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Runoff Insurance


Runoff insurance is a policy that covers the claims made against companies that have been sold, ceased operations, or merged, after these changes have occurred. It operates as a liability insurance, providing coverage for any claims related to incidents that happened before the changes, but were reported or claimed after. In other words, it is a policy that ensures the former owners or operators are not financially burdened by these claims or lawsuits in the future.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Runoff Insurance” is: Runoff – /ˈrʌnɒf/Insurance – /ɪnˈʃʊərəns/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Runoff Insurance, also known as Runoff Coverage, is a liability insurance product designed to cover claims made against companies or individuals that have ceased operations or have been sold or merged with another entity. This insurance protects against unforeseen future liabilities.
  2. Typically, runoff insurance is purchased to protect the assets of the company or individual in the event of claims that arise after they have ceased their operations. It provides protection against claims related to incidents that occurred while the company or the individual was operational, but were not reported until after the company ceased operations or was sold.
  3. The terms and duration of Runoff Insurance can vary, but typically it lasts around six years after the business ceases. However, longer periods can be arranged depending on the nature of the business and the potential future liabilities it faces.



Runoff insurance is important in the business and finance world because it provides protection against claims made against a company after it has ceased operations. This can occur in cases of company liquidation, merger, or acquisition. The insurance covers liabilities incurred by the company while it was operational but that have not emerged until after operations have ceased. Such liabilities can be substantial, particularly in sectors like healthcare, construction, and financial services, where claims can take a long time to surface. Therefore, runoff insurance provides essential financial security to business owners, shareholders, and even retirees associated with the business, thus serving a significant role in risk management.


Runoff insurance is a specialized type of policy used to cover potential claims that may be levied against an entity after it has ceased operations, changed structure, or sold part of its assets. Its purpose is to provide financial protection to the company or individual against claims that may arise from their past activities or operations. This is particularly useful in industries or scenarios where potential liabilities can spring up long after operations cease, like in the construction, healthcare, or financial industries.For example, an insurance company that previously offered automobile coverage may perhaps cease operations entirely or maybe stop providing this specific type of coverage. However, claims related to policies issued in the past could still be filed by clients. With the help of runoff insurance, the company can protect itself against the financial impact of these claims, even after they have stopped providing the service or ended their operations. It effectively facilitates the safe winding down of a company’s operations by being a safety net for future claims based on past activities. Thus, runoff insurance plays a vital role in risk management for businesses.


1. Medical Malpractice Insurance: Medical professionals take Runoff Insurance to cover themselves from claims made by patients after they retire, sell their practice or stop practicing medicine altogether. It is crucial as claims related to medical malpractice can be filed many years after the treatment was provided.2. Corporate Mergers or Acquisitions: In business transactions such as mergers or acquisitions, the buying company may purchase Runoff Insurance to protect itself from any liability claims arising from the actions undertaken by the entity being acquired, prior to the date of acquisition.3. Directors and Officers Liability Insurance: In instances of change in management or organization dissolution, Runoff Insurance may be used to cover claims against the actions taken by previous directors and officers of the company. Even after their tenure, they can be legally held responsible for financial damages to the company. A Runoff policy ensures they have financial protection against such claims.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Runoff Insurance?

Runoff Insurance is a type of policy that covers claims made against companies that have been acquired, merged, or have ceased operations. It protects the former owners or officers from any liabilities that may arise after the company has ceased to exist or changed its structure.

Why would a company need Runoff Insurance?

A company would potentially need Runoff Insurance to cover any future claims made against it, even after its operations have ceased. This can include claims for acts, errors, and omissions that occurred when the company was active but were only reported after it has ceased its operations.

Who usually buys Runoff Insurance?

Typically, Runoff Insurance is bought by corporations that have been acquired or merged. Also, companies that are winding up their operations invest in this type of insurance. Directors and officers of these companies often make this decision in order to protect themselves from future legal issues.

How long does Runoff Insurance last?

The typical period for a Runoff Insurance policy lasts for about six years, but it can vary depending on the specific details of the policy and the nature of the business.

How is the cost of Runoff Insurance determined?

The cost of Runoff Insurance is typically based on a number of factors, including the type of business, its size, and the nature of risks associated with it. Additionally, the number of past claims and the company’s claims history can also impact the premium.

Can the coverage period of Runoff Insurance be extended if necessary?

Yes, in most cases, the coverage period for Runoff Insurance can be extended. The extension period, however, depends upon the terms and conditions of the policy and would probably incur an additional premium.

Does Runoff Insurance cover prior acts?

Yes, Runoff Insurance is meant to cover claims related to incidents that took place when the entity was actively operating, even if the claim is reported after operations have ceased or the company structure has changed.

What types of businesses can benefit from purchasing Runoff Insurance?

Any business undergoing significant structural changes such as mergers, acquisitions or cessation can benefit from purchasing Runoff Insurance. This includes corporations from various sectors like finance, manufacturing, healthcare, and even non-profits.

Related Finance Terms

  • Claims-Made Policy
  • Extended Reporting Period (ERP)
  • Insurance Underwriting
  • Claim Settlement
  • Coverage Trigger

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