Your Professional Liability Exposure

You… Yes, You! You have professional liability exposure.

No, I am not kidding.  No, I am not “just trying to sell you something.”

Every time you present yourself as a professional, you are liable for the advice or guidance you give.

What Do I Need Professional Liability For?

I know what’s going on in your head.  You’re saying to yourself, “I’m not a lawyer, I’m not an accountant, I’m not a doctor… What do I need professional liability for?”

professional liability exposureProfessional liability provides coverage for claims resulting from negligent acts, errors or omissions and personal injury arising from the provision of professional services.

Where in there does it say you have to be a lawyer, accountant or doctor? You don’t have to read it again. Trust me – it doesn’t list those three professions.

Here is a short list of occupations which have significant professional liability exposures. Please understand that this is not an all-inclusive list. It is meant to be a sample of the wide range of occupations that are significantly exposed to professional liability:

  • Advertising Agency / Media Consultant
  • Auctioneer
  • Benefit Plan Consultant
  • Career Coach
  • Computer-Technology Consultant
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Dog Groomer
  • Employment Agency
  • Fundraising Consultant
  • Grant Writer
  • Hotel-Motel Manager
  • Interior Designer
  • Management Consultant
  • Marketing Consultant
  • Professional Organizer
  • Project Manager
  • Property Manager
  • Translator / Interpreter
  • Travel Agent

How Do I Purchase Professional Liability?

A question that I get asked very often is, “Should I include professional liability in my commercial insurance package?”

YES!

For professions carrying a professional liability exposure, the coverage is as crucial as general liability.  It’s critical to understand that general liability does not cover you for professional risks.  Professional liability is a separate coverage which can be bought as a stand-alone policy or, depending on the insurance carrier and type of business, can be endorsed onto a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) or  a commercial package policy.

In some cases (remember that every business risk is unique), we’ve had professionals buy professional liability before general liability.  These are rare cases and were mostly home-based businesses that conduct operations exclusively over the internet.

If you do not currently have professional liability as part of your commercial insurance program, please contact The Murray Group.

The Rub

I’ve had people tell me professional liability is a luxury coverage, like its a new Mercedes or something.  “Maybe when I’ve been in business a little longer.”  “Maybe when business is going a little better.”

I understand that every business has to make money and the cost of insurance is perceived to cut into profit, but I want to lay this out straight for you.

When it comes to insurance, there is no luxury. You are either covered, or you’re not.  When that subpoena comes, your excuses for not purchasing coverage won’t matter.   I know this is blunt talk but I want you to be aware of these things.  Professional liability lawsuits are continuing to increase in number and amount of award.  I don’t want you to be left exposed.

If you have a question about coverage, you can email us or post in the Comments box below.

If you’re looking for more information, check out our FAQ: 100 Insurance Questions Answered in 100 Days

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposely only. There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered and the author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.

created by Ryan Hanley

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