By Daniel Hunter

A third of self-employed workers in the UK don't know what professional indemnity insurance is, according to research from business insurance website www.constructaquote.com.

The research also showed that just under two fifths of those who did know what professional indemnity insurance is have not purchased it.

Nearly 2,000 self-employed professionals from a range of industries were initially asked if they could give an accurate description of what professional indemnity insurance is. The majority (66%) of professionals were able to convey that it’s an effective way of covering oneself against claims that could arise as a result of negligence, error, misplacement or damage to documents and misuse of information if they provide professional advice or legal services.

Of the remaining third of participants who were unaware of the definition, almost a fifth (19%) believed professional indemnity insurance was only something that business owners needed to focus on, whilst over half (51%) didn’t attempt to give any answer to the question whatsoever.

Of the participants who were correctly able to give a definition of professional indemnity insurance, just under two fifths (39%) revealed to researchers that they had invested in a policy for themselves. Accountants (19%) were the most likely to purchase the insurance. Engineers were the second most likely on 14%. Contractors (9%), designers (7%) and architects (5%) completed the top five, despite achieving less than 10%.

Lyndon Wood, creator and owner of constructaquote.com, said: “Whilst indemnity insurance is not always a legal requirement for those providing a professional or legal service to undertake, it is worrying that so many polled in our study were unaware of what it is. The benefits to those who take the time to invest can be invaluable should you face any unfortunate professional incidents.”