Professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions insurance (E&O), protects a business against claims regarding negligence and other mistakes that result in losses for your client. For example, investment advisors provide a lot of advice to clients. If one of their pieces of advice results in a client losing their investment, the client may sue. That’s where professional liability insurance steps in.
Professional liability covers:
These issues are different than those covered beneath general liability insurance. General liability covers claims filed due to non-professional negligence resulting in bodily injury or property damage. Professional liability insurance does not cover property damage. Also keep in mind that professional liability is not part of a business owners policy. It is a separate policy that can cover your business. Professional liability also doesn’t cover intentional injury or criminal acts.
- Professional negligence
- Violation of good faith
- Violation of fair dealing
- Inaccurate advice
Who Needs Professional Liability Insurance?
Any business that deals with the public and offers advice should carry professional liability insurance. Speak with an insurance professional about your specific industry’s needs. Common industries that carry professional liability include:
Other industries may want to invest in professional liability, as well. Lawsuits are unfortunately common in industries concerning advice, money, advertising and health of the clients.
- Law firms
- Investment advisors
- IT consultants
- Real estate agents
- Medical professionals (professional liability is known as medical malpractice insurance for medical professionals)
- Mental health specialists
- Insurance professionals
- Media & advertising
- Building designers
How Much is Professional Liability Insurance?
The industry of your business affects the cost of professional liability insurance as does the size of the company and claims history. Certain industries cost more to insure due to the risk of lawsuits. Medical professionals such as surgeons will pay large amounts in professional liability insurance since they face some of the highest risk when it comes to negligence accusations. Professional liability costs a median of $710 a year.
Is Professional Liability Insurance Required?
Depending on the profession, professional liability may be required. For example, clients hiring contractors may require their contractors to carry a minimum amount of professional liability insurance. Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) require certain businesses to carry professional liability insurance when working on government projects. If you’re unsure about professional insurance requirements, double check industry standards and state laws. Many states don’t require professional liability insurance by law but allow certain industries to require it.