Protecting Your Interests and General Liability Insurance in Florida

No business owner who understands that when a liability issue arises, no matter how much money you save by not carrying the right amount of insurance, the end result is that you’ve placed your business at risk, and quite possibly your personal finances as well. General liability insurance protects your business from claims by any person or business’s claims of bodily injury, along with any associated medical costs and property damage. Your business should not be treated like a casino, because you can’t afford to take that gamble.

Unfortunately businesses are being sued all of the time for things like negligence, libel, slander, property damage, bodily injury, and copyright infringement among other things. And businesses can even be sued in instances when they’ve done nothing wrong. One of the best ways to avoid a lawsuit is to run the safest operations possible, but that still doesn’t mean that an accident or some form of negligence isn’t likely to take place. This is why smart business owners make a point of purchasing general liability insurance in Florida as soon as they are up and running.

Improve safety and reduce risk

Running a safe business is the best type of risk management practice that money can buy. Conducting safety meetings, discussing past issues and finding solutions moving forward will reduce the number of accidents and errors, which is a type of insurance you don’t necessarily have to pay for. Make sure that when an incident occurs, it is fully investigated and documented. This way, you’re likely to avoid a repeat of the issue, because generally people learn from their mistakes.

Things covered by a commercial general liability policy (CGL)

General liability insurance offers some of the broadest business insurance coverage money can buy. It may be included in a business owner’s policy (BOP) or is also available as stand-alone coverage. A few of the risks a business could face that a CGL helps to protect against are bodily injury or property damage, reputational harm, advertising errors, medical payments, and any damages to the premises you are currently occupying. You also have an option to add a business entity or other individual parties to your general liability insurance in Florida, so speak to an agent about coverage options today.

Errors and Omissions Insurance for Real Estate Agents

The real estate industry can be very rewarding, a business where agents and brokers who work tirelessly to help buyers and sellers with their property needs can see the results of their efforts on the happy faces of their clients. But there is also the potential for disgruntled clients that can land a real estate agent in court facing a lawsuit. That’s where professional liability insurance in the real-estate world, also known as errors and omissions insurance for real estate agents, comes in. It works much like medical malpractice insurance for doctors.

An E&O policy offers agents and brokers protection against pending lawsuits

Everyone knows that the costs of getting sued for a mistake made in the course of selling real estate can have devastating consequences. As the name suggests, E&O policies don’t cover claims of outright fraud. Typically they cover issues such as, for example, a disgruntled buyer who sues an agent or broker for failing to disclose a defect in a property, or for misleading the purchaser about what they’re buying, or for a breach of contract.

Some of the most common reasons for liability claims against real estate agents can include errors involving the loss of a deposit, or for failure to notify of a needed inspection in a timely manner. Other issues leading to litigation often include undisclosed termite infestations, and even when the property is in fine shape, the buyer may allege that the square footage of the home or surrounding property is smaller than advertised. In fact, brokers and agents may get sued for any number of reasons including:

  • Mold contamination
  • Hidden water damage
  • Incomplete or incorrect closing documents, or
  • Failing to disclose that a property is encumbered by a lien

Many agents and brokers go uninsured, despite the advice of trade associations. Real-estate industry groups strongly encourage their members to get coverage, generally suggesting that they buy an errors and omissions insurance for real estate agents policy individually or through a broker. If an agent is covered, the insurer assumes the bulk of the legal costs, typically up to $1 million with a deductible. When an agent is targeted with a claim, the insurer hires an attorney and takes the lead in crafting a defense strategy or negotiating a settlement.

Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance

Working in real estate is a rewarding, exciting, and enjoyable career as brokers and agents help buyers and sellers work out their property transactions, but things can and do go wrong. It’s important to ensure that you and your business are protected with errors and omissions insurance for real estate agents.

Liability Issues

Whether they’re helping commercial tenants find the perfect premises or assisting a young family with their first home, real estate professionals can help make dreams come true. But problems do happen, and just like everyone else realtors can make mistakes. As wonderful as it is to close a deal, getting hit with a lawsuit can be absolutely devastating.

Insurance Protection

Errors and omissions insurance, also known as professional liability coverage, is designed to help protect professionals from lawsuits claiming negligence, oversights, or other mistakes. This insurance is meant to help cover the cost of a legal defense and indemnification in the event that a broker or agent is sued. This helps to protect a company from financial ruin if an agent happens to make a mistake—or even if someone thinks that they do. Even when decided in favor of the company legal fees can cost thousands of dollars.

In today’s litigious society, going without liability coverage is not an option. That’s why errors and omissions insurance for real estate agents is so critically important.

 

Movie: 5.a. MPO Citizens Advisory Committee (2) (11M) (license)

Affordable Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance

Real estate errors and omissions insurance is essential for large firms. It protects against lawsuits, angry customers, and mistakes made by employees. Even when claims against an agency are groundless, legal fees used to fight the lawsuit can be expensive, which is where errors and omissions coverage comes in. There are a number of ways to get comprehensive yet affordable errors and omissions insurance.

 

Pricing Factors

 

The cost of real estate errors and omissions insurance can vary depending on the real estate agency. Location, size, and income can all be factors, as well as claims history. Has a company had many claims before? If not, have they company just been lucky, or have they actively taken steps to avoid lawsuits?

 

Claim Mitigation

 

There are a number of steps that can be taken to mitigate claims. First of all, companies should always have written contracts that spell out the obligations and costs to each party. Also, communication between client and agency should be consistent, so that expectations are clearly set. Finally, it’s best for businesses to keep accurate records with specific details, such as whether or not the buyer was aware of a certain problem in advance. Some agencies have buyers sign a statement certifying that an agent made a certain recommendation.

 

Taking these steps can help businesses stave off lawsuits, both by expediting settlements and avoiding groundless claims. Better still, they can reduce the cost of real estate errors and omissions insurance—while thoroughly protecting the agency.

 

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The Deeper Value of Error and Omission Insurance Coverage

error omission insurance

error omission insurance

Clients who are exposed to the risk of errors and omissions in the course of their professional life are often aware of the need for error omission insurance though why this particular form of coverage is valuable can be difficult to understand.

Protection required by employers and others

Professional liability coverage is required by many employers, including the regulatory agencies that oversee many of the fields serviced by error omission insurance policies. This is perhaps especially true of financial organizations that are subject to complex regulations. Carrying this insurance policy is a good way to show potential employers that you are serious about the job you do.

Protection during essential tasks

As a professional, you have a number of essential tasks that you are likely to engage in on any given day:

  • Dentists, doctors, and other care providers interact with patients, run tests, and issue diagnoses
  • Lawyers and attorneys represent their clients’ interests in court
  • Consultants and advisors provide necessary information to clients in diverse fields
  • Architects and engineers provide practical solutions to complex technical problems

While each of these professionals strives to do their best, clients are sometimes dissatisfied or feel that an error or omission has resulted in a loss. These claims can take you away from your job and prevent you from doing more important work. Make sure that you have an insurance policy that protects the hard work you do.