If you own a small business, then a lawsuit is probably one of your worst nightmares – and for very good reason.
A lawsuit can damage the reputation of your business and can distract you from the day to day operations that make your small business run. Add on top of that legal expenses and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Luckily, you have an option to protect your small business in the form of Errors and Omissions Insurance. Here’s what you need to know about it.
What Is “Errors and Omissions” Insurance?
This type of insurance is also called Professional Liability Insurance. It’s a specific type of insurance that helps to defend your company and you against liability lawsuits that result from professional errors or negligence.
Even those with years of experience make mistakes at work, and as any business owner knows the small errors can have a big impact on your business as well as your finances, too.
For this reason, Errors and Omissions Insurance is one card to consider keeping in your back pocket. Learn more about how this kind of coverage works and the types of professionals that typically carry a policy.
Coverage Under an Errors and Omissions Policy
So, what does Errors and Omissions Insurance cover? In Florida, it is generally used to help to cover negligence claims, legal defense expenses.
False or Actual Claims of Negligence
Professional liability coverage protects your business against both alleged claims of and actual liability that may have occurred while you were working in a professional capacity.
Expenses Related to Legal Defense
Attorney’s fees, documentation and underwriting of charges, administrative costs, and court fees can all be covered by professional liability coverage as long as your business is being defended against a liability lawsuit.
Expenses Not Typically Covered
There are a few things that will not be covered by this type of insurance, however. They include but are not limited to:
- Illegal acts
- Intentional malpractice
- Property damage
- Dishonesty and fraud
- Known claims and circumstances
What Types of Professionals Need Errors and Omissions Insurance?
There are many different types of businesses with specific professional services that can benefit from professional liability coverage.
In Florida, accountants, consultants, attorney’s and many other types of professionals keep this type of insurance as a part of their portfolio and larger businesses that provide professional services do as well to safeguard them against liability lawsuits.
A few common professions that maintain this type of insurance coverage include:
- Notary publics
- Home care providers
- Real estate agents
There are more, but your best bet is to talk to an insurance agent about your specific business and how you may be able to benefit.
Bad Faith Insurance Claims
If you ever need to make a claim against your Error and Omissions insurance but aren’t getting the response you think you should from the insurance company, then you may be dealing with a bad faith claim.
Bad faith claims occur when an insurance company delays or withholds benefits without proper cause. They also act in bad faith if they make a low offer, fail to adequately investigate, or refuse to pay a claim that should be covered by the policy.
It doesn’t happen very often, but if you’re facing this kind of treatment, then you may need to get an attorney involved to help you resolve the issues.
Ultimately, suffice to say that Errors and Omissions Insurance is important for anyone who owns a Florida business. It could save you from having to close your doors over an honest mistake.
Additionally, for those business owners who already have a policy, but aren’t receiving fair treatment, the fact remains: You covered yourself in case you need it and the insurance company should honor the agreement you made with them.
Understand your policy and what you are owed so you know how to spot a bad faith claim.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.