“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” – Stephen R. Covey
Every day businesses rely on experts to align with to aid them in streamlining operations or navigating new waters. Those experts can be summed up into one very basic, very broad category – PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. These services are in business to help business. Typically, they don’t produce a tangible product; but rather they specialize in helping a business succeed. The more well-known services that anyone would be familiar with would be an attorney, accountant or insurance agent. But every day there are new services that are offered by professionals that would fall into the category.
From an insurance perspective (which is the one we must take as this is an insurance blog), these types of professional services had different risks than say a bakery or a Laundromat. Their only real property typically is a computer and a desk. So, from that perspective, they are easy risks to insure.
The risk here lies in liability. Here’s where Covey’s quote applies. Professional services direct business decisions, and sometimes those decisions don’t perform the way that professional intended. Of course, a lawsuit occurs as a result. The common general liability policy excludes these claims or suits because “your work” is always excluded on the commercial general liability policy. That’s where the professional liability policy kicks in. This policy is worth its weight in gold when sound business decisions don’t pan out.
Probably the most famous professional liability policy is the medical malpractice policy. But there are others, lesser known, which are needed. Mortgage brokers, life coaches, mental health counselors, ad agencies, energy consultants, grant coordinators, fundraising consultants, ticket brokers, travel agents… the list goes on and on.
If you are a professional service provider, consider the risk you aren’t insuring – it’s worth it.