Professional Liability - Report a Claim

       The AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program is dedicated to providing superior claims assistance.  
        Over the past decade, CNA, the Program underwriter, has handled over 19,000 claims and potential claims
        against accountants and is committed to being there for you when you need us most.

        Your Professional Reputation is Important 

        The AICPA Professional Liability Insurance policy is written on a "claims made and reported" basis,
        which means the "claim" must be made against you and reported to CNA during the policy period.


       Report a claim

An insurance policy is much more than a piece of paper ― it's a commitment to deliver best in class claims services. 

CNA is committed to: 
  • Providing timely coverage analysis. 
  • Making prompt assignments to defense counsel. 
  • Continuously consulting with you and your defense counsel to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the claim and working closely with you on issues of defense, settlement, and claim resolution.
Before discussing how to report a claim, you must know exactly what it is you need to report. That's why it is important to understand the definition of a claim contained in the CNA professional liability policy issued for Accountants. 

A “claim” is defined in the policy as "a demand received by you for money or services naming you and alleging an act or omission, including personal injury or advertising injury, in the rendering of professional services. A demand shall include the service of suit or the institution of arbitration proceedings against you." 

A claim could be any of the following: 
  • A summons and complaint alleging an act or omission in the rendering of professional services. 
  • A letter or verbal threat or demand for services or money from you alleging acts or omissions arising from professional services you provided. 
  • Notice of arbitration filed against you for alleged damages arising from your professional services. 
If you are in doubt whether a claim has been made against you ― REPORT IT. 

Once you receive a claim, you should do the following: 
  • Provide CNA with written notice​ as soon as you are aware of a claim, potential claim, regulatory inquiry, subpoena for records or testimony, or any circumstance which you reasonably expect may be the basis for a claim. 
  • As soon as possible, send copies of all records, correspondence, etc. to CNA and to any other insurance carrier that may provide coverage for the claim, potential claim, regulatory inquiry, subpoena for records or testimony, or any circumstance which you reasonably expect may be the basis for a claim. 
  • In your written notice to CNA, identify your policy number, firm name, telephone number and name of the individual we should contact within your office, date you received the claim, regulatory inquiry, subpoena for records or testimony or the threat of a potential claim or circumstance which you reasonably expect may be the basis for a claim, the claimant’s name, and a brief description of the services you rendered for the client. 
  • All of the above can be e-mailed to:
Remember, the sooner you give notice, the sooner we can take action. In addition, make sure you take the following important steps throughout the claim process: 
  • Refrain from signing or accepting any release from any party without obtaining approval from your CNA claim professional. 
  • Avoid discussing, commenting upon, or taking issue with any information you receive regarding judicial or administrative proceedings. 
  • Be sure you do not admit liability, consent to any arbitration or judgment, or agree to any settlement without CNA's prior written consent. 
  • Be prepared to spend time with counsel and your CNA claim professional to aid in the investigation, defense, and settlement of your claim. 
After CNA receives your notice of a claim, you can expect us to take the following action:
  • Assign your case to a claim professional who is experienced in handling claims in the territory in which you are located. Your CNA claim professional handles only accountants liability claims, so you will get the experience and knowledge you deserve. 
  • Acknowledge receipt of your notice of a claim, inform you that we have created a claim file, provide you a claim file number for future reference, and introduce you to the claim professional assigned to your case. This should be done within the first 24 business hours after we receive your notice. 
  • The claim professional will request documents, records, correspondence, etc. in order to properly review the allegations made against you. 
  • As soon as the claim professional has an opportunity to review the materials provided, the claim professional will advise you as to what allegations are covered under your policy and what allegations may not potentially be covered. If there are potentially uncovered claims, the claim professional will send you a reservation of rights letter. 
  • Appoint qualified and experienced defense counsel to represent you, if necessary.
  • Appoint qualified and experienced accounting expert to review your engagement and work papers and provide an evaluation of the defenses available. 
  • Consult with defense counsel on a regular, timely and ongoing basis to review the status of the claim and/or litigation. 
  • Consult with defense counsel to consider the defense, settlement, and resolution of the claim, and advise you as to our recommendations. 
In most instances, the insurance policy provides for your defense subject to a deductible requirement that you are obligated to pay. However, state regulations often apply to the handling of deductibles and your policy will specifically delineate how your financial obligation applies. Read your policy carefully because under some policies, your defense costs reduce the policy’s limits of liability. CNA will provide you regular updates as to the remaining limit on an ongoing basis throughout the defense of the claim. If you ever have any questions regarding how the deductible applies and what the remaining limit will be for a claim, please call your claim adjuster. 
CNA has a claim team dedicated solely to handling Accountant Professional Liability claims. As such, CNA claim professionals not only understand litigation management, but also understand professional standards and the various services being provided by our insureds.​
A Reservation of Rights letter from a CNA claim professional is not a denial of coverage under the policy, but rather a letter explaining what may and what may not potentially be covered under your policy based on the allegations contained in a demand or a lawsuit filed against you or your firm. CNA is required by law to provide you with an analysis of what potentially is covered and what potentially is not covered under the policy. When a claim is made, each coverage situation is evaluated on its own merits, based upon the facts and allegations. These allegations, when reviewed with the policy terms, conditions and exclusions, determine the nature and extent of coverage. What you should also understand is that CNA is not agreeing with or supporting a claimant’s or plaintiff’s allegations by issuing a Reservation of Rights letter. This is simply the vehicle used to provide you with an analysis of what is potentially covered and what is potentially not covered under your policy. If you receive a reservation of rights letter in a matter and have questions or concerns regarding its contents, please do not hesitate to contact your claim professional for information for an explanation clarifying the letter. 
Dependability and experience are CNA's greatest strengths, and you can expect our staff to deliver responsive, reliable service. CNA is an “A” rated carrier for  financial strength, which represents another of our greatest assets, especially when it comes to keeping our commitments and paying claims. 

CNA is a strong, stable organization with products and services you can count on now and in the future. If you have any questions about what to expect in the event of a claim, please contact us. 

Nothing contained in the above overview should be construed as an acknowledgement by any of the CNA insurance companies that a given situation would be covered under a particular accountants professional liability insurance policy. To determine whether a specific situation may be covered, please refer to your current policy.