Answering Service Insurance. Telephone answering services monitor and record telephone calls or messages and then forward those calls or messages to the client. Services are often provided on a 24/7 basis. These services generally provide service to niche markets where a live operator or service person is required, such as for physicians, plumbers, and auto towing services. Call centers may operate in a central location, or in remote locations with employees monitoring phones from their homes.
Whether in government, medical, ecommerce, telecommunications, property management, or the service industry, telephone answering services are an important component of business and customer service, leading to better customer experiences and higher productivity for workers. However, running an answering service presents you to certain risks such as the potential liability if you don't respond in a timely manner and appropriately to customer emergencies.
You can be slapped with court charges for giving inappropriate advice and for sloppy message forwarding (not calling right away, not dating and timing the calls, calling the wrong doctor, transposing a number, or garbling a message). That's why answering service insurance is essential for your firm.
Answering service insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
answering services face various liability risks. The following is a listing of the answering service insurance coverages:
Professional Liability - Professional liability insurance, also known as erros and omissions (E&O), covers claims of negligence and/or poor quality work. Lawsuits may arise if answering center attendants fail to deliver important messages on time, if they deliver inaccurate messages or if they provide incorrect information that causes the caller to incur losses. E&O insurance protects employees from claims by disgruntled customers and pays the fees incurred in defending against such claims.
Per Occurrence" & "Aggregate" liability limits: Your "Per Occurrence," or "Per Claim," limit refers to the total amount the insurance company will pay per incident during the answering service insurance policy term. Your "Aggregate" limit is the total amount the insurance company will pay for multiple claims over the course of one policy term (which is usually one year).
Commercial General Liability - This answering service insurance policy protects your firm in case of third party claims, such as bodily injury or property damage. For example, the common "slip-and-fall" claim would be covered by your general liability policy. General liability insurance is often considered to be the core coverage, particularly because you regularly interact with customers. You may also have a contract, like a loan or a lease, requiring that you have this coverage.
Business Property - This answering service insurance policy protects your building and its contents, including computers, office equipment, furniture and all of your property - whether it is owned or leased - if it is damaged by fire, smoke, theft, vandalism or some other covered peril. You need this coverage to protect your expensive phone and communications equipment as well as all the other contents of your office space.
When choosing a property insurance policy, it's imperative that you consider all of your options. The monthly premium you pay is only one part of the equation. You must think about which risks your firm might be exposed to and how you can make financially smart moves to protect your interests.
Business Interruption - Have you ever stopped to consider how your firm would survive should it suddenly come to a grinding halt? If a fire, storm or theft meant having to rebuild it (potentially from scratch), how would you survive financially? With business interruption add on your answering service insurance, you will be covered for the loss of income, as well as increased expenses of running your firm as a result from interruption caused by material damage events.
Business Owners Policy - A Business Owner's Policy (BOP) is an affordable insurance package that bundles general liability, commercial property and business income. Basically, BOP Insurance protects you by covering some of the most common risks it faces, including; Lawsuits over defamation, copyright infringement, slander, etc. and damage to your firm's property.
You can benefit from this policy because it covers many basic risk exposures you face, and is often cheaper than buying general liability and property insurance separately.
Workers' Compensation Insurance - Workers comp in mandatory in most states for any non-owner employees. Your staff's in-office responsibilities come with their own set of risks. Because they sit behind a computer screen all day, they could develop repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. workers comp can provide the necessary funds to cover immediate medical attention, such as a visit to the ER, if an employee is injured at work. It also compensates them for lost income after they recover.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) - EPLI rotects your firm against the high cost of lawsuits due to discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and other potential charges stemming from employment practices. This coverage can cover your firm from the cost of legal defense, settlements, and other court fees when faced with an allegation for failing to provide a fair, acceptable environment for employees to work.
Commercial Crime - Commercial crime insurance policies protect you from losses resulting from business-related criminal activities. This type of insurance protection covers money, merchandise, and other property loss as a result of embezzlement, robbery, theft, forgery, or other crime as stated in the answering service insurance policy.
Commercial Umbrella - You may want to consider purchasing an umbrella policy that will provide you excess coverage over and beyond what you have purchased with your primary general liability policy, business auto, and workers compensation answering service insurance policies.
Premises liability exposure is minimal due to lack of public access to the premises. Much of the operation occurs via phone or other forms of communication. The exposure increases if service occurs at clients' premises as employees will have access to clients' property.
Errors and omissions exposure varies on the type of client. Should errors occur in the failure to transmit an accurate and timely message of a non-emergency situation, the result may be only a complaint or a very minor claim. However, if the operation responds to calls to police, fire, medical or 911-type operations or suicide hotlines, the errors and omissions concerns increase significantly due to the potential for physical injury, death, or property damage.
Workers compensation exposure is limited to office hazards. As work is done on computers and other electronic equipment, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations. Additional exposures arise from employees working from their homes.
Property exposures usually are limited to that of an office. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning equipment, wear, and overheating of equipment. All equipment should be in good condition to prevent electrical fires.
Crime exposure comes from employee dishonesty. Hazards increase in the absence of background checks and monitoring procedures. Billing and disbursement should be separate duties. Audits should be performed at least annually.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the service offers credit, computers and valuable papers and records for customers' and callers' information. Recordkeeping of calls received is critical and may require custom software, including a database and the ability to fax or email messages to the client as needed.
Business auto exposure is limited to hired and non-owned autos and is very light. If vehicles are provided to employees, there should be written procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained, and records kept in a central location.
It is critical for answerign servicess to be covered with the appropriate insurance coverage.
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
Get informed about small business professional services insurance, including Professional liability, aka errors and omissions (E&O insurance), that protects your business against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client financial loss.
Let's face reality. People today are claims conscious, resulting in a significant share of malpractice lawsuits against professionals.
Liability resulting from the rendering of or the failure to render professional services is excluded in most liability coverage forms. This means that a policy covering a account's or lawyers' office will cover liability arising out of the maintenance or use of the premises, but specifically exclude liability arising out of the rendering of a professional service or the omission of such a service.
In addition to the professions in which actual physical or mental injury may be caused to clients, certain other professions are exposed to claims for malpractice.
Claims may be brought against lawyers, accountants, architects, and similar professional persons for errors or omissions in their professional capacity. Errors & Omissions insurance pays damages that might be awarded to a plaintiff alleging professional negligence.
Professional liability policies are made available to such risks, and these policies provide essentially the same protection as is afforded under the physicians, surgeons or dentists professional liability policy.