Many professionals have a need for Professional Liability Insurance. Doctors, Nurses, Home Inspectors, and Lawyers are just a few among a growing list. Though most businesses carry liability coverage in the event that someone is hurt on their property or by their product; Professional Liability Insurances takes it to the next level.

Professional liability coverage protects the professional from damages due to claims of negligence or error. It also covers the professional against claims that they gave someone bad advice or did not treat someone fairly. In a society where lawsuits are common, Professional Liability Insurance is a must.

1. How to buy professional liability insurance

Just like purchasing insurance for a car or home, you should assess the amount of coverage you need. An insurance agent is your best friend for that decision. Then you must decide how much deductible you want. Consider the cost of the premium against the expense of the deductible (in the event of a claim against you). Will you want your policy to include the costs of litigation? This could encompass defense attorneys and punitive damages. This will affect the price of your policy.

2. Consider if you are in a business that is heavy in legal actions.

We all know medical professionals are required to carry professional liability insurance and due to the nature of the profession, they must have extensive coverage. Know before your purchase, if someone in your profession is often taken to court. If you are an architect you should carry this policy. But you would probably carry less insurance than someone who transports oil, for example.

3. Stay current

It is very important to make sure you are current with legal safety requirements. If employees are required to carry a license or certification; review their certifications often for expiration dates and recertification requirements.

Keep a paper trail. Be certain that you can show diligent efforts are taken to ensure safety and compliance within your business. Document any risk-management classes provided to you or your employees.

Take photographs of signs and their locations warning of potential danger. For example, photograph a sign reading “Hard-Hats required in this area” or “High Voltage” and keep the photographs in a safe location. Date stamp the photographs for your protection.

4. Dare to compare

With your track record, paper trail, and documentation in order; compare policies from several carriers. End with the agent that already carries your other policies. If you have an established relationship with him, he will probably be able to bundle your policies to save you money and he will work hard to keep your business. Don’t be shy about sharing your quotes from other companies; but make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Review all the details with your agent to make sure there are no holes in your coverage that could cost you dearly in the event of legal action.