident in The Hartford.
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|
|1853||A++||Phone, email||Commercial auto & trucking; cyber; general liability; property; small business owner’s policy; surety bonds; workers compensation|
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|
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|
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|
Best for International Businesses
|1919||A||Accident and health, casualty, environmental, management liability, cyber, kidnap and ransom, political risk, mergers and acquisitions, property, warranty, and more|
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 with regard 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
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.
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.