Expert Witness Insurance Policy Information
Expert Witness Insurance. Business insurance is coverage for protection against potential losses through unforeseen circumstances like theft and property damage and in the occurrence of an interruption of business or injured employees. There many forms of commercial insurance, what you will need depend on your business.
An expert witness is a person whose opinion by virtue of education, training, certification, skills or experience is accepted by the judge as an expert. The judge may consider the witnesses specialized opinion about the evidence or facts before the court within the expert's area of expertise.
The expert is usually relied upon for their opinion on severity of injury, degree of sanity, cause of failure in a machine, loss of earnings and associated benefits. In the case of intellectual property, they may be given two book texts or music scores and are asked to ascertain their degree of similarity.
The risk that your business is likely to encounter is a major factor to consider when selecting a commercial insurance. General liability and errors and omissions (professional liability) are some of the most basic expert witness insurance policies.
Expert witness insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked expert witness insurance questions:
- What Is Expert Witness Insurance?
- How Much Does Expert Witness Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Expert Witnesses Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Expert Witnesses Need?
- What Does Expert Witness Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Expert Witness Insurance?
Expert witness insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that provides coverage for professionals who are appointed as expert witnesses in legal cases. It protects the expert witness against claims of negligence, errors, or omissions made during the provision of expert testimony in a court of law.
The insurance covers the costs of defense, damages, and other legal expenses incurred by the expert witness during the legal proceedings. This type of insurance is crucial for experts in various fields, such as medicine, engineering, finance, and others, who are often called upon to provide testimony in legal cases.
How Much Does Expert Witness Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small expert witnesses ranges from $27 to $39 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Why Do Expert Witnesses Need Insurance?
Expert witnesses need insurance for several reasons:
Professional Liability: Expert witnesses can be held liable if their testimony is found to be incorrect or if they fail to disclose relevant information. Insurance can protect them from financial losses in the event of a lawsuit.
Legal Fees: If an expert witness is sued, insurance can cover the costs of legal fees. This can be a significant financial burden for an individual expert witness, so insurance provides peace of mind that they won't have to pay out of pocket.
Reputation: Expert witnesses' reputations can be damaged if they are found to have provided incorrect testimony. Insurance can help protect their reputation by providing them with a legal defense and ensuring they are not held responsible for their mistakes.
Legal Requirements: In some jurisdictions, expert witnesses may be required to have insurance in order to be eligible to provide testimony. This requirement can vary by state or country, so it's important for expert witnesses to understand the specific requirements in their jurisdiction.
What Type Of Insurance Do Expert Witnesses Need?
Here are some of the major types of expert witness insurance policies available:
Professional Liability - As an expert witness' job is to provide advice to the court, and the most important expert witness insurance policy you should take is professional liability, also known as errors and omissions (E&O).
Professional liability insurance covers you when a client loses money because of negligence, services, or designs. It covers legal fees and compensation payments taking into account the financial loss of the client.
Mistakes such as providing bad advice, using copyright protected content without permission, unintentional breach of confidentiality, loss of documents and slander are sheltered in the errors and omissions policy.
Sometimes the claim may be false but professional indemnity provides the legal fees to fight the claim. If your business provides counsel, offers a professional service, or handles data or intellectual property, it is essential for you to have professional indemnity insurance. An example of such a profession is the expert witness.
General Liability - General liability insurance covers third parties if they are injured because of your business or if they lose their property or death. Typically government building require you to have this coverage if you are doing business on their property.
Workers Compensation - This type of Expert witness insurance insurance is a legal requirement in most states for employers that have non-owner employees. workers comp shields you from the rate of reimbursement claims due to employee sickness or injury. Casual workers, part-time workers, and temporary staff should be covered.
What Does Expert Witness Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Expert witnesses may be sued for various reasons, generally stemming from alleged negligence, misconduct, or errors in their professional services. Here are some common reasons expert witnesses might be sued and how insurance can help protect them in each scenario:
Professional negligence: If an expert witness provides incorrect or misleading information during a trial, they may be sued for professional negligence. Insurance can help by covering the costs of the lawsuit, such as legal fees, settlements, or judgments against the expert witness. Specifically, professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, is designed to protect professionals against claims of negligence or mistakes in their services.
Breach of contract: An expert witness may be sued if they fail to fulfill their contractual obligations, such as not providing reports on time or not appearing in court when required. In this case, professional liability insurance can help cover the expenses associated with defending the expert witness in court, as well as any financial compensation awarded to the plaintiff if the expert is found liable for breach of contract.
Defamation: An expert witness may be sued for defamation if their testimony includes false statements that harm the reputation of a party involved in the case. In this scenario, professional liability insurance can help cover the legal costs of defending the expert witness and pay any damages awarded to the plaintiff if the expert is found guilty of defamation.
Conflict of interest: An expert witness may be sued if they have a conflict of interest that compromises their ability to provide impartial testimony. This could include financial ties to one of the parties involved in the case. Professional liability insurance can assist in covering the legal fees and any financial compensation awarded to the plaintiff in the event of a conflict of interest lawsuit.
Fraud or misrepresentation: An expert witness may be sued if they are found to have provided fraudulent information or misrepresented their qualifications. In these instances, professional liability insurance can help cover the costs of the lawsuit, including legal fees and any financial compensation awarded to the plaintiff.
In each of these examples, insurance can help protect expert witnesses by covering the expenses associated with lawsuits, such as legal fees, settlements, or judgments. It is essential for expert witnesses to obtain appropriate professional liability insurance to ensure they are adequately protected against potential lawsuits arising from their services.
Expert Witness Insurance - The Bottom Line
Expert witnesses are expected to have a certain level of professionalism and knowledge. When things go wrong because of the expert's opinion are likely to be charged for negligence. Expert witness insurance helps you in mitigating these actions.
You need to weigh the exposures you face in your business and the probability of a claim. Expert witness insurance policies are issued on claims made basis. You should include a retroactive date on the Expert witness insurance policy to shield you against work assumed the preceding policy year.
Additional Resources For Professional Services Insurance
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.
- Answering Service
- Armored Car
- Attorney Lawyer
- Background Music Services
- Business Consulting
- Chemical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Claims Adjuster
- Commercial Laundries
- Commodity Broker
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Credit Bureaus
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Diaper Services
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Planner
- Financial Services
- Funeral Directors
- HR Consultant
- Inspection Bureaus
- Insurance Agents & Brokers Insurance
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Piano Tuners
- Project Management
- Safety Consultants
- Speakers Bureaus
- Tax Preparer
- Temporary Staffing
- Title Abstractors
- Valet Parking
- Specialty Consultants
- Specialty Service Business
The professional services industry, which includes occupations such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, and architects, often deals with sensitive and complex issues that carry a high risk of liability. These professionals are expected to provide their clients with expert advice and guidance, and any mistakes or oversights can result in significant financial consequences for both the client and the professional. This is where insurance comes into play.
Business insurance provides protection against the financial repercussions of potential mistakes or accidents that may occur while providing professional services. For example, a lawyer may make an error in their legal representation that leads to a financial loss for their client. Without insurance, the lawyer would be personally responsible for covering the cost of this loss. Insurance helps to protect professionals from these types of financial burdens and allows them to focus on providing high-quality services to their clients.
In addition to protecting against financial losses, commercial insurance can also provide legal defense for professionals facing legal action as a result of their work. This can be especially important for professionals in high-stress or high-risk fields, such as doctors or architects, who may be at a higher risk of being sued for professional negligence.
Overall, the professional services industry needs insurance to protect against financial losses and legal action, ensuring that professionals can continue to provide high-quality services to their clients without the added stress and burden of potential financial consequences.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Money and Securities, Special Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.