Errors and Omissions Insurance
Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance, also known as Professional Liability Insurance, is a type of liability insurance that protects businesses and professionals from claims arising from alleged negligence, errors, or omissions in the services they provide. This insurance is designed to cover the financial consequences of mistakes or oversights made by professionals during the course of their work, which could result in financial loss or harm to clients or third parties.
E&O insurance is particularly important for businesses and professionals who provide advice, consultation, or specialized services, such as lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, consultants, and healthcare providers. It helps safeguard these professionals against the costs of defending against a claim, as well as any damages or settlements that may be awarded to the claimant.
Key components of E&O insurance include:
- Coverage: E&O insurance typically covers defense costs, settlements, and judgments arising from claims of negligence, errors, or omissions in the services provided by the insured party. This may also include claims related to misrepresentation, violation of good faith, or inaccurate advice.
- Claims-made basis: E&O policies are usually written on a claims-made basis, which means coverage is provided for claims that are made and reported during the policy period. This requires professionals to maintain continuous coverage and be aware of the potential need for tail coverage or retroactive coverage if they change carriers or cease practicing.
- Exclusions: E&O policies may have certain exclusions, such as claims arising from criminal, fraudulent, or intentionally harmful acts, as well as claims resulting from contractual disputes or bodily injury/property damage that would be covered under general liability insurance.
- Deductibles and policy limits: E&O insurance policies usually have deductibles and policy limits, which determine the insured's out-of-pocket expenses and the maximum amount the insurer will pay for a covered claim.
- Premiums: The cost of E&O insurance depends on various factors, such as the size of the business, the industry, the level of risk exposure, and the professional's history of claims or losses.
The importance of E&O insurance lies in the financial protection it offers professionals and businesses in the event of a claim. It helps maintain their reputation, allows them to continue providing services, and prevents potential bankruptcy caused by the costs of defending against and settling claims. In addition, having E&O insurance demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and can enhance client trust.