Insurance Glossary

Aggregation of the Claim

In the event that there is a series of professional indemnity claims made against you/your firm, if the insurer feels that these claims originate from the same source (or have sufficient commonalty to be perceived as the same source or proximate cause), they may argue that the the claim is in fact one claim, rather than a series of claims. This is known as “aggregation of the claim”. In these circumstances, if they can successfully prove this point, where the limit of indemnity is on “Any One Claim” basis, they can limit their loss to the Any One Claim Limit which limits their loss significantly and makes your/your firm liable for any losses beyond this limit. For example, your firm procures Professional Indemnity Insurance with a limit of indemnity of £1,000,000 Amy One Claim. Three claims are made against your firm at £1,000,000 per claim. You would think that you are adequately protected as your limit of indemnity of £1,000,000 per claim.

However, if your insurer can successfully argue that these three claims actually originate from the same cause (e.g. the claims originate from a particular specialist area of work or all claims relate to the same client) then, depending on the specific circumstances, they may be able to successfully argue that they only have to contribute £1,000,000 to this claim/series of claims. In this circumstance you would be liable for the remaining £2,000,000. Aggregation of the Claim can work in the Policyholders favour too. If you can successfully argue that the claim originates from the same source (i.e. it is in fact just one claim) then you would only be liable for one policy excess, rather than a number of policy excesses as would be the case if the claims were proved to be separate matters.

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