Insurance Agents And Brokers Insurance Policy Information
Insurance Agents And Brokers Insurance. Insurance agents and brokers sell insurance products to individual and commercial clients, including property, casualty, health and life insurance products, on a fee or commission basis. Some sell annuities or products with an investment component. Agents can be captive and represent one company only, or be independent and represent a number of companies. Agents must be licensed in the states they represent for the type of insurance products they sell.
Agents may have draft authority to pay smaller claims on behalf of the companies they represent. An agent selling investment-based products is also regulated under the jurisdiction of the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission. Agents are held to a high degree of professional knowledge and skill because of the possibility of major loss if the client is not properly protected.
As an insurance agent or insurance broker, you provide an invaluable service for your clients: you assist them with choosing and securing the right type of insurance coverage. Due to the nature of your work, you know how important insurance is, but your clients aren't the only ones who need to be insured; you need to be, too.
As with any business, insurance agents and brokers face numerous risks, and whether you own and operate your own brokerage or you are an agent for an insurance agency, you're legally responsible for the risks those risks. But what type of coverage do you need? Below, we provide an overview of the some of the key insurance agents and brokers insurance policies that agencies should carry.
Insurance agents and brokers insurance protects your agency from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote for errors and omissions (E&O), general liability, workers comp and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked insurance brokers and agents business insurance questions:
- What Is Insurance Agents And Brokers Insurance?
- How Much Does Insurance Agents And Brokers Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Insurance Agents And Brokers Need Business Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Insurance Agents And Brokers Need?
- What Are Insurance Agents And Brokers Risks & Exposures?
- What Does Insurance Agents And Brokers Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Insurance Agents And Brokers Insurance?
Insurance Agents and Brokers Insurance is a type of insurance designed to protect insurance agents and brokers from financial losses due to errors and omissions in their work. It covers claims made against them for mistakes or oversights in their advice or services, as well as for any wrongful acts or misrepresentations they may make while conducting their business.
This type of insurance can also provide coverage for defense costs and other legal expenses associated with a claim. It is important for insurance agents and brokers to have this type of insurance in place to protect themselves and their business from potential financial losses.
How Much Does Insurance Agents And Brokers Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small insurance agents and brokers ranges from $27 to $59 per month based on location, services offered, payroll, sales and experience.
Why Do Insurance Agents And Brokers Need Business Insurance?
Insurance agents and brokers are responsible for helping clients choose the right insurance coverage to protect their assets and financial well-being. However, they themselves also need insurance to protect their own businesses and personal assets.
One reason insurance agents and brokers need insurance is to protect against professional liability. This type of insurance covers legal fees and damages if a client sues the agent or broker for alleged errors or omissions in their advice or service. Without professional liability insurance, agents and brokers could face significant financial losses and even bankruptcy.
Another reason is to protect against business interruption. This type of insurance agents and brokers insurance covers lost income and expenses if the agent or broker's business is temporarily shut down due to a covered event, such as a natural disaster or a pandemic. Without business interruption insurance, agents and brokers could struggle to keep their businesses afloat during difficult times.
Finally, insurance agents and brokers may also need personal insurance to protect their own assets and financial well-being. This could include life insurance, health insurance, and homeowners or renters insurance. Without these types of coverage, agents and brokers could face significant financial losses in the event of unexpected events or illnesses.
In summary, insurance agents and brokers need insurance to protect their businesses and personal assets from potential legal and financial risks. Without insurance, they could face significant financial losses and even bankruptcy.
What Type Of Insurance Do Insurance Agents And Brokers Need?
The type of insurance agents and brokers insurance that agencies and brokerages should carry depends on a variety of factors; where you're located and whether or not you own the business, and premium volume for example.
Other examples includes what type of insurance are you selling? Specifically on the errors and omissions side (E&O or professional liability); personal lines, commercial lines, property & casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, annuities, registered products like mutual funds etc. - the makeup of your book can determine what type, how much and where you can get the insurance to cover your agency.
To ensure you have the right coverage, consulting with a reputable commercial agent or broker (yes, someone just like you) is recommended; however, the following are examples of some of the key policies that insurance agents and brokers should carry:
- Professional Liability - While you make every effort to avoid them, mistakes can happen. Your employees can make errors or you can make errors yourself, and those mistakes can be costly. For example, if a member of you staff doesn't answer a key question or an agent you employ fails to inform a client about exclusions on their policy, you could be facing legal problems. Professional liability insurance will cover the cost of legal defense fees, settlement fees, and any other expenses that are associated with mistakes that may occur.
- General Liability - General liability insurance covers client injuries, client property damage, and related lawsuits. It's often required for commercial leases and contracts.
- Commercial Property - If you own and operate the agency or brokerage, you'll also need to carry commercial property insurance. This coverage will help to repair or replace damages that the physical structure of your property sustains in an act of nature or vandalism. It will also assist with the repair or replacement of business supplies, materials, furnishings, and even personal effects that are damaged or stolen in an act of nature, theft, or vandalism.
- Workers' Compensation - If you are the owner and operator of your insurance agency or brokerage and you employ a staff, you'll need to carry workers' compensation insurance. This type of coverage will protect you from having to cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages out of your own pocket should a staff member sustain a work-related injury or illness.
- Data Breach - Computers make operating your business a lot easier; however, they can also cause serious problems. For example, a hacker could break into your system and steal your clients' sensitive information. Recovering from a data breach is extremely expensive, but if you invest in data insurance, those costs will be covered by your carrier.
What Are Insurance Brokers And Agents Risks & Exposures
Professional liability exposures are extensive. Working with individual clients presents fewer professional exposures than working with corporate clients. Hazards increase if the agency fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing, ignores or has inadequate error checking procedures, or allows clerical workers to do tasks that only the professionals should handle.
Ongoing training must be required for all employees. Very serious losses may result from failure to document decisions and actions or to secure client approval.
Premises liability exposure is often minimal as most of the client contact is done over the phone, electronically or by mail. If clients visit the premises, they must be confined to designated areas to prevent them from observing other clients' confidential information or overhearing private conversations. To prevent slips, trips, or falls, all areas accessible to customers 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-site 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.
Workers compensation exposures are primarily those of an office, although some firms have significant off-site work for sales presentations and similar activities. Travel may be extensive. Since office 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. Employees who travel 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 equipment, wear, and overheating of equipment. Computers and other electronic equipment may be targets for theft.
Crime exposure comes from employee dishonesty, money and securities, and various types of fraud to both clients and insurers. Insurance agents frequently have access to their clients' personal and proprietary information and may have draft authority from carriers to pay smaller claims. Potential for theft, directly or by means of identity theft, is great.
Hazards increase in the absence of background checks and monitoring procedures. All job duties, such as ordering, billing, and disbursement, should be separate and reconciled on a regular basis. Receipts should be issued for any cash payments received. Audits should be conducted at least annually.
Inland marine exposures consist of accounts receivable if the agency offers credit, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' and carriers' 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 may be limited to hired and non-owned. If vehicles are supplied 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 Insurance Agents And Brokers Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Insurance agents and brokers can be sued for various reasons, often related to professional negligence, errors, or omissions in their services. The type of insurance that typically protects them is called Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, also known as Professional Liability insurance. This insurance helps cover the costs associated with legal defense, settlements, and judgments that arise from lawsuits. Here are some examples of situations where insurance agents and brokers may be sued, and how E&O insurance can help:
Failure to procure coverage: If an agent or broker fails to secure the appropriate insurance coverage for a client, the client may sue for damages suffered due to insufficient protection. E&O insurance can help cover the legal costs and any settlement or judgment awarded to the client in such a lawsuit.
Misrepresentation of coverage: If an agent or broker misrepresents the terms or scope of coverage to a client, they may face legal action if the client suffers a loss that they believed was covered. E&O insurance can help pay for the defense costs, settlements, or judgments arising from the lawsuit.
Negligent advice: If an agent or broker provides incorrect or negligent advice to a client, resulting in financial loss or other damages, the client may sue for compensation. E&O insurance can help cover the legal expenses and any settlement or judgment that may result from the lawsuit.
Errors in policy administration: Mistakes in processing insurance policies, such as failing to cancel a policy or failing to notify a client of policy changes, can lead to lawsuits. E&O insurance can help cover the costs of defending against such claims and any settlement or judgment awarded to the client.
Failure to disclose policy exclusions or limitations: If an agent or broker fails to disclose important policy exclusions or limitations to a client, they may be sued if the client suffers a loss that was not covered due to the undisclosed information. E&O insurance can help pay for the legal defense and any settlement or judgment resulting from the lawsuit.
In each of these examples, E&O insurance can be a crucial financial safety net for insurance agents and brokers, helping them navigate the legal challenges that may arise from their professional services. It's essential for agents and brokers to maintain adequate E&O coverage to protect themselves and their businesses from potential lawsuits.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 6411 Insurance Agents, Brokers and Services
- NAICS CODE: 524210 Insurance Agencies and Brokerages
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8810 Clerical Office Employees NOC, 8742 Salespersons or Collectors - Outside
Description for 6411: Insurance Agents, Brokers and Services
Division H: Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate | Major Group 64: Insurance Agents, Brokers, And Service | Industry Group 641: Insurance Agents, Brokers, And Service
6411 Insurance Agents, Brokers, and Service: Agents primarily representing one or more insurance carriers, or brokers not representing any particular carriers primarily engaged as independent contractors in the sale or placement of insurance contracts with carriers, but not employees of the insurance carriers they represent. This industry also includes independent organizations concerned with insurance services.
- Fire Insurance Underwriters' Laboratories
- Fire loss appraisal
- Insurance adjusters
- Insurance advisory services
- Insurance agents
- Insurance brokers
- Insurance claim adjusters, not employed by insurance companies
- Insurance educational services
- Insurance information bureaus
- Insurance inspection and investigation services
- Insurance loss prevention services
- Insurance patrol services
- Insurance professional standards services
- Insurance reporting services
- Insurance research services
- Insurance services
- Life insurance agents
- Medical insurance claims, processing of: contract or fee basis
- Pension and retirement plan consultants
- Policy holders'consulting service
- Rate making organizations, insurance
Insurance Agents And Brokers Insurance - The Bottom Line
When you are an insurance agent or broker you face many risks. Having the right insurance for your agency or brokerage protects you when you face a lawsuit. The right insurance package can be the difference between losing everything in a lawsuit and keeping your business's doors open.
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.