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What is Directors and Officers Insurance?
Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (D&O) provides financial protection for the directors and officers of a company in the event they are sued due to the performance of their duties with the company. D&O is a type of insurance designed to provide financial protection for the directors, officers, and the corporate entity which they serve in the event that lawsuits alleging mismanagement of the corporation are brought against them. Virtually all corporations have bylaws in which the corporate entity, in the vast majority of cases, bears the financial responsibility of indemnifying directors/officers for their alleged misdeeds.

Why do we need this?
First, a company needs D&O Insurance because claims from stockholders, employees, and clients will be made against the company, and against the directors of the company. Since a director can be held personally responsible for acts of the company, most directors and officers will demand to be protected rather than putting their personal assets at stake. Also, a company needs D&O Insurance because investors and members of the board of directors will not be willing to risk their personal assets to serve as a corporate director or officer, no matter how heartfelt their belief in a company. In certain circumstances, such as bankruptcy or derivative lawsuits, where the corporation cannot indemnify its directors/officers, the D&O policy affords front-line financial protection for the directors/officers.

Who needs it?
A company needs Directors and Officers Liability insurance when it assembles a board of directors. This will frequently make the requirement. Investors, especially Venture Capitalists, will also usually require that a company carries D&O insurance as part of the conditions of funding a company.
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