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DARCstar Celebrates One Year Anniversary with Two New Products

Posted on 18 May 2012 by Neilson

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DARCstar, the revolutionary Directors & Officers (D&O) cover from Willis Group Holdings, has attracted 43 companies with over 300 billion pounds in annual turnover in its first year.

To mark the anniversary, Willis has introduced a new improved version of the form and 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.

Launched on 18 May 2011, 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.

Commenting on the development of the DARCstar range of D&O liability products, Francis Kean, Willis Executive Director, Financial, Executive Risk and Professional Liability, said:

“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.”

DARCstar, which stands for ‘Directors All Risks Cover’, provides broad and relevant cover in a concise and easily understood eight page policy document. DARCstar 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:
    •    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 programme limit:
    •    Insurer insolvency drop down for all loss covered under a DARCstar programme.
    •    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.