When shopping around for the perfect professional liability insurance policy, it is a good idea to look at the various options available to you. As a professional, protecting your future by insuring yourself is always a wise idea—but so is ensuring that the coverage that you buy is able to meet your needs adequately.
When people buy a policy, they think that they will automatically be covered for everything that they need… without having to do their homework. The truth is that policies tend to differ from company to company. As a buyer, you must spend some time reading the details of a policy and even go as far as discuss it with your insurance broker to make sure that you are on the same page.
With that being said, what exactly does “adequate” professional liability insurance coverage entail? You first have to see if the policy covers everything that you do in your profession. You also have to remember that it is not uncommon for people to stray beyond their original profession during the course of their work. If you purchase a professional liability insurance policy for your main profession, you should ensure to have additional coverage as needed.
The next thing that you will have to do is research whether the defense costs are included in the policy. We don’t recommend buying a policy that do not include the defense costs as the latter can be very costly. Prevention truly is the key: Even if you find yourself having to pay higher premiums (and a higher deductible), those two combined are still better than the defense fees that you would have to pay in the event of a claim.
When shopping around for the best professional liability insurance policy, you should also always double check that the coverage is not exclusive to your country only—especially if your profession involves working with clients from foreign countries. Lastly, you should also consider whether the policy has a retroactive exclusive date. If it is the case, then you might find yourself in trouble down the road when someone files a claim against you for an error or omission that occurred before the retroactive date. No matter how unlikely this might sound, it is not uncommon for people to file a lawsuit against a professional for work that was done years ago.
We always recommend that you discuss those points with your insurance broker, particularly if you are thinking of switching insurance company.