Real Estate Appraiser Insurance Policy Information
Real Estate Appraiser Insurance. As a real estate appraiser, your job is to help buyers and sellers to figure out the value of property. Although real estate appraising might seem like a straight forward job, it comes with many risks. The number of risks involved in this type of business makes it a good idea to have insurance.
Appraisers provide independent valuation services for both real and personal property. These valuations may be used for tax or other financial statements, loss adjustment, insurable values, home or commercial building purchases, or as a result of legal action. Valuations may be based on replacement cost, market value, actual cash value (depreciated), or functional value.
Appraisers can specialize in specific types or categories of properties, such as real estate or collectibles, or they may offer a wide range of valuation services. Some offer their services to the general public, while others are trade- or industry-specific, such as insurance claims adjusting.
If you're in the business of real estate appraising, then getting the right insurance can protect your business from financial ruin. Here we will take a look at the different types of real estate appraiser insurance you can get to protect your business.
Real estate appraiser insurance protects your company from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Risks That Real Estate Appraisers Face
As stated before there are many risks you face as a real estate appraiser. Some of the risks you'll face include:
- Injury to another person
- Physical damage to someone else's property
- Injury to yourself
- Injury to an employee
- Injury to a contractor
- Causing financial loss for a buyer or seller, because of improper property value assessment.
- Getting in an accident while conducting business
As you can see many things can go wrong when operating your business. Above you can see the number of risks involved with this business, now let's take a look at what you can do to protect your firm.
Why Real Estate Appraiser Insurance Is A Must
To adequately protect your business as a real estate appraiser you'll need a variety of real estate appraiser insurance policies in your insurance portfolio. Each insurance policy you get for your appraising business will cover a different type of risk. Here are some of the different insurance plans you could get for your business:
Commercial General Liability Insurance - If your company gets a lawsuit and you're required to go to court then this the insurance you need. Having this insurance helps with the costs associated with legal defense and other judgments as a result of the trial. If an employee causes damage to a third party or their property, then this insurance will help to cover your business.
Professional Liability Insurance - Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability is the type of insurance that provides you with protection against lawsuits due to negligence. If you fail to perform your professional duties successfully you can be held liable. Appraisers get many frivolous lawsuits for issues that originate after the home is purchased. For this reason having this real estate appraiser insurance is best. Being a real estate appraiser makes this the most important insurance you can get for your business.
Commercial Auto Insurance - Having this insurance protects the vehicles you use for your business. Many personal car insurance policies do not cover business use. This insurance covers any damaged caused by your business vehicles when driving to inspections and other meetings.
Non-owned Auto Liability Insurance - If an employee uses their vehicle to do work for the business, they will need protection while on the road. Non-owned auto liability insurance is how you will provide them with this protection. Having this insurance is important to keep your employees protected when they use their vehicles for business errands. So if they hurt someone and your business is sued you will have protection.
Workers' Compensation - One of the most important insurance policies to have for your business. Workers comp is required in many states for any non partner or owner employees. If an employee is injured while on the job and required to see a doctor, then this insurance helps with the costs associated with that injury. This insurance also offers benefits to the family if the injury results in a fatality.
Real Estate Appraiser's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is often very limited as most of the client contact is done over the phone, electronically, or by mail. Appraisers may spend a lot of time off-site at clients' premises, loss sites, or at premises undergoing valuation. There must be training and procedures for appropriate behavior. Complaints about appraisers should be dealt with quickly.
Professional liability exposures arise from the accuracy of the appraiser's analysis of the valuation information. If done in conjunction with a loss, claims settlements can involve millions of dollars. Independent insurance appraisers may have legal responsibilities to both the insurer and the insurer's policyholder and are sometimes party to sensitive negotiations. Real estate appraisers' calculations may have a significant impact on the salability and purchase price of a property. Hazards increase if the firm fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' education and employment history.
Workers compensation exposure is based on the type of items being appraised. 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. Travel may be extensive. Exposures increase with offsite work as the appraiser may work in damaged buildings or under other compromised conditions. Protective gear must be provided in certain circumstances. Appraisers may be injured 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. There may be considerable storage of property valuation documentation, diagrams, photos and similar records, although these are now often digital instead of paper format. Ignition sources include 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 and various types of fraud to both clients and third parties such as banks, insurers, or real estate firms with an interest in the valuation of the property. The exposure can be quite serious as appraisers have access to individual customer's personal and proprietary information. Hazards increase without proper background checks and monitoring procedures. All job duties, such as ordering, billing, and disbursement, should be separate and reconciled on a regular basis. Audits should be conducted at least annually.
Inland marine exposure is from accounts receivable if the appraiser offers credit, computers, special floaters, and valuable papers and records for clients' and valuation information. Appraisers do field work which requires a variety of specialty equipment to do their valuations. The customers' papers on file may be originals that are difficult to re-create. A morale hazard may be indicated if the appraiser 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 in the event of a loss.
Commercial auto exposures will vary. The primary risk is from hired and non-owned vehicles as appraisers may use rental cars when sites to be valued are not local. If company vehicles are supplied for use, 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.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 6411 Insurance Agents, Brokers, and Service, 6531 Real Estate Agents and Managers
- NAICS CODE: 524298 All Other Insurance Related Activities, 531320 Offices of Real Estate Appraisers
- Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s): 96317, 97308
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8720, 8721
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 Appraiser Insurance
There's no effective way to predict what will happen to your business in the future. This is why it's best to stay prepared and one of the best ways to be ready is to have insurance. To get started on finding the best insurance coverages for your real estate appraiser business you can speak with an experienced insurance agent. Doing this will put you in the best position to find the insurance that's right for you.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
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.
Small Business Economic Data 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 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
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:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
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 Insurance
- Home Inspection Insurance
- Mortgage Broker Insurance
- Property Manager Insurance
- Real Estate Agents Insurance
- Real Estate Appraiser Insurance
For real estate professional liability policies, the insurance company agrees to pay amounts the insured is legally obligated to pay as damages because of a wrongful act. However, this insurance must cover the wrongful act.
The insurance company not only has the right to defend any suit brought against the insured, it also has a duty to do so. That duty, which can be very expensive, does not apply to suits brought for wrongful acts that this insurance does not cover.
What type of coverage is available for real estate agents who provide insurance advice? Any claim related to the sale or purchase of insurance is not covered. In addition, there is no coverage for any recommendations or advice regarding insurance or any failure to procure or maintain appropriate insurance.
Who is considered an insured under the Real Estate Agents and Brokers Professional Liability Policy? The named insured is an insured. The named insured is the entity or individual listed on the declarations. There can be multiple named insureds.
Any entity listed in the application as a predecessor organization is an insured. The named insured must be the entity's majority successor of interest with respect to the predecessor organization's financial assets and liabilities.
Are Real Estate Brokers Professional Liability policies written on an "occurrence" or a "claims-made" basis? Insurance is written on a claims-made basis, requiring that a claim must be reported to the insurer during the policy period or during the extended reporting period.
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.