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December 1, 2018 Cory Marr

Professional Liability

Professional Liability insurance covers you and your business if you’re sued for performing professional services, even if you haven’t done anything wrong. Get a quote and buy online in under five minutes. Professional Liability insurance for as low as $18.15/month with Apollo Insurance.

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For most ‘Main Street’ businesses, a Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policy offers adequate protection.  CGL policies can be customized to suit your business’ specific needs but even the most basic policy protects you against liability for common things – like if a customer sues you after they get sick eating at your restaurant or if a visitor slips and falls on your wet floor. But there is a glaring exclusion that affects many businesses — liability from rendering or failing to render professional services is excluded. That’s where Professional Liability insurance comes in.

What is Professional Liability insurance?

Clients consult with professionals for their expertise. For example, a patient visiting a doctor relies on the physician’s expertise to diagnose and cure their medical condition. Professionals have a legal duty to act in the best interest of their clients and to perform their duties with a certain standard of care.

Professional Liability insurance is a sub-class of liability insurance policies designed to protect professionals from costs arising from lawsuits alleging that they’ve failed to property render professional services or were acting negligently.

This type of insurance pays for any damages awarded against you should you lose in court, as well as for any supplementary expenses involved in your defense. These expenses include any court costs assessed against you, defense fees (for your lawyer, expert witnesses, etc.) and even lost wages if you need to take time off work to appear in court. These extra expenses are covered on top of whatever limit of insurance you’ve purchased.

This type of insurance pays for any damages
awarded against you should you lose in court
as well as for any supplementary expenses
involved in your defense.

Do I need Professional Liability insurance?

As a professional, your clients rely on your expertise. If they think you’ve failed at your job, they might sue you. If this happens, the costs can be enormous. Taking into account legal fees and the ever increasing damages courts are awarding for bodily injury claims, it’s prudent that professionals have the right protection in place.

Even if you have done nothing wrong, your legal fees alone can be costly. Professional Liability insurance is important because it pays for your defense – even if the lawsuit against you is fraudulent or without merit.

Depending on which profession you’re in, it might also be a regulatory requirement that you have some kind of Professional Liability insurance in place before you are cleared to do business.

 

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What type of Professional Liability insurance do I need?

In the insurance industry, we put professionals into two general categories: healthcare professionals and professionals who give advice or counsel.

Healthcare professionals would include dentists, doctors, surgeons and other professionals that deal with injuries or illnesses.  Advice-giving professionals would include architects, IT consultants, HR consultants, photographers, and even your friendly neighbourhood insurance broker.  These types of professionals are tasked with giving good advice that is in the best interest of their clients.

As you can imagine, different types of professionals face different types of risks on a daily basis.  It would not make a lot of sense to have one insurance product for all professionals. Each type of professional and each industry will have their own insurance policies with tailor-made coverages to insure their most frequent exposures.

While names may vary, healthcare professionals would purchase Medical Malpractice insurance while professional liability insurance for advice-giving professionals is called Errors and Omissions insurance.  Similarly, you might find misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis coverage in Medical Malpractice insurance policies for doctors but not in your IT consultant’s Errors and Omissions policy.

To figure out which type of Professional Liability insurance you need to safeguard your practice, it’s best to speak with your insurance advisor.  They can help you break down your risk exposures and put together a package that ensures you have the right protection.

Who is Professional Liability Insurance for?

Professional Liability insurance, commonly known as Errors and Omissions (E&O insurance), is a special type of business insurance that protects your company against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client to suffer financial harm as a result of an alleged mistake (errors) or because you failed to perform some service (considered an omission).

 

Depending on the claim, this insurance is designed to cover the legal cost of defending your company in a civil lawsuit. The insurance company can also cover the costs if a judge awards damages or to pay for an out of court settlement, even if the legal action turns out to be groundless. Professional Liability insurance is required by law in some provinces for certain kinds of professional practices. 

Professional Liability insurance
is designed to cover the legal
cost of defending your company
in a civil lawsuit.

Why do I need Professional Liability insurance?

If you work in a profession where you offer professional services or advice, you could be sued if a client believes you’ve made a mistake or left out important information—even if you haven’t done anything wrong.

What types of small businesses need Professional Liability insurance?

Any business offering advice and council in their professional services should have Professional Liability insurance. Examples are:

What insurance should be added to my Professional Liability policy?

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Contents and Office Equipment Insurance

What does Professional Liability insurance not cover?

Professional Liability insurance is designed to cover specific elements of your business, but many areas are still uncovered where other types of insurance are better suited. Other types of insurance include General Liability and Contents and Office Equipment insurance.

A Professional Liability policy will not cover:

  • Bodily injury like slips and falls
  • Personal and advertising injury, like if you were sued for libel or slander
  • Fire or water damage to your office contents, or the costs associated of relocating
  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Equipment Breakdown
  • Fraudulent or illegal activities
  • Intentional acts

How much does Professional Liability insurance cost?

See our cost examples or get a quote now to find out of much Professional Liability insurance costs for your specific business. Our unique quoting engine allows you to customize your policy with several options for limits, deductibles, and multiple types of small business insurance coverage.  

 

What factors impact how much Professional Liability insurance will cost?

There are several underwriting factors which impact the cost of professional liability insurance, mainly to do with the size of your business and the perceived risk of your operations based on large data sets collected by underwriters over time.

You can get a quote in less than five minutes to see how much it costs, and recognize that each question being asked will have a pricing and eligibility implication. Often factors like revenue, number of employees, previous claims, and type of professional service will impact the price. Prices also change depending on how much insurance you choose to purchase, the larger the limit the more expensive, although not a linear relationship.

 

Why should I buy Professional Liability insurance for my small business?

Any business – small or large – that provides customers with professional services or advice should safeguard their actions with this insurance coverage.

Why should I choose Apollo Insurance?

Speed, convenience, and the best prices on professional liability insurance in Canada. Apollo insurance cares about your business and wants to not only make it easy but ensure you have broad coverage so when it’s done you have piece of mind.

We specifically structure multi-line package programs for small businesses so you can get everything you need in one place and to cover off the various exposures your small business faces.

If your business involves offering professional services, making recommendations, providing solutions, or otherwise representing the interests of your customers, you’re assuming that risk. That means you should have professional liability insurance.

 

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All coverage summaries are for reference information only, please consult actual policy wording for specific coverage afforded.