Errors & Omissions (E&O)
What Is Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O)?
Understanding Errors and Omissions Insurance(E&O)
Errors and omissions insurance is a form of liability insurance. It protects companies against the full costs of a claim made by a client against a professional who provides advice or a service such as a consultant, financial adviser, insurance agent, or a lawyer.
Errors and omissions insurance often covers both court costs and any settlements up to the amount specified by the insurance contract. This kind of liability insurance is generally required for professional advice-giving or service-providing businesses. Without E&O insurance, a company can be held liable for up to millions in damages plus the fees associated with a legal team. E&O insurance helps mitigate or eliminate these potential liabilities.
For example, a client may sue an adviser or broker after an investment goes sour, even if the risks were well-known and within the guidelines established by the client. Even if a court or arbitration panel finds in favor of a broker or investment adviser, the legal fees can be very high, which is why E&O insurance is important.
Benefits of Errors and Omissions Insurance(E&O)
The benefits E&O insurance gives companies or individuals vary greatly depending on the policy and issuing insurance company. E&O insurance may or may not cover temporary employees, claims stemming from work done before the policy was in force, or claims in various jurisdictions. These policies do not cover criminal prosecution and certain liabilities that may arise in civil court not listed in the policy.
Insurance brokers, insurance dealers, registered investment advisers, financial planners, and other financial professionals can obtain E&O insurance. Regulatory bodies, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or company investors often require E&O insurance.
E&O insurance is also applicable to businesses outside the financial industry including nonprofits, general maintenance companies and contractors, and engineering firms. Any other company or professional who provides a service such as wedding planners and printers also needs E&O insurance. Doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals also take out E&O insurance called malpractice insurance.
The cost of a policy depends on a number of factors including the kind of business covered, its location, and any previous claims that have been paid out in the past. A person or company with numerous litigation problems has a higher underwriting risk and is likely to find E&O insurance more expensive or less favorable in its terms as a result.