Financial Planner Insurance Policy Information
Financial Planner Insurance. If you're thinking about starting a business that offers financial planning services, there are a lot of things that you need to attend to. Of all the different factors you need to consider, insurance should be high on your list of priorities. Financial planners, like any other business owner, face a number of risks. The best way to protect yourself from these risks is by making sure that you put together a comprehensive insurance portfolio.
A financial planner offers a wide variety of services to individual clients, including an analysis of their financial goals, reviewing cash flows, identifying risk management and insurance needs, financing educational or retirement goals, investment, tax, and estate planning, and succession planning if the client owns a business.
Goals are set with the client to create a financial plan or strategy tailored to the client's unique financial situation. The financial planner may be associated with an insurance operation, accounting operation, real estate operation, or work independently. Services may be offered on a fee basis or commission basis.
Because of the varied areas of knowledge/expertise needed by a financial planner, his or her background, education, certification, experience, and professionalism are items to consider.
Why is insurance so crucial for financial planners? What specific types of coverage should professionals in this industry carry? Below, you'll learn more about financial planner insurance so that you can ensure your business is properly protected.
financial planner insurance protects your investment advice firm from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked financial advisor insurance questions:
- What Is Financial Planner Insurance?
- How Much Does Financial Planner Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Financial Planners Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Financial Planners Need?
- What Are Financial Planners Risks & Exposures?
- What Does Financial Planner Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Financial Planner Insurance?
Financial Planner Insurance is a type of insurance that protects financial planners and their businesses from potential financial losses due to errors, omissions, or other types of professional liability.
This insurance can help protect financial planners from claims made by clients or other third parties, and can help cover the costs of legal defense and any settlements or judgments that may result from such claims.
Financial Planner Insurance can also help protect financial planners from losses due to theft, cyber attacks, and other types of business interruption.
How Much Does Financial Planner Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small financial planners ranges from $47 to $59 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Why Do Financial Planners Need Insurance?
Financial planners, like all professionals, need insurance to protect themselves and their businesses from potential risks and liabilities. In the financial industry, the potential risks and liabilities can be particularly high due to the sensitive and complex nature of the work.
Financial planners often deal with clients' personal and financial information, as well as their investments and financial decisions. If a financial planner makes a mistake or provides incorrect advice, it can have significant consequences for their clients. This can lead to legal action and financial losses for both the financial planner and their clients.
Insurance can provide financial planners with protection against these risks. For example, professional liability insurance can cover the cost of legal fees and damages if a financial planner is sued for errors or omissions in their work. Business insurance can also protect financial planners from losses due to damage to their business property, theft, or other unexpected events.
In addition, financial planners may also need insurance to protect their own personal assets. For example, if they are sued for their professional actions, their personal assets, such as their home and savings, could be at risk. Insurance can help to protect these assets and ensure that financial planners are not financially ruined by a lawsuit or other unexpected event.
Overall, insurance is an important tool for financial planners to protect themselves, their businesses, and their clients from potential risks and liabilities. Without insurance, financial planners could be at significant risk of financial loss and could even face bankruptcy.
By carrying the right type of financial planner insurance coverage, you can protect yourself from these risks and avoid paying exorbitant expenses out of your own pocket. In other words, insurance coverage helps to protect you from severe financial strain that could potentially cripple your business and your personal life.
What Type Of Insurance Do Financial Planners Need
In order to properly protect your financial planning business, having the right type of financial planner insurance coverage for each of the risks that you face is crucial. The risks that financial planners face will vary and depend on a variety of factors, such as the clients the work with, the specific services they provide, and where their business is located.
No matter what the specifics of your business may be, every financial planner should carry the following insurance coverage:
- Commercial General Liability - What happens if a client, a vendor, or some other third-party individual suffers an injury on the premises of your business? What would you do if someone filed a lawsuit against you, claiming that you damaged their property? With commercial general liability insurance, you won't have to worry about the costs that are associated with such incidents, as your insurance provider will handle them for you. For instance, if someone trips over something while visiting your office, breaks a leg, and files a lawsuit, your commercial general liability insurance would cover any related medical costs, as well as legal fees and any damages that may be awarded.
- Professional Liability - Also referred to as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, this type of coverage provides protection against any claims that a client may make regarding the services that you have provided. For instance, a client could sue you for making an error on their taxes or for making poor investment choices. With professional liability insurance, the costs of legal defense fees, as well as any damages that may be awarded, will be covered.
- Cyber Liability - Having a cyber liability insurance policy is also a good idea for financial planners. If someone hacks into your accounts, steals a clients information and identity, or does anything else that could cause harm by using the information obtained by hacking into your system, cyber liability insurance will cover any damages and legal fees.
- Workers' Compensation - If you employ a staff, you are responsible for protecting them from any work-related hazards that they may be exposed to. Workers' comp will pay for any medical care and lost wages if an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness.
What Are Financial Planners Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is often minimal since much of the client contact is done electronically or by mail. If clients visit the premises, they must be confined to designated areas to prevent them from overhearing conversations regarding other clients' confidential information. To prevent slips, trips, and falls, all areas accessible to clients should be well lighted with floor coverings in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient, and be well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. Off-premises exposures arise from sales visits, training sessions, and similar work at the customer's premises. There should be policies and training as to off-site conduct by employees.
Professional liability exposures are extensive. Working with individual clients presents fewer professional exposures than working with corporate clients. The exposure increases if the planner fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials and education, if clerical workers are allowed to do tasks that only professionals should handle, or if error checking procedures are ignored or are inadequate.
All employees must be appropriately certified for the financial planning provided. If financial products are sold, the appropriate licenses must be in place. All advice given must be documented. Very serious losses may result from failure to document decisions and actions or to secure client approval.
Workers compensation exposures are generally limited to those of an office. Since work is done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations. Some financial planners travel extensively off site for sales presentations and similar activities. Workers can be injured by slips and falls at clients' premises or in automobile accidents.
Property exposure is generally limited to that of an office, although there may be some incidental storage or an area for meetings. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems, wear, and overheating of equipment. Computers and other electronic equipment may be targets for theft.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty, which can be quite serious as financial planners routinely have access to their clients' personal financial information, such as banking and investment accounts. Potential for theft, directly or by means of identity theft, is great. Hazards increase without proper background checks, along with monitoring procedures and securing of all records to prevent unauthorized access.
All job duties, such as ordering, billing and disbursing should be separate and reconciled on a regular basis. Receipts should be issued for any cash payments received. Bank deposits should be made on a timely basis to limit the buildup of cash on premises. Audits should be performed at least annually.
Inland marine exposures consist of accounts receivable if the firm offers credit, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' and vendors' information. Clients' records and approvals are typically originals that are difficult to re-create. Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards. A morale hazard may be indicated if the insured does not keep valuable papers and disks in fireproof file cabinets to protect them from smoke, water, and fire. Duplicates should be kept off-site to allow for re-creation in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned. 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.
What Does Financial Planner Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Financial planners can be sued for various reasons, including negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, unsuitable investment advice, and failure to disclose conflicts of interest. Professional liability insurance, also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, can help protect financial planners in these situations by providing coverage for legal defense costs, settlements, and judgments. Here are a few examples:
Negligence: A financial planner may be sued for negligence if they fail to exercise the appropriate level of care and skill that a reasonable professional in their position would exercise. For example, if a financial planner fails to properly diversify a client's portfolio, and the client experiences significant losses as a result, the client may sue the planner for negligence. E&O insurance would cover the financial planner's legal defense costs and any damages awarded to the client.
Breach of fiduciary duty: Financial planners have a legal duty to act in the best interest of their clients. If a planner is found to have breached this duty by putting their own interests above those of their clients, they can be sued for breach of fiduciary duty. For instance, if a planner recommends a high-fee investment product that generates substantial commissions for themselves but is not in the client's best interest, the client may sue. E&O insurance would help pay for the planner's legal defense and any damages awarded.
Misrepresentation: If a financial planner provides false or misleading information to a client about an investment or financial product, they can be sued for misrepresentation. For example, if a planner misrepresents the risk level of an investment and the client suffers losses as a result, the client may file a lawsuit. E&O insurance would cover the financial planner's legal defense costs and any damages awarded to the client.
Unsuitable investment advice: Financial planners can be sued if they provide investment advice that is unsuitable for a client's specific needs, goals, and risk tolerance. For instance, if a planner recommends an aggressive, high-risk investment strategy to a conservative, risk-averse client, and the client loses money as a result, the client may sue. E&O insurance would help pay for the financial planner's legal defense and any damages awarded.
Failure to disclose conflicts of interest: Financial planners have a duty to disclose any conflicts of interest that may affect their advice to clients. If a planner fails to disclose a conflict, such as a financial incentive to recommend a particular product, they can be sued. E&O insurance would cover the financial planner's legal defense costs and any damages awarded to the client.
In each of these examples, E&O insurance can help protect financial planners by covering legal defense costs, settlements, and judgments that arise from lawsuits. It's important for financial planners to have an adequate E&O insurance policy in place to protect their practice and personal assets from the financial consequences of potential lawsuits.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 6282 Investment Advice
- NAICS CODE: 523930 Investment Advice, 523920 Portfolio Management
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8803 Auditor, Accountant, or Computer System Designer or Programmer - Traveling, 8810 Clerical Office Employees NOC
Description for 6282: Investment Advice
Division H: Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate | Major Group 62: Security And Commodity Brokers, Dealers, Exchanges, And Services | Industry Group 628: Services Allied With The Exchange Of Securities
6282 Investment Advice Establishments primarily engaged in furnishing investment information and advice to companies and individuals concerning securities and commodities on a contract or fee basis. Establishments that provide advice and also act as brokers or dealers are classified in Industry 6211.
- Futures advisory service
- Investment advisory service
- Investment counselors
- Investment research
- Manager of mutual funds, contract or fee basis
Financial Planner Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find exactly what type of financial planner insurance you need to carry and how much coverage you should invest in, speak with an experienced insurance agent who undertans the risk your advisory business faces.
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.