Real Estate Agents Insurance Policy Information
Real Estate Agents Insurance. Real estate agents list, advertise, promote or arrange the sale of real property or land for a seller or locate properties to purchase for a buyer. The agent often helps negotiate the price and conditions of the sales transaction. Real estate agents traditionally work on a commission basis, but fee arrangements are becoming more common.
A real estate agent enters into a contractual relationship either with a buyer seeking to purchase property or with a property owner seeking to sell or lease a property. Some states permit an agent to represent both the buyer and the seller in a transaction.
The agency may work only through employees or through independent contractors. The status of each must be determined since it may impact how coverages apply. Real estate agents may offer other services including insurance sales, mortgages, or valuations. In most states, real estate agents need to successfully pass an exam and maintain a license. Many states have reciprocal agreements allowing a licensed real estate agent to work in other states.
If you are a real estate agent, you are not immune from liability during the course of your business' operations, even if you work from home. A business owner's policy, or BOP policy, provides the protection you need to face lawsuits and claims against your business without sacrificing your business' reputation and finances.
In your line of work, you likely face specific risks, including property damage, data loss, employee errors, and accidents. With a business owner's or real estate agents insurance policy, you can mitigate those risks and protect your business' assets.
Real estate agents insurance protects your office 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 real estate agents insurance questions:
- What Is Real Estate Agent Insurance?
- How Much Does Real Estate Agent Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Realtors Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Real Estate Agents Need?
- What Are Real Estate Agents Risks & Exposures?
- What Does Real Estate Agent Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Real Estate Agent Insurance?
Real estate agent insurance is a type of insurance that protects real estate agents and brokers from financial loss in the event of a lawsuit or other claim. This can include errors and omissions insurance (E&O), which covers mistakes or oversights made by the agent, as well as liability insurance, which covers damages or injuries caused by the agent.
Real estate agent insurance can also include coverage for loss of income or business interruption. It is designed to protect the agents and brokerages from unforeseen events that may happen while conducting business and can arise from their actions or failure to act.
How Much Does Real Estate Agent Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small real estate agent ranges from $27 to $39 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Why Do Realtors Need Insurance?
Realtors need insurance for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is to protect themselves and their business from potential legal and financial liabilities. This can include things like errors and omissions, which can occur when a realtor provides incorrect or incomplete information to a client.
In addition, realtors may also be at risk for personal injury or property damage claims if they are working on behalf of a client.
Another reason for realtors to have insurance is to protect their clients. Realtors may be required to carry certain types of insurance in order to work with certain clients or on certain properties. This can include things like professional liability insurance, which protects clients from any errors or omissions made by the realtor.
Realtors also need insurance to protect their income and assets. If a realtor is unable to work due to an injury or other unforeseen circumstance, they may not be able to earn an income. Insurance can help to cover these types of losses, ensuring that the realtor can continue to support themselves and their family.
Overall, realtors need insurance to protect themselves and their business from a wide range of potential risks and liabilities. Without insurance, realtors may be at risk for financial losses and legal consequences, which can have serious impacts on their career and personal life.
What Type Of Insurance Do Real Estate Agents Need?
Realtors need insurance to protect themselves and their business from potential risks and liabilities. Some of the types of insurance that realtors may need include:
- Professional Liability: This type of insurance protects realtors against claims of professional negligence or errors and omissions. It covers legal defense costs and damages that may be awarded in a lawsuit. This could include issues with contracts, property titles, or zoning regulations.
- General Liability: This insurance covers realtors against claims of bodily injury or property damage that may occur during the course of their business. For example, if a client trips and falls on a property that a realtor is showing, this insurance would cover any medical expenses and damages.
- Business Owner's Policy: This insurance combines general liability insurance with property coverage for a realtor's business assets, such as office equipment and supplies.
- Cyber Liability Insurance: As more and more real estate transactions are conducted online, realtors may need insurance to protect against cyber attacks and data breaches.
In addition to the above types of insurance, realtors may also want to consider purchasing health insurance and disability insurance to protect themselves and their families.
Health insurance is important to have in case of unexpected medical expenses, and disability insurance can provide financial protection in the event that a realtor is unable to work due to injury or illness.
Realtors may also want to consider purchasing insurance for their vehicles if they use their own car for business purposes. Commercial auto insurance can cover damages to a realtor's car and any injuries sustained in an accident.
Finally, realtors should consider purchasing life insurance to provide financial protection for their families in the event of their unexpected death. Life insurance can help to ensure that loved ones are taken care of financially and can cover funeral and burial costs.
In summary, realtors need a variety of insurance coverage to protect themselves and their business from potential risks and liabilities. It is important for realtors to carefully review their insurance needs and work with a professional to find the right coverage for their business.
For Brokers: Hired and Non-Owned Auto Policies
While a realtor's commercial auto insurance policy will cover them in the event of an accident, it won't cover you, their broker. The other driver's lawyer could decide to come after you as well.
You'll purchase one of these policies if you manage realtors who are using their own vehicles to conduct business as real estate agents. This is a liability policy that will cover you if you get sued after an auto accident. Which you can be, in many states, if you were managing the employee at the time of the accident.
If you don't want to purchase this form of coverage, there is another option. You can require your realtors to take out a commercial auto insurance policy, and then add you to the policy as an additional insured. Keep in mind that this strategy could scare some talented agents away, as you will vastly increase the realtor's out-of-pocket costs. Taking out your own coverage could ultimately be the more profitable move.
What Are Real Estate Agents Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is often minimal at the office location if most of the client contact is electronic or by mail. If clients visit the premises, they must be kept in designated areas that are well maintained with floor covering in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient and well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. Parking lots and sidewalks must be in good repair, with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and falls.
Off-premises exposures arise from sales visits, inspections, open houses, and similar work at customers' premises. Since both buyer and seller are often represented by different realtors, any damage that occurs during open house showings may result in disputes with customers, prospective buyers or sellers, or other realty firms as to who is responsible for damages. Hazards increase in the absence of controls regarding keys, the use of lockboxes, or other devices that permit easy entry, and record keeping regarding access and visits by agents from other realty firms.
Professional liability exposure is extensive. The exposure increases if the agency fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing, permits clerical workers to do tasks that only the professionals should handle, or if error checking procedures are ignored or are inadequate. Very serious losses may result from failure to document decisions and actions or to secure client approval. For services such as property management, the insured will have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the client's best interests.
Personal injury exposures include assault, battery, libel, and slander, and invasion of privacy. An important consideration is the status of employees vs. subcontractors as the relationships and contracts vary by agency. Contracts should be clear as to which services are provided by the agency to the subcontractors and the expectations the agency has of the subcontractor. If agents are independent contractors, any injuries they incur on premises are part of the premises liability exposure instead of workers compensation.
Workers compensation exposures include both office operations and off-site work for sales work, property showings, and similar activities. As 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. Travel may be extensive. Workers who travel offsite can be injured by slips and falls or in automobile accidents. Agents may show properties at unusual hours to prospective customers whom they may not know personally, posing a potentially serious risk from assault. The contractual relationship between the agency and any independent contractors helps determine the workers compensation exposure, although regulatory definitions of the employee may supersede the contract terms.
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 wiring, heating and air conditioning, wear, and overheating of equipment.
Crime exposure comes from employee dishonesty, including risks to theft of customers' property. Realtors have access to customers' financial information. 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. Audits should be performed at least annually.
Inland marine exposures consist of accounts receivable if the agency offers credit, computers and valuable papers and records for clients' information such as listings. Clients' records and approvals are typically originals that are difficult to recreate. 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. Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards. Duplicates should be kept off-site to allow for re-creation following a loss.
Commercial auto exposure may be limited to hired and non-owned. The exposure increases if clients are transported to showings. 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 Real Estate Agent Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Real estate agents can be sued for a variety of reasons. Some common reasons include:
Misrepresentation: Real estate agents are obligated to provide accurate information to clients about properties they are selling or renting. If they fail to do so and a client suffers financial loss as a result, the agent may be sued for misrepresentation. Real estate agents are obligated to provide accurate information to clients about properties they are selling or renting. If they fail to do so and a client suffers financial loss as a result, the agent may be sued for misrepresentation.
Breach of contract: Real estate agents often enter into contracts with clients for the sale or rental of properties. If an agent breaches the terms of the contract, the client may sue for damages. If a client sues a real estate agent for breach of contract, the agent's insurance policy may cover the costs of defending against the lawsuit and paying any damages awarded.
Negligence: If a real estate agent fails to exercise reasonable care when performing their duties, they may be sued for negligence. This can include failing to disclose important information about a property, failing to perform due diligence, or failing to follow proper procedures. If a real estate agent is sued for negligence, their insurance policy may cover the costs of defending against the lawsuit and paying any damages awarded.
Discrimination: Real estate agents are prohibited from discriminating against clients based on factors such as race, gender, or religion. If an agent is found to have engaged in discriminatory behavior, they may be sued for damages. If a client sues a real estate agent for discrimination, the agent's insurance policy may cover the costs of defending against the lawsuit and paying any damages awarded.
Insurance can help protect real estate agents in the event of a lawsuit. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, can cover the costs associated with defending against a lawsuit and paying damages if the agent is found to be at fault.
In general, professional liability insurance can provide real estate agents with peace of mind knowing that they are protected in the event of a lawsuit. However, it's important to note that insurance policies may have limitations and exclusions, so it's important for agents to carefully review their policies and understand what is covered.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 6531 Real Estate Agents and Managers
- NAICS CODE: 531210 Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers, 531311 Residential Property Managers, 531312 Nonresidential Property Managers
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8721 Real Estate Agency - Outside Employees & Collectors, 8810 Clerical Office Employees NOC, 9012 Building or Property Management - Property Managers and Leasing Agents & Clerical, Salespersons, 9015 Building or Property Management - All Other Employees
Description for 6531: Real Estate Agents and Managers
Division H: Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate | Major Group 65: Real Estate | Industry Group 653: Real Estate Agents And Managers
6531 Real Estate Agents and Managers: Establishments primarily engaged in renting, buying, selling, managing, and appraising real estate for others.
- Agents, real estate
- Appraisers, real estate
- Brokers of manufactured homes, on site
- Brokers, real estate
- Buying agents, real estate
- Cemetery management service
- Condominium managers
- Cooperative apartment manager
- Escrow agents, real estate
- Fiduciaries, real estate
- Housing authorities, operating
- Listing service, real estate
- Managers, real estate
- Multiple listing services, real estate
- Real estate auctions
- Rental agents for real estate
- Selling agents for real estate
- Time-sharing real estate: sales, leasing, and rentals
Real Estate Agents Insurance - The Bottom Line
There's no effective way to predict what will happen to your realty business in the future. To get started on finding the best real estate insurance coverages for your business - you can speak with an experienced insurance broker to go over your options.
Doing this will put you in the best position to find the commercial insurance package that's right for you.
Additional Resources For Real Estate Insurance
Learn about small business real estate insurance coverages including liability and commercial property policies for realtors, mortgage companies and more.
- Corporate Office
- Home Inspectione
- Property Manager
- Real Estate Agents
- Real Estate Appraiser
- Specialty Real Estate
The real estate industry involves a lot of investment, both in terms of finances and time. Therefore, it is important for real estate professionals to protect themselves and their assets with business insurance.
One major reason why the real estate industry needs commercial insurance is to protect against lawsuits. As a real estate professional, you may be sued for various reasons such as property damage, injury on the property, or even discrimination. Insurance can provide financial protection against these types of legal issues and help cover the costs of defending against a lawsuit.
Another reason why commercial insurance is important in the real estate industry is to protect against natural disasters. Homes and other properties can be damaged by natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, which can lead to costly repairs. Insurance can provide financial assistance to cover these repair costs and help real estate professionals get back on their feet after a disaster.
Finally, insurance is important for the real estate industry because it can help protect against financial loss. For example, if a real estate investment goes sour or a property is not rented out as expected, insurance can provide financial assistance to help cover the losses.
Overall, the real estate industry needs business insurance to protect against legal issues, natural disasters, and financial loss. Without insurance, real estate professionals may face significant financial and legal risks that could impact their business and livelihood.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income with Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, 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, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage abd Stop Gap Liability.