Finding EO Coverage for Real Estate Professionals

Errors and omissions coverage for real estate agents dealing in either commercial or residential properties can be hard to shop for if you’re new to the market. Like other financial sector liability coverage, it needs to be carefully calibrated to both your professional role and the regulations of the markets you operate within. As such, finding California real estate E&O coverage often means working with a different set of experts then you would for, say, coverage in Montana.

Seek Local Expertise, Industry Experience

The combination of local knowledge and insight into the industry is essential to your eventual quote, because it allows an insurance agent or carrier representative to calculate the right balance of coverage limits and additional provisions, leaving you with cost-efficient risk management designed to protect you in the event of claims rising from errors or omissions made by your office during a deal. Robust industry-specific coverage of California real estate E&O liability protects you from both honest errors and bad faith actions taken under the authority of your company by individual employees.

Where To Find California E&O Coverage

Coverage for real estate E&O in California isn’t hard to find, but with a large and competitive market, it can be hard to sort out your best options. Look for the professionals who really focus on real estate. If they make understanding the risks involved with your business into a personal passion, chances are they can also quote your optimum policy with ease after a brief interview.

A recent court case, By Referral Only, Inc. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. 2019 is a case study on why every business that offers benefits should carry sufficient fiduciary liability insurance. Here are the facts.

Background

By Referral Only, a small company in California with a double-handful of employees employed Teresa McGee until her terminal breast cancer diagnosis meant she could no longer work. Referral’s director tried to do the right thing by McGee, continuing to pay her life insurance premiums so that her beneficiary would be able to collect after her death.

The director didn’t take into account that the life insurance was only available to active employees. When her beneficiary tried to collect on her life insurance policy the claim was denied.

Lawsuit

The beneficiary was forced to turn to Referral for payment on her policy. The beneficiary claimed that Referral didn’t notify McGee about her rights to convert her policy. Referral felt that their employee benefits liability insurance through Travelers should have paid on this claim and turned to them for relief. Travelers denied the claim because it was not covered under the fiduciary responsibility clause of ERISA.

Outcome

The beneficiary was entitled to the benefits promised by Referral but the court found Referral was not covered because of the ERISA carve out. Referral had to pay the entire claim, over $140,000, out of its own pocket. 

You can see that even with the best intentions, mistakes can be costly. Fiduciary liability insurance would have protected Referral.

As a business owner, you may feel like there’s a new policy you hear about every day. Sometimes it may feel overwhelming but these policies protect you from situations that you may not have considered but that put your business financials at real risk. Fiduciary liability insurance is one type of policy to consider. Here are two benefits to this policy.

1. Protect From Benefit Mismanagement

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) holds businesses and individuals working within the business responsible for managing employee benefits. Mismanaging those benefits can result in claims that won’t be covered by employee benefits liability insurance. Mismanagement implies purposeful action, but even the most well-meaning mistake that results in denial of a claim could potentially trigger a lawsuit. Benefit mismanagement includes:

  • Failing to monitor third-party service providers 
  • Offering imprudent retirement fund selections
  • Wrongfully denying claims 
  • Improperly changing benefits
  • Providing improper advice

2. Pay Legal Fees From Claims

Besides protecting your assets in the case of a mismanagement claim, fiduciary liability coverage allows you to have the best legal representation possible to fight the claims in the first place. The cost of defending your business and your reputation can be prohibitive and cause as much havoc as the claim itself. 

Fiduciary liability coverage protects you from the moment a claim of mismanagement is made through to claim resolution.

Many business owners are under the impression that liability for claims arising out of employment falls within the scope of general policies. They may also conclude that employment practices insurance is not particularly relevant to their operations because they have good relationships with their employees or they have fairly few staff members. In reality, every business owner needs to recognize the importance of this key form of coverage. A claim for an employment law violation can be very costly and exceed a business’ available resources.

Discrimination

Claims of discrimination in the workplace can be challenging for employers. Many states have independent commissions to investigate claims, and some assess penalties beyond the damages that a business may owe to an employee. Insurance can equip a company with the means to defend itself against claims and pay any penalties or damages if necessary.

Wage and Hour Law Violations

There are numerous federal and state obligations that companies must adhere to in how they categorize employees, calculate hours, and set wages. Insurance can help companies that are non-compliant with this intricate and continually evolving area of the law.

Ultimately, having coverage to address claims by employees is essential. No matter how carefully a business treats employment matters, having coverage is an indispensable way to effectively mitigate risk and minimize losses. 

Contractors who work in road and highway construction know that safety is paramount. Not only are they responsible for safety within the work zone, they’re also accountable for protecting the traveling public as well. Barricades, signs, and other devices are employed to help direct drivers and pedestrians around or through the work zone. The last thing a foreman or project manager wants is a complaint from a citizen saying, “Construction debris damaged my car.” It’s worth examining your approach to risk management to see if you’re protected from such a claim.

What Risks Should Be Considered?

Some construction work risks may be obvious to you and you purchase coverages such as workers’ compensation and professional liability to address them. Other potential claims may arise from the following:

  • Collisions with construction vehicles
  • Windshield damage from gravel
  • Falling debris and other materials
  • Tire damage from construction materials and debris
  • Paint chipping
  • Accidents from poor traffic control

These are just some of the risks you need to consider when thinking about purchasing insurance coverage.

Will I Really Be Liable?

Each situation will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Contractors have to take precautions to prioritize the safety of drivers and pedestrians. Talk to an insurance provider who can help you put together a plan that addresses all your exposures. 

Running an industrial business means your entire livelihood is based around the performance of your equipment. Unfortunately, even the best and most efficient of machinery can fall prey to disaster. Whether an accident with your equipment leads to workers being injured or a faulty part leads to a machine completely breaking down, you absolutely want to take the right preliminary steps to protect your business. The best way to achieve this is with a sensible insurance plan. 

Insuring Your Equipment

Taking out industrial equipment insurance is one of the easiest steps to take when you’re looking to protect the valuable assets your business relies on. Taking out heavy equipment insurance covers the costs that are connected to replacing or repairing any of your machinery that has experienced a problem. However, there might be extra policy options worth your consideration depending on the nature of the work you conduct. From rental reimbursement options to spoilage plans, learn about all of your choices in order to put together a plan that completely meets your needs. Additional steps to take include:

  • Properly maintaining equipment to limit the odds of breakdown
  • Educating employees on correct ways to use equipment 
  • Creating a safety plan to reduce accidents

Selecting the Right Policy

There are many steps you should consider when it comes to protecting valuable assets like your company’s equipment. Get a better idea for how insurance for industrial equipment works so you can get started on creating the perfect policy.

If you run a small business, chances are that you are aware that you face a lot of risks.  You face physical risks like property damage and injury and you face liability risks. However, there is also a third category of risk that you should be aware of. With more businesses than ever using technology, cyber threats have also become a major issue. Luckily, cyber insurance can help protect you from this relatively new risk category.

What Types Of Coverage Do You Need For Cyber Protection?

There are two main categories of risks that you need to protect against. These are data breaches and cyber liability issues. Data breaches occur when someone gains unauthorized access to your network and gets ahold of valuable information. Data breach coverage can protect you from the financial consequences of a data breach. 

Cyber liability issues occur when your customers are affected by a cyber attack made on your network. Your customers could end up claiming that the cyber attack occurred due to your negligence and take you to court. Cyber liability can cover any fees associated with this.

How Much Does Cyber Insurance Cost?

The cost of cyber insurance can vary widely depending on a few factors. Some of these factors are:

  • The number of customers you have
  • The types of data you store
  • Your revenue
  • Your claims history

Cyber attacks are a real risk in today’s day and age. Cyber insurance can help offer you greater peace of mind.

The majority of claims in the temporary staffing industry involve workers’ compensation issues. If these claims are smoothly processed, some industry managers might mistakenly believe their companies are well insured when risky coverage gaps may exist. With such risks in mind, effective temporary staffing insurance programs must extend well beyond workers’ compensation.

General and Professional Liability Risk

Some common staffing liability insurance omissions include:

  • Lack of coverage for temporary employees operating client-owned vehicles
  • Missing coverage for advertising injury
  • Vague or inadequate employment practices liability coverage for temporary staffers

The solutions include enlisting the help of an expert insurer and applying due diligence to contracts.

Regulatory Risk

Sweating the details of a client’s contract is the first rule in temporary staffing risk management. Nevertheless, the wild card in this approach is that legislation, government regulations and court rulings always supersede contract language. To cope with this shifting regulatory landscape, an insurer focused on the staffing industry is highly desirable. An underwriter with a full-time team eyeing proposed regulations can serve as the radar for staffing managers navigating their challenging industry.

Seeing the total insurance picture is crucial for temporary staffing managers. An insurance agent allied with an insurer dedicated to the staffing industry can make a compelling case to new and existing clients.

Workers’ compensation insurance is required in every state, and it can add up to a considerable expense for certain businesses. In some areas, companies have an option to self insure. There are benefits to this approach, but there can also be drawbacks. The following tips can help you uncover the intricacies of self-insured workers’ comp so you can make an informed decision about whether it is the right choice for your company. 

Principles Behind Self Insurance

Self-insurance is not available everywhere, but it is an option for businesses in a growing number of states. Where allowed, companies generally must adhere to strict regulations and prove a certain level of financial stability to ensure claims will be covered. Self-insurance can be done by individual companies or several can form a self-insurance group to share costs and liability. 

Benefits of Self Insurance

There are many benefits to self-insuring, including:

  • You control the entire process from risk management to filing, managing and paying claims
  • Payments are only made if there is a claim. There also tend to have lower administrative costs. 

Potential Drawbacks

There are also potential drawbacks, which are enough to dissuade some businesses from avoiding this route. They include:

  • The threat of a single, large claim or multiple smaller claims over a short period of time
  • Insufficient knowledge about legal or medical matters 
  • A lack of understanding about claims administration

Ultimately, each business must decide if self insurance is a good choice. Taking knowledge, financial stability and legal options in your area into consideration can help you make that determination. 

If your business has contact with the public, you face various possible risks related to your services, like slip and fall incidents or accidental property damages. Public liability insurance covers the legal costs and settlements connected with lawsuits filed against your company.

Do You Need Public Liability Coverage?

Your specific needs depend on many factors. The type of services you provide, your interactions with people and your location are all factors that determine your unique requirements. This type of liability policy is more affordable than other professional insurance but has fewer protections.

Federal law does not require companies to obtain public liability plans. Still, this type of coverage shields owners from financial losses stemming from property damage or bodily injury claims on the company’s premises. Some industries that may benefit from public liability insurance include:

  • Health care operations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Retail businesses
  • Hospitality industry
  • Real Estate companies
  • Entertainment ventures

What Does a Public Liability Policy Cover?

This type of plan protects business owners who operate companies that work with the general populace. If someone sues your organization, this coverage pays for your legal fees, compensation amounts and settlement expenses. It covers suits resulting from the following type of third-party events that happen at your place of business:

  • Personal injury claims
  • Transportation costs to a health care facility
  • Medical treatment
  • Property damage

Unfortunately, accidents happen and could result in lawsuits filed against your business. Public liability insurance protects your company from possible monetary losses when cases arise.


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