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What is Professional Liability Insurance?

Professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance (E&O insurance) or indemnity insurance, protects your business if you are sued for negligently performing your services, even if you haven’t made a mistake.

A customer could sue you because you did something you shouldn’t have, or you didn’t do something you should have, in the course of providing professional services. A professional liability insurance policy could protect you by covering the cost to defend yourself, as well as any settlement or judgment.

Why do I need Professional Liability Insurance?

Professional liability insurance coverage gives your business protection from the risks you face in delivering your professional services. The section below discusses everything our professional liability insurance coverage offers since we want you to feel secure about what your policy does and doesn’t cover. You should consider professional liability insurance coverage if your business:
  • provides a professional service.
  • regularly gives advice to clients.
  • is requested by a client to have professional liability insurance to complete a contract.

How much does Professional Liability Insurance cost?

The cost of professional liability insurance coverage varies based on the size of your business, the industry you are in, your location, and the amount of coverage you need.

For more information on the cost of general liability insurance coverage visit our cost page.

Quotes will vary by business depending on the size of the business, the state your business is located in, and the limits/deductibles selected.

What does Professional Liability Insurance cover?

Our professional liability insurance coverage can protect you and your business against actual or alleged errors and omissions that may occur while providing your professional services. These claims can include anything from giving incorrect advice or omitting a piece of information to failing to deliver your service within a desired timeframe.

Professional liability insurance coverage may be useful for a range of business types throughout various industries. Some examples may include:

  • engineers or designers sued by clients for misinterpreting renderings and/or ordering costly materials that can’t be used.
  • project Managers sued for project delays and cost overruns after failing to inform clients about necessary sign-offs.
  • a massage therapist sued by a client for purported tissue damage following a massage, even if the therapist stopped the massage immediately at the onset of pain.
  • medical billing employees sued for incorrectly coding medical procedures on an insurance form.
  • public notaries sued for notarizing a document in which not all of the required fields were completed.

The above are just a handful of innumerable scenarios in which a professional liability policy could cover your expenses and relevant damages resulting from a negligence claim.

As small business insurance experts, we will guide you through the defense process and provide advice, guidance and support. When a covered claim is reported, we’ll defend you immediately, professionally, and expertly. If necessary, we’ll appoint an attorney to represent you in the matter, even in the event that the claim is groundless.

There are many scenarios where defense costs may arise.

  • Management Consulting: You make a recommendation to your client that turns out poorly, and you’re later sued for the financial loss. In such case, our professional liability policy may pay for your defense costs and judgment.
  • Process Serving: A process server accidentally serves the wrong person and is sued by the innocent party for character damage.
  • Property Management: A claim is made against you or your firm for purportedly denying a rental lease based on a tenant’s race.
  • Real Estate Brokerage: A real estate agent is sued for allegedly failing to disclose a property’s defects before closing a sale.

Regardless of business type, size, and industry, if your organization is sued you could face significant costs for a legal defense, whether or not you have committed any wrong. This is where we would step in to protect you and your business.

Libel and slander are forms of personal injury with legal ramifications which could negatively affect you and your business. Whether the claims are valid or not, if you or a colleague are purported to have said or written something untrue or negative about another person or business, you may be sued for personal injury. Alleged libel and slander claims may arise from intentional disparaging of a person or business, an accidental slip-up made in conversational passing, or anything in between. Fortunately, our professional liability insurance coverage can step in to protect you and your business against such claims.

Your business can be sued for any alleged wrong or error committed by any employee representing your brand, including temporary staff and independent contractors. In such a case, we can step in and protect you and your business against these claims.

One such example may arise when a professional photographer hires a temporary assistant to help out with a large-scale job. If the photographer’s assistant is alleged to have been negligent or have committed an act of libel or slander against a client, professional liability insurance could protect the photographer’s business from unexpected legal expenses.

There are risks involved in hiring temporary staff and independent contractors, but the operational and financial benefits often outweigh them. This is especially true when your business is protected with Hiscox insurance.

Claims can be made against you or your business for work that was completed in the past. At Hiscox, we may be able to cover such a claim that is made during the policy period, even if the alleged wrong took place before you were insured with us.

Retroactive coverage can be provided if your business was insured by another carrier on the date that the alleged incident took place. By offering coverage from a ‘retroactive date’ you are protected by Hiscox for services you provided in the past, dating back to the active date on a previous policy.

Contact us to learn more about how we may be able to cover your claim that occurred before you purchased your first professional liability insurance policy with us.

In today’s modern world, business knows no geographic boundaries. And fortunately, if you are insured by Hiscox, our coverage extends worldwide. We cover claims that arise from work performed all around the world, no matter which city, country, or continent you’re working in. However, note that the claim must be filed in the United States, a U.S. territory, or Canada for us to be able to handle your claim.

Worldwide professional liability insurance coverage is applicable for a range of professions, including:

  • architects and engineers sent overseas to create buildings and infrastructure.
  • consultants and freelancers sent to other countries to implement new strategies and ideas.
  • global IT and technology professionals working in multiple places to coordinate complex systems.
  • personal trainers hired to work for high-profile clients who travel frequently.
  • artistic professionals, such as photographers and videographers, sent to distant lands and far-away places to get the perfect shot for overseas clients.

All of these types of professionals and business owners, as well as dozens of others, can benefit from having our professional liability insurance, which can cover claims wherever you are in the world.

What your Hiscox Professional Liability Insurance policy doesn't cover

We want our customers to fully understand what they are buying. Below is a summary of some of the key exclusions of your professional liability policy. For complete details of all the exclusions, please read the policy wording.

We will not cover damages or claims expenses if you injure or damage someone’s property. If you’d like to be covered for bodily injury or property damage liability, please visit our general liability insurance page.

We won’t cover any fraudulent, dishonest, or criminal acts. However, we’ll defend these actions until they’re proven to be fraudulent, dishonest or criminal by proper process in court. If this happens, we’ll kindly request that you reimburse us for those costs.

We will not cover you for claims alleging any improper employment practices committed against your employees or for any workers’ compensation claims or employer’s liability claims.

We will not cover you for any false advertising claims.

We will not cover your failure to protect any personally identifiable information in your care, custody or control.

We will not cover any medical, nursing, legal or actuarial services regardless of your occupation. We will also not cover any services you perform not specified by the services endorsement attached to your policy.

Get Liability Insurance that best meets your needs

General liability insurance will not protect you from everything. For example, general liability insurance will not cover you against claims of negligence, even if it isn’t you or your business’ fault. Some people buy other businesses liability insurance along with general liability.
The basic protection for claims
against your business.
Protection for specific risks in your
General Liability plus coverage for
Protection from cyber-related
security risks.
Protection for employees who are
injured or become ill on the job.
Purchase coverage for a specific
period of time.
Protection for claims against your
medical practice.
Umbrella, Auto, Directors and
Officers, and more.

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