A Quick Look at Professional Liability Insurance

Mar 22, 2022

As we emerge from the latest COVID-19 surge, many professionals and small business owners will need to re-evaluate their need for professional liability insurance (PLI). Let’s take a look at what PLI is, who should have it and where to find the best coverage:

What is Professional Liability Insurance?

Unlike general liability, PLI covers claims of negligence from clients or customers relating to the job performance of professionals and businesses. In other words, it covers claims made against the advice you give or mistakes you make in the performance of your job. PLI is sometimes referred to as Errors & Omissions Insurance (E&O) or malpractice insurance.

What does PLI cover?

It covers a wide range of claims including negligence, copyright infringement, mistakes and personal injury. It can also cover the costs of defending against those claims. Most policies only cover claims made during the policy period. It does not cover cyber risk, libel or slander, general P&C claims or criminal charges.

Who needs PLI?

While PLI has traditionally been thought of as necessary for primarily doctors and accountants, other professionals such as architects, engineers, auditors and business consultants need it as well. In reality, any business that provides advice or expertise to clients or is contractually requested to carry it should have coverage. Yes, even insurance brokers need PLI.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected PLI?

As with most forms of insurance, carriers have completely re-evaluated the risk associated with PLI and thus how they write and charge for it. Additionally, a huge increase in demand from the pandemic’s newly-minted crop of “independent contractors” has hardened the market. For existing policyholders, there may still be a backlog of claims processing. On the bright side, there has been a dramatic increase in the number and kinds of PLI products available to professionals. More companies are covering more categories than ever before.

How do I choose a policy that’s right for my business?

Begin your search with a trusted insurance advisor. Choose a company with which you have a standing relationship or that comes well-recommended from a dependable source. Brokers with a robust risk management practice can help avoid high premium costs by identifying and mitigating risk in your business.

As a Top 100 Independent Insurance Agency, Oakbridge has been protecting professionals and businesses in the Southeast for nearly 100 years. We have strong relationships in place with most major carriers and can structure high-value PLI coverage that suits the unique needs of your profession as well as your budget. Our risk management professionals are well-versed in helping you reduce the risks that may potentially hinder your business. Let us know how we can help best protect your professional practice.

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