Fiduciary Liability: What You Need to Know About Exposures and Insurance

Course Details

This course is not subject to discount pricing.

Additional Credit Available:

Add Insurance CE

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Field of Study: 

Specialized Knowledge

Last Reviewed: 

March 2019



Exam Requirements

Proctor Required: 


Passing Grade: 






Please note: Adding Additional Credit may change exam requirements.

Course Description
This course has two goals—to take a detailed look at the fiduciary liability exposures that were created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 and to review the insurance policies that have been developed to cover these liability exposures.

The first part of the course describes the basic fiduciary duties set forth in ERISA, examines the specific types of pension and benefit plans governed by ERISA, and analyzes the particular claims exposures created by these duties. Next, the course discusses the way in which fiduciary liability insurance is underwritten, provides methods of controlling exposures to fiduciary liability claims, and explains how fiduciary liability coverage is coordinated with other types of management liability insurance policies. The second part of the course takes a detailed look at the specific provisions within fiduciary liability insurance policy forms, including insuring agreements, covered persons/organizations, provisions pertaining to status changes, key definitions, limits/deductibles, conditions, exclusions, and coverage triggers.

Learning Objectives

This is an intermediate level course. Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  • identify the specific fiduciary duties enumerated within ERISA, recognize how the law defines “fiduciary,” and identify the standards of care required of fiduciaries
  • recognize the significance of “prohibited transactions” and identify measures fiduciaries can use to avoid them
  • identify the types of plans that are both included within and exempted from ERISA regulations
  • identify the most common fiduciary liability exposures resulting from the three major types of employee benefit plans
  • recognize the key factors insurers use to underwrite and price fiduciary liability coverage
  • identify the various methods of preventing claims against fiduciaries
  • recognize the ways in which fiduciary liability policies can be (1) coordinated with employee benefits liability policies and (2) incorporated within executive liability package policies
  • identify the two major insuring agreements found within fiduciary liability policy forms, and recognize key coverage extensions that are often available
  • recognize the effect of the covered persons and covered organizations provisions
  • recognize how coverage under the policies applies to various types of organizational “status changes”
  • recognize how various coverage terms are defined within the policies, including covered losses, claim, policy territory, defense costs, and claims settlement procedures
  • recognize the operation and effect of the policy’s limits and deductibles/retentions provisions, especially within the context of legal actions involving multiple claimants
  • identify the purpose and function of the following key fiduciary liability policy conditions: subrogation/recourse, and severability
  • identify the exclusions found within the policies, recognize the variations within these exclusions as offered by various insurers, and identify the rationale underlying these exclusions
  • identify the components of a fiduciary liability’s claims-made provisions and recognize how these components apply in claim situations


A basic understanding of property and liability insurance coverage.

CPE Field of Study
Management Services

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International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI) is the premier provider of risk and insurance continuing education and reference publications, and is considered the ultimate authority by leading insurance practitioners. Written by industry experts, IRMI courses provide the most up-to-date, practical and reliable information possible.