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What Is Errors and Omissions Insurance and Does Your Business Need It

In the fast-paced business world, navigating professional liability can be daunting for businesses of all sizes. One critical safety net that’s sometimes overlooked is Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, which protects professionals from liability risks.


This guide aims to demystify E&O insurance and help you decide if your business needs it.


What Is Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance?

Errors and Omissions insurance, also known as Professional Liability insurance, is a form of liability coverage that safeguards your business from claims of inadequate work or failure to perform professional duties. It’s distinct from general liability insurance, which typically covers bodily injury and property damage.


E&O insurance provides a financial buffer against mistakes that might not be covered by a more general policy, such as an employee oversight, a contract dispute, or a service failure. Without it, a lawsuit could cripple your business.


Why Your Business Needs E&O Insurance

The need for E&O insurance stems from the vulnerable nature of professional services. People trust professionals to provide expert services, and if they believe those services fail to meet expected standards, legal and financial repercussions can be substantial.


For businesses in sectors like law, accounting, engineering, or healthcare, professional liability claims are a frequent occurrence. The cost of litigation without E&O insurance can easily spiral into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, putting smaller firms at significant risk.


What Does E&O Insurance Cover?

Errors and Omissions insurance covers a wide range of risks related to professional services. It also provides compensation if you are found liable, up to your policy limits. Inclusions may vary depending on your policy, but key areas of protection typically include:

  • Professional mistakes and oversights, covering errors that occur in the ordinary course of service, including misrepresentation and inaccurate advice.
  • Failing to deliver on contractual deadlines or services not provided as promised, which could lead to financial loss.
  • Professional negligence, which encompasses any failure to follow the required standard of care expected within a profession.
  • Breaches of contract, encompassing instances where agreed upon services or deliverables are not fulfilled as outlined.

Note that E&O insurance doesn’t cover everything. Intentional wrongdoing, false advertising, and bodily injury or property damage claims are usually covered by different policies like General Liability or Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance.



Consider a real estate agent who fails to disclose a known defect in a property, resulting in significant financial loss to the buyer. Or an IT consultant whose mismanagement of data leads to a security breach at a client’s business. These are the kinds of issues that E&O insurance would typically cover.


Who Needs Errors and Omissions Insurance?

E&O insurance is crucial for many professionals and businesses, especially those who provide services, and advice, or may face claims of negligence or unsatisfactory work. Here are some examples:

  • Professional service providers, such as lawyers, doctors, architects, accountants, consultants, realtors, and engineers who offer their expertise to clients.
  • Businesses handling client data, which include IT firms, data storage and management companies, and cybersecurity services, where data breaches can result in substantial claims.
  • Companies that build or manufacture products or structures, where a failure to meet specifications or standards could lead to significant liability.
  • Advertising and marketing agencies, where misrepresentation of client products or services could lead to legal actions.

Keep in mind that E&O insurance isn’t just for big corporations. Even solo practitioners can be liable for financial damages, in which cases a lawsuit can be devastating.


How Errors and Omissions Insurance Works

When a situation arises that may lead to a claim, the business must promptly file a claim with their insurance provider, who will determine if the incident falls within the policy coverage. If the claim is accepted, the insurance can cover the costs of legal defense, settlements, or judgments up to the policy limits.


Choosing the Right Insurance Policy

To protect your business without overpaying, it’s essential to get the right policy. Work with a knowledgeable insurance agent to help evaluate your company’s specific risks and coverage needs, considering the nature of your services, the typical size of your contracts, the regulations within your industry, and historical data on claims in your field.

Key factors to consider include:

  • Policy limits: How much coverage is sufficient to protect your business against potential claims?
  • Deductibles: Choose an amount that balances your ability to pay out-of-pocket with lower premiums.
  • Coverage specifics: Ensure that the policy covers the types of work and risks commonly encountered in your industry.
  • Exclusions: Understand what is not covered to avoid surprises in the event of a claim.

Choose a reliable insurance provider by researching their track record, reading reviews, and verifying their financial stability through rating agencies. By taking these steps, you can find an Errors and Omissions insurance policy tailored to your business’s unique needs and risks.


Get Comprehensive Liability Protection with Bethany Insurance

No business is immune to the potential for professional liability claims. Errors and Omissions insurance offers a layer of defense that can be critical to your company’s sustainability and growth. 


Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you secure the coverage you need. Remember, it’s not just about being insured; it’s about having the right insurance to safeguard your professional reputation and financial well-being.