What does professional liability insurance cover?

Get a policy in 60 seconds.
Get a quote
4.7/5 stars from 467 reviews on Trustpilot
Backed by the best

Professional liability insurance provides indemnity—or protection—to your business if you’re accused of making professional errors or omissions that result in financial loss for your customers.

If part of your job involves consulting other businesses or people, you need professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance. No matter what your policy is called, the core function is protection from the risks you take on when working with clients and giving your expert advice.

What does professional liability cover?

Professional liability covers you if your client alleges you made a mistake that lost them money, even if it turns out you’re not guilty. While general liability insurance covers you in the event of third-party bodily injury or property damage, professional liability insurance protects you if providing, or failing to provide, your professional services results in third-party financial loss. Your policy can provide coverage for these key things:

Actual or Alleged Negligence

The insurer does the legwork in determining what happened when a customer claims that you (or members of your crew) were negligent in completing your work, such as missing a deadline or not acting professionally. 

Defense of Claims

The insurer defends you in legal proceedings related to claims that you didn’t follow through on a portion of your deliverable or service, be it the word count on an article or the file format on a wedding video.

False or Frivolous Claims for Damages

Along with helping to cover the costs of valid claims, the policy will defend you against claims that have no merit.

What does professional liability insurance not cover? ​

Although a professional liability policy covers claims of negligence or reputational damage to third parties, it definitely doesn’t cover everything. There are several important things that aren’t included, including:

Property Damage, Bodily Injury, and Personal and Advertising Injury

These are the coverages under a general liability insurance policy. Professional liability is usually sold together with a general liability policy, because these are described as “interlocking coverages”—they serve as your first line of defense against the most common kinds of suits brought against a small business like yours. Property damage, bodily injury, and personal and advertising industry include everything from everyday slip-and-falls to claims of defamation. Translation? General liability is super important.

Learn More

Breach of Contract

Contractual obligations don’t necessarily spell financial risk for a third party, so breach of contract may be considered “gross negligence,” but unless the claimant can demonstrate a financial loss as a result of your professional negligence, claims may not be covered under a professional liability policy.

Lawsuits that Allege Discrimination

Claims that you discriminated against another party aren’t covered under professional liability policies, because you typically can’t get insurance for intentional acts or violations of the law. Coverage for allegations of employment discrimination by an employer are covered by a employment practices liability policy.

Loss of Your Clients’ Data

Losing a clients’ data, such as credit card info, birthdates, or Social Security numbers isn’t covered under a standard professional liability policy, because this is covered by cyber liability. However, if damage arises out of a data mishap (e.g. identity theft) that results in financial loss, you may be eligible for coverage.

Who needs professional liability insurance?

In a nutshell, professional liability is insurance for pros. If your clients rely on you for professional consultation or specific knowledge, from event planning to notarizing documents, they can also claim that negligence in those services resulted in a financial loss on their part.

For many businesses. professional liability is optional, but some professions in the medical, government, and legal fields require professional liability insurance in order to secure a license.

Other types of businesses that commonly need professional liability coverage include:

What other kinds of business insurance do I need?

While professional liability insurance is designed to protect your business from risks associated with negligence, the total picture of your assets includes a few other essential types of insurance.

General Liability Insurance

Protects your business against claims of third-party bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury.

Learn more
Workers’ Compensation

Protects your business if you have employees or workers of any kind. This coverage applies to medical expenses and lost wages associated with work-related injuries and illnesses.

Learn more
Business Equipment Protection

Protects the equipment you own and use for work, from a lawn mower to a camera. Also known as inland marine insurance, this is a type of property insurance that covers your stuff.

Learn more
Business Owner's Policy (BOP)

Designed for small business owners who need a few types of coverage. BOP is a bundle that usually protects you against damage to owned property, liability, and business interruption.

Learn more

Professional Liability Insurance FAQs

Where is professional liability coverage via Thimble available?

Professional liability insurance is currently available with Thimble in almost all states except for Washington and New York. Stay tuned for those two states—we’re working on launching professional liability insurance for you soon!

What if I only need professional liability coverage part of the year?

Not a problem! With Thimble, you only pay for insurance when you need it. So whether you’re just starting out as a marketing consultant and only have a few clients or only work certain during certain periods, Thimble has a business insurance policy to fit your needs! 

How do I file a professional liability claim?

If you need to file a claim, please follow the contact instructions listed on your policy. Read more here.

People like you like Thimble.

4.7/5 stars from 467 reviews

Read more on Trustpilot

Fast & Easy

This is fast and easy and works great for me! I am a one man freelance landscaper and this gives me the ability to purchase insurance directly from my phone anytime and anywhere I need it.

Paul H.

Super easy to use! Thought of everything

This app is beautiful and super easy to use! It’s super easy to get insurance for the weddings I shoot where the venues require insurance. I can just buy it on the app with 3 clicks and I’m done.

Lan Z.

Awesome Product

I love this idea ????!! I needed to have proof of liability to present my proposal; got it on the spot. I didn't win the bid but I didn't get stuck with costly insurance, either!!

Genna A.

Best insurance solution for small businesses.

I love the convenience of this insurance app, its the best thing since sliced bread????????

Marcus S.

So Easy!!! I LOVE IT

It was so easy, quick, and simple. The PDF package I received contained everything I needed. This was the best experience I've ever had obtaining insurance...thank you!!!

Alex Robertson

Great Rate!

I was very impressed with your monthly rate on general liability coverage! Much less than 1/12 of everyone else's annual rate.

Thomas G.

Read more on Trustpilot

Smarter coverage. Stupid fast. Total control.

Get insured in 60 seconds.