Professional liability insurance, more commonly known as errors and omission (E&O), is a type of liability insurance that protects businesses from paying the entire cost of negligent claims filed by their clients. This also protects businesses in awarding funds for damages if the claim results in a lawsuit. Errors and omissions insurance is almost necessary for lawyers, doctors, dentists, and professional advisors to have. If you fall into one of those categories, then we’ve got some advice to help you avoid errors and omissions claims.
Read the fine print. Make sure your client knows all the information, risks, and coverages when explaining a document, policy, or anything they are going to sign their name on. Though it is their responsibility to understand what it is they are signing, it is also your job to provide clarity. They are paying for your services and need to have all the correct information. If you don’t know an answer, find it instead of providing false information. Lying to a client will never be beneficial to either of you. Don’t assume that your client knows everything either just because you do. You may have spent three years at law school or four years learning about dental medicine and practices, but your client most likely didn’t. It is your job to make sure they are educated and give them more information than you think they’ll need. Better safe than sorry, right?
Honesty is always the best policy. Lawsuits are the last thing any business wants to deal with because they’re time-consuming and can affect your company’s image. Misrepresentation is a common E&O claim, but can be avoided if you are honest with your client and explain everything to them. Additional information is always beneficial unless you embellish when it comes to your qualifications and experience. Be truthful – it’ll create trust between you and the client, and will save your company a lawsuit.
Keep all your files. Keeping ample documentation is one of the easiest ways to avoid a judge siding with the insured party (if the claim leads to a lawsuit, that is). Most of these claims are settled through mediation, but it is essential to have documents to avoid court initially. You also may not have exceptional memory when it comes to knowing all the details of each client’s case. Think about how many clients professional advisors, lawyers, or dentists have – some may make it a point to remember all their clients’ names, but that doesn’t mean they remember all the details that can be found in documentation. Do yourself a favor and keep track of everything to ensure that you have all the correct facts. Doctors are commonly sued for malpractice, for example, so it is important to keep files and be protected by insurance.
Be caring, concerned, and in control. Most claims can be a result of misinformation, but they can also arise from careless practices. As a professional, it is your job to prove to the client that you care about them. It is essential to develop a trusting relationship in order for them to know you are concerned about helping them and are in control. If you’re not in control, then problems arise. It is your responsibility to be informed and knowledgeable in order to provide the best customer service. Talk with your employer or supervisor if your job expectations or duties are unclear, and don’t be shy if you need additional information or training because it could save your business from a lawsuit or claim.
Errors and omissions claims can be prevented and lawsuits can be avoided. If you want to discuss your options and what insurance plan is right for you and your business, please contact us today.