Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. However, if you make an error in a professional capacity that causes your client physical or financial harm, you can be sued for their losses. If this occurs, your business can be put in serious jeopardy. Investing in professional liability insurance can help protect your business.
Individuals in any profession may find themselves sued for an error or perceived error in their work. However, if your main job function is to provide advice or counsel, you are more likely to be sued if things don’t go well for your client. This is especially true when your advice costs them substantial amounts of money or is related to their health.
If you are in these, or other similar industries, a professional liability policy may help protect your business in the face of a lawsuit.
Professional liability coverage can be called a variety of things in Massachusetts, but they all provide similar business insurance coverage including legal fees and defense costs, court costs, and damages. Criminal charges, as opposed to civil charges, are excluded.
Most professional liability policies are “claims-made” policies, meaning that the alleged mistakes and the claim must both occur during the coverage period. Old actions will not be covered, nor will claims made after your policy has expired, even if the event occurred during the coverage period. However, it is possible to arrange for extended coverage or to purchase an occurrence coverage policy to cover claims made regarding your actions during the covered period. These policies are more expensive, but can be valuable in some circumstances.
As with all insurance policies, there is a limit to what your professional liability policy will cover. You should always read and understand your policy exclusions and discuss any questions with your insurance agent. Some other considerations in choosing a policy include:
No one is perfect, and mistakes can happen. Whenever you provide advice to clients, you are at risk of being sued if your advice does not serve them well. Whether or not you are at fault, defense and legal fees can be substantial, and if you must pay damages your business may not be able to survive. With professional liability insurance, your Massachusetts business can be better protected from these situations.