As an insurance agent, much of your time is spent advising your clients on the insurance they need.
But what about your own insurance needs?
Every business is different and as a result, will have different insurance requirements. But there are several policies an insurance agent might want to consider:
- errors and omissions (also called professional liability) insurance
- general liability insurance
- cyber liability insurance
- workers’ compensation insurance
Top of your list (which is why we put it top of ours) is errors and omissions insurance.
Errors and omissions insurance
You offer a professional service to your clients, right? They come to you for advice and trust it’ll be the right advice. Thing is, you may be a professional, but you’re still a human being. And humans make mistakes.
You don’t want to think you might miss a renewal, or arrange the wrong policy, but it can – and does – happen. And if you, or anyone working for your insurance agency, makes an error which costs your client money, they could sue you for damages.
What’s worse is you don’t even have to have made a mistake. A customer can still file a suit against you, even if it’s groundless.
You know this, because you tell your clients this all the time. It’s not just the cost of the lawsuit: legal fees, court expenses, compensation… they can run into 6 figures. Or the time you’ll spend on meetings with defense attorneys, filing reviews and depositions. Lawsuits damage your reputation. And that’s priceless.
Trouble is, damage to your reputation has a knock-on effect. It can devalue your brand, losing you personnel (who jump ship thinking the firm’s on its way out) and worse – your customers.
Errors and omissions insurance for insurance agents can take care of these costs for you.
If a claim’s made for actual, or alleged, mistake, omission or for professional negligence it can cover your legal fees, court costs and compensation, too, if you’re found liable.
General liability insurance
If you visit your clients at their offices, or they come to you, you need general liability insurance. Then if someone gets hurt, or their property gets damaged, your coverage can take care of medical bills. And if they sue, it can cover legal fees and compensation, too.
It also covers advertising and personal injury claims. So if an employee is overheard making some not-so-nice remark about a customer, and it gets back to them, your agency is protected. Your policy can hire you an attorney, pick up the legal fees and damages, if you’re found liable.
If you do visit clients and you take things like your laptop and cell with you, business personal property is a good add-on to your general liability policy. It protects your moveable equipment (desks, chairs, even your potted plants) in your office, too – even if it’s at home.
Cyber liability insurance
If you hold sensitive client data (their credit card details, for example) you should consider cyber insurance. It can’t stop you getting hacked, but it can take care of the costs of recovering from an attack, so your firm survives one.
Recovery costs average around $120,000, so it’s no surprise 60% of small businesses go under within six months of a an attack.*
Cyber liability insurance can take care of these costs, including:
- The cost of investigating a data breach
- The cost of telling your customers there’s been a breach
- Legal fees and compensation costs if you’re sued for losing someone’s data
- The costs of restoring data, systems and your website
- Income lost and extra expenses if a cyber attack stops you doing business
- Credit monitoring for victims of identity theft
- The cost of restoring your reputation and managing customer relationships
- Defense costs if you face legal action by local or federal authorities
- Payment of regulatory penalties or fines
You’ll find answers to some of the most common questions about cyber insurance here.
Just remember, size isn’t important to cybercriminals. Small firms are soft targets. They’re defenses are often not as tough as larger firms with deeper pockets.
Start by stepping up your cyber security. Get your free cyber check up now.
Then make sure your business is protected with a cyber policy. It’ll get you back on your feet again if the worst happens.
Workers’ comp insurance
Most states require you to have workers’ compensation insurance the minute you take on your first employee. If you don’t have it, you’ll have to pay penalties.
But it’s coverage worth having, anyway. It protects your insurance agency from the cost of workplace injuries to your staff, which can be crippling.
Without insurance, it’s not just the lost productivity that’ll cost you. You’ll have to find the cash to cover medical bills and missed wages. Then, if you’re sued, there’ll be legal costs to pay, too.
If one of your employees falls ill as a result of working for you, or gets hurt while they’re on the job, workers’ comp insurance can pay for medical bills, lost wages and legal expenses.
It can also protect you from a lawsuit – doesn’t matter who’s at fault.
Carry out regular risk reviews
It’s a good idea to regularly review your insurance to make sure it meets your agency’s needs. Because risk-planning is never a one-time job. As your business evolves and grows, so must your risk plan.
For more on small business risk, download our handy guide.
Sell more with our insurance agent partner program
Now you’ve gotten your own coverage sorted you can get back to the business of selling insurance.
We’re guessing you’re always on the hunt for ways to sell more. And we’d love to help. Check out our insurance agent partner program.
You don’t need a direct appointment with Hiscox – we pay your commission, for the life of the policy.
What’s more, there’s no post-bind effort — Hiscox does it for you.
Find out more here. Or call us at 978.344.4215 and we’ll talk you through it.errors and omissions insuranceInsurance for Insurance Agentsprofessional liability insurance