Professional Liability. Errors and Omissions, Malpractice – All common names for a very specific type of coverage: These are policies that people with specialized knowledge have to and should obtain when interacting with the general public because they are being sought out for that knowledge.
Whilst putting together some information for a client of mine, i came across some very interesting points about this coverage from one of the companies i work with: Trisura Guarantee Company :
Five things you need to know about Professional Liability
The definition of professional services is changing for the worse.
The courts have been steadily expanding the notion of professional responsibility to new professions, and broadening the duty and standard of care a professional is expected to deliver.
What does it mean for me??? It means that the old stalwart malpractice claims against doctors and surgeons are now side-by-side with suits against meeting planners, auctioneers, bookkeepers, translators, and claims adjusters.
The judgment isn’t your biggest worry.
Being sued for negligence is expensive. If you need to defend yourself (even if the claims against them is without merit), keep a cheque book handy, as legal fees, court costs, and professional witnesses don’t come cheap.
If a suit is found in favour of the plaintiff, your reputation and that of your company can be irreparably hurt.
Having Professional Liability Insurance means your client will have their own expert to guide them through the process and help them make good decisions while the insurer pays the legal bills.
The judgment isn’t a picnic either.
Having expert claims professionals and lawyers guiding you through the process can save you a lot of money and stress, but there is still the possibility of a large settlement or judgment against you… In fact, court awarded judgments have more than doubled in size since 2000.
It’s not just your services that you need to be worried about.
Professional liability suits can also land in your lap when your employees mess up, or when a contractor or supplier doesn’t uphold their promise. In these cases, you will carry the burden of having to defend yourself against someone else’s error or omission.
A good contract between you and your customers won’t save you.
Although having a strong contract outlining the scope of services being provided(and limitation provisions) is a great risk management tool, they may not hold up in the courts. The more negligent one is, the less likely a limitation of liability clause will protect you.
” i’ve never had a claim” or “it will never happen to me” – are you willing to take that risk?