About the need for Professional Indemnity:
1. Do I need to have Professional Indemnity insurance?
Yes. Professional Indemnity Insurance is essential for Professionals to ensure that the public have trust in their Conveyancer. It is a requirement to obtain a Conveyancing License in Victoria that you hold Professional Indemnity Insurance.
2. Can I choose my Professional Indemnity Insurance?
No. The Ministerial Order attaching to the Conveyancers Act (Vic) stipulates that a Licensed Conveyancer must be insured under the master policy of insurance.
3. How do I know my policy is competitive?
The master policy for all Victorian Conveyancers is marketed as an aggregate. While each individual policy is presented with a single product, on aggregate the policy has been assessed against the market and proposed by Austbrokers Countrywide to AIC Vic on an annual basis.
The policy is heavily influenced by claims, and the scheme for Victorian Conveyancers is actuarily assessed each year. The industry is large enough to stand on it’s own two feet and limit influence from external forces, so the pricing is heavily tied to Victorian Conveyancers’ risk profile only.
4. What is the Ministerial Order? Does it have an expiry date?
The Ministerial Order is a piece of subordinate legislation issued by the Victorian Government. It dictates that the master policy for conveyancers must exist, sets conditions on the minimum coverage requirements, and that the policy is as appointed by AIC Vic. The Ministerial Order does not have an expiry date.
About the Master Policy:
5. WhAt are the key policy changes from 2021-22 to 2022-23?
Policies renewing from 01 July 2023 will have two additional exclusions, as Insurers look to limit their exposure to “Silent Cyber” risks which is where non-Cyber insurance policies may inadvertently be broad enough to pick up exposures that should not be covered by that product.
“Loss of Documents” cover will no longer include the loss of documents or data caused by a Cyber Act.
“Inquiry Costs” cover will no longer cover costs associated with a notification under the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) arising out of an Inquiry Notice issued by the OAIC.
Both of these risks would be covered by a Cyber Insurance Policy, which we recommend all businesses consider.
6. I have ceased trading and won’t renew my license, can I cancel my insurance policy?
No. Your PI policy must match the duration of your license; you cannot cancel the policy mid-term even if you sell your business or retire.
Conveyancers must have 7 years ongoing cover (called Run-Off Cover) beyond the cessation of your practice as a condition of Licensing. This is built into This is built into the policy at no cost, while other professionals have to purchase an additional policy that costs 3 to 4 times their annual premium. Once your policy is completed, you become a “Former Conveyancer” for the purposes of the 7 year run-off cover.
7. Are former Conveyancers covered?
The Ministerial Order dictates that “Former Conveyancers” must still be insured post the cessation of their licensing/practice.
Former Conveyancers may cease practising and take up another job, or alternatively may end up being uncontactable or deceased.
Consumers must still have a right of recourse as the insurance and consumer protection is mandatory. AIC Vic is a conduit for accepting a “Former Conveyancers” claim on behalf of the otherwise uncontactable Former Conveyancer.
8. What do I do with my Professional Indemnity Insurance if I want to change from a sole trader license to a company license?
A company license has the same insurance conditions as your sole trader license, so you require an insurance certificate for the company before applying with the BLA.
In order to update your current policy to include your new company name, contact Austbrokers Countrywide who will issue an interim Certificate of Insurance showing your new company.
This will assist in the application of your company licence with the Business Licencing Authority.
Once your company licence has been granted a new policy will be issued to line up with your new company license date for a period of 12 months, with the additional premium based on a pro-rata calculation taking into account the existing amount paid on your current policy as well.
About the role of AIC Vic:
9. AIC Vic As is a member organisation for Conveyancers, how did AIC Vic get appointed as manager of the insurance policy?
AIC Vic took over as manager of the insurance facility from the VMIA on 01 July 2014. This was after significant public consultation, including an Options Paper on how to best, (a) administrate, and (b) intermediate, the insurance requirements of Licensed Conveyancers, along with a lengthy tender process run by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) that resulted in Austbrokers Countrywide being appointed as the intermediary insurance broker.
The Master Policy only responds to claims in relation to Licensed Conveyancing, so AIC Vic or their members cannot, via this policy, be sued or carry exposure for any kind of different or broader exposure.
AIC Vic also purchased their own Association Liability Insurance that covers committee members for potential claims relevant to their professional activities. This relates to AIC Vic’s role, or individual committee member roles, in running AIC Vic or management of their association or profession.
10. Is there any risk to AIC Vic Members given AIC Vic manages the policy?
Members do not carry exposure here for two key reasons:
- The policy can still only respond to a claim arising out of the licensed conveyancing activities of a former conveyancer, and
- The Insurer can, if required, still accept claims directly from third parties (and there are some certain corporations act provisions for this in certain circumstances), if there is any dispute.
This, on the advice of Austbrokers Countrywide, is the prudent outcome and should be preferred over allowing third party members of the public to make direct claims on the Conveyancers Master Policy; only an Insured Person under the policy who is party to the policy should be making claims against it and it is generally deemed inappropriate for a third party to attempt to claim directly on someone else’s insurance policy without their involvement or consent.
The Conveyancers Professional Indemnity Insurance Facility is underwritten by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Vero Insurance via Austbrokers Countrywide. Countrywide Insurance Group Pty Ltd t/as Austbrokers Countrywide holds Australian Financial Services Licence No. 244436 under the Corporations Act 2001 to provide General Insurance Broking Services.