What is professional liability insurance?
Simply put, professional liability insurance covers mistakes in your work. It’s also called errors & omissions (E&O) insurance or professional indemnity insurance, but it all refers to the same thing (you know how insurance goes).
Accidents happen, but some mistakes—the kind that result in financial loss for your customers—can lead to claims of negligence, legal defense fees, and court dates. All of those things get in the way of your success building your business, so for claims involving third parties other than physical damage, you need professional liability insurance.
“Professional liability is essential for a complete risk management package, protecting your business and assets, whether you are actually responsible, or someone just claims you are.”
Who needs professional liability insurance?
Professional liability insurance is beneficial across a wide range of professional services, whether you’re a small business, freelancer, or independent worker.
Basically, professional liability is insurance for ‘experts.’ If your clients rely on you for professional advice and specific knowledge, from photo editing to notarizing documents, they can also claim that a mistake in your work resulted in a loss on their part. General liability insurance protects businesses against physical damage to a third party; for everything else, you need professional liability.
When is professional liability insurance required?
Professional liability insurance, otherwise known as professional indemnity insurance, is a legal requirement in certain circumstances. Specifically, some professions and roles require professional liability insurance by default:
- Medical professionals must carry malpractice insurance, an industry-specific type of E&O coverage. This applies to doctors, nurses, rehabilitation professionals, physician’s assistants, and other employees in treatment settings.
- Lawyers are often required to carry professional liability coverage, or at least inform their clients if they are practicing without insurance.
- Government contractors may be required to carry professional liability insurance.
Not on the above list?
That doesn’t necessarily mean that your small business is exempt. Be sure to check state and local regulations to see if you need a professional liability policy.
Either way, your clients may contractually require you to take out a professional liability policy. If you fail to comply with the terms of your contract, you could be sued—and without professional liability insurance, you will have little liability protection against certain legal action.
Always be sure to consult with a lawyer to understand the fine print of your contracts.
What does professional liability cover?
Professional liability covers client claims of errors and negligence related to your professional services.
Need that in layman’s terms?
Professional liability insurance can protect you if a client claims your negligence or professional mistake led to their financial loss.
Actual or Alleged Negligence
Claims that you (or members of your crew) were negligent in completing your work, such as missing a due date or not acting professionally.
Legal Defense Costs
Legal costs for claims that you didn’t follow through on a portion of your deliverable, be it the word count on an article or the file format on a wedding video.
Claims and Damages
Along with helping to cover legal fees, professional liability can also account for settlements arising from legal action.
How much does professional liability insurance cost?
The cost of professional liability coverage will vary based on a number of factors—mainly what you do and where you work. Your industry determines how much you’re exposed to risk, as some jobs come with a higher likelihood of professional liability, and if you live in a metropolitan area, you’ll likely pay a little more to get insured.
Thimble makes professional liability insurance affordable because it only works when you do. Buy coverage by the hour, day, week or month, and save money when you’re off the clock.
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What other kinds of business insurance do I need?
While professional liability insurance is designed to protect your business from risks associated with errors & omissions, there are a number of other coverage options to consider.
General Liability Insurance
Protects policyholders against risks like accidental bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury to a third party. This coverage is essential for businesses operating across a range of industries.
A type of professional liability insurance specifically designed for health care professionals. If you work in health care, you may need malpractice insurance to cover the specific risks of your profession.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Extends beyond the protection offered by professional liability, focusing on employee suits based on allegations of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, invasion of privacy, wage violations, and more.
Professional Liability FAQ
Where is professional liability available with Thimble?
Professional liability insurance is currently available with Thimble in AL, AR, AZ, CA, FL, KY, MD, MI, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, UT, and WV. If you don’t see your state yet, stay tuned!
Can I get my professional liability and general liability under one policy?
Yes! Policies with Thimble include both general liability and professional liability coverage in one simple, affordable package to give you a wider safety net when working with clients. If you only need one or the other, you can easily unbundle them before purchase.
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