Willis’ DARCstar D&O Program Marks First Year with New Offerings

May 18, 2012

To mark the anniversary, May 18, 2012, of its DARCstar Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance coverage, Willis Group Holdings has introduced a new improved version of the form, and has launched two new products in the DARCstar stable: “prospectus liability insurance and Eclipse- an excess policy for non-executive directors providing an additional limit and protection against insurer insolvency.”

Willis said the “D&O liability insurance has proved popular with top FTSE 100 and 250 companies drawn to the simplicity of the policy, which starts from the premise that all liability risks faced by directors are covered.” So far it has “attracted 43 companies with over £300 billion [$474 billion] in annual turnover in its first year.”

Francis Kean, Willis Executive Director, Financial, Executive Risk and Professional Liability, commented: “I am delighted with the response to our new approach to D&O insurance which gives directors certainty of indemnification, more focused cover for regulatory investigations and the peace of mind that all risks are covered unless specifically excluded. 

“Directors today also need protection against those rare but devastating high impact claims, which is why we’ve introduced Eclipse: a one-stop solution to the threat of insurer insolvency and limit exhaustion.

“We expect demand for IPO insurance to grow as investors adopt an increasingly aggressive stance. Recent lawsuits against News International and JP Morgan show that the need for broad D&O protection has never been greater.”

Willis explained that “DARCstar, which stands for ‘Directors All Risks Cover’, provides broad and relevant cover in a concise and easily understood eight page policy document.” It is “now supported by almost all of the global D&O insurance market, with current capacity in excess of $500 million. Since the UK launch one year ago, the policy has been introduced in Spain, Israel and Hong Kong. Further roll out is planned for Scandinavia and Latin America this year.

The DARCstar public offering of securities insurance features the following:
• Automatic cover for secondary offerings
• Separate ring-fenced limit of cover for prospectus exposures to cover ordinary limitation periods for any claims
• No “changes in risk” clause
• Only two exclusions
• One insuring clause

DARCstar Eclipse offers the following special features in addition to standard excess limit protection as part of a DARCstar program limit:
• Insurer insolvency drop down for all loss covered under a DARCstar program.
• An additional dedicated limit available at the insured’s election either for the non-executive directors or the whole board of the parent company for which the sole trigger is exhaustion of the D&O insurance tower.
• Loss covered irrespective of insurance or indemnification available from any other source.

Source: Willis Group Holdings

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