One of the first things you want to do when you set up a new business is to ensure that it is safeguarded in the right way.
To protect your business against financial liabilities potentially arising from third party claims, you could consider getting general liability insurance. General liability insurance protects you from claims from third parties that your business, staff, or product caused them physical or monetary damage in some way.
Worker’s compensation insurance covers costs when a staff member is injured at work. But what happens when a client of yours files a lawsuit against you for the very service you offer?
This is where Errors and Omissions insurance plays a big role. This is a type of professional liability insurance that protects your firm from financial liability when a client files a lawsuit.
When does E&O insurance kick in?
Errors and Omissions insurance plan comes into play when you are accused of offering service that is not matching expected standards. Every service provider needs this insurance plan to cover their financial liability in such situations. Some examples of service providers who need this insurance are:
- Financial consultant
- Interior designer
- Recruitment adviser
- Tax expert
- Home health care provider
- Wedding planner
- Real estate agent
As a business owner, you may not provide the service to the client directly yourself unless you have a very compact team, and you are part of the active workforce. Let’s assume that your company hires staff to offer the services.
When one of your staff members is found negligent or fails to provide the best service in some manner, it is still your business that faces the risk of litigation. What about when you hire a contractor to offer the service, and they fail to do it the right way?
Then too, your business may be at risk of a client filing a case against you. Your Errors and Omissions insurance plan covers you in all of these contingencies.
For example, Mark is a client of yours for whom you have completed an interior design project recently. The electrical fittings for the project were done by a contractor you usually hire for these tasks. Mark comes back and files a lawsuit against you for NOT telling him about energy-efficient lighting that could have been used in his brand-new gazebo.
You are not bound to have done so, and it was the contractor who handled that part of the task. However, Mark can still claim that he was expected to be given the right advice from you. His lawsuit can still tarnish your reputation, and you may lose clients owing to that. You may also end up paying Mark out of court just to pull back from the legal battle.
The fact is that the client need not have a valid claim at all. You may have offered the best in industry service, and yet a client may claim that you did not. How do you prove that they are wrong? How do you protect and restore your reputation? How do you defend your staff, your competence? The most effective way is to fight out the lawsuit in court and put up a defense wherein you show that your service has been impeccable. However, to do so costs a lot of money.
What do Errors and Omissions insurance cover?
All the legal expenses can add up to a hefty sum. If your business has recently started, this could be a financial blow that it may not recover from. The E & O insurance covers the legal expense if your business is sued by a client.
This insurance comes into play when a client makes claims about work oversights or insists that you made an error while delivering service. When you are accused of negligence, you can battle this claim with the backing of your E&O insurance.
There may be a situation where you are unable to give the service you promised or to complete the service. Here too, you may face a lawsuit that E&O insurance can cover. If you fail to commence/complete the service before the promised date, then also a claim by the client can be fought with this insurance, covering costs.
In short, this professional liability insurance ensures that your business does not bear the brunt of client litigation when they are unhappy with your service. It also ensures that you can confidently take on legal battles to present your version of the facts without worrying about the financial impact.
Have you just started your small business, or are you in the process of setting up one to provide any kind of service? Then you need to learn more about E&O insurance. Visit bizinsure.com. Protect your firm the right way.