Print PDF version
Please contact me about a
quick, no-obligation insurance review
First Name :
Last Name :
Captcha AntiSpam Security
Please type in the code shown in the image.
are used to prevent automated software from performing actions which degrade the quality of service of a given system, whether due to abuse or resource expenditure.
P.O. Box 1750, Cockysville, MD, 21030
Business Protection Bulletin
Does Your Business Need Professional Liability?
Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, is useful if your company provides professional services to clients. Learn more about whether or not your company needs this important insurance.
What is Professional Liability Insurance?
Professional liability insurance covers errors and omissions, such as mistakes that cause financial harm to clients and failure to perform an agreed upon service. Basically, this insurance policy will cover negligence, inaccurate advice, misrepresentation, and violation of good faith.
While your professional liability insurance usually does not cover criminal prosecution or civil law violations, you can use it to pay for your defense if you’re sued and to cover related damages.
What Businesses Need Professional Liability Insurance?
Some professions require professional liability insurance. For other businesses, it may be a good idea to purchase this coverage, especially if you provide a professional service to clients. Consider these examples.
Technology - A technological fail could significantly impact your clients, particularly if you work in the software, hardware or electronic manufacturing field.
Legal - The risk of giving inaccurate advice or misrepresenting a situation makes this coverage essential for lawyers, paralegals, court reporters, and other legal professionals.
Real estate - Negligence and other mistakes mandate E&O insurance for professionals in real estate, including contractors and home inspectors.
Travel - Booking and other mistakes or omissions prompts travel professionals to purchase professional liability insurance.
Advertising - A misrepresentation, error or other mistake can cost clients money and jeopardize an ad agency’s future.
Accounting or bookkeeping - Clerical errors or outdated information can cost a client big bucks that the financial professional could be liable to repay.
Photographer - Failure to show up for a scheduled event or the accidental damage of photos are covered with professional liability insurance.
Consultant - Faulty recommendations or other mistakes affect a consultant’s business.
When Should you Purchase Professional Liability Insurance?
Always purchase professional liability insurance before you need it. Most policies will not cover errors or omissions that occur before the policy goes into effect unless there’s a retroactive clause.
What Does Professional Liability Insurance Cost?
The cost of your professional liability insurance policy will vary based on your industry, location, coverage limits, and past claims. Ensure you get the most accurate quote and the right coverage when you share copies of contracts, documentation procedures, quality control processes, employee training initiatives, and information about previous professional liability insurance coverage with your insurance agent.
Schedule an appointment with your insurance agent today, and discuss professional liability insurance. It’s valuable protection you can customize for your specific business. As a bonus, your clients gain peace of mind when you take steps to protect their interests and compensate them if something goes wrong.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance For Small Business Owners
Insurance protects your small business from a variety of liabilities and losses. While you already pay for commercial liability, auto and property insurance, learn how umbrella insurance can help your business, too.
What is Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella insurance is a policy that kicks in when you max out the limits of your primary insurance policies. It expands your liability and general commercial insurance coverage and may cover incidents your primary insurance doesn't cover. Plus, it gives your business a layer of protection that increases your peace of mind if you ever face catastrophic insurance losses.
How Does Umbrella Insurance Work?
When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will cut you a check for the damages or loss. Unfortunately, your primary insurance policy limits may not cover the entire claim, or you may face multiple claims from a single accident or mistake. In these cases, your business could face financial obligations that threaten your company's assets and future.
An umbrella policy can cover that difference. It protects your business.
What Does a Commercial Umbrella Policy Cover?
Your small business could be responsible to pay for significant liabilities, including property damages, medical bills and legal fees, after an accident. Here are a few common situations your small business may face.
A customer suffers an injury from a defective product and requires extensive medical treatment.
An employee causes an auto accident while delivering products, and now your company faces large property damage and bodily injury liabilities.
A vendor slips on stairs while visiting your property and sues for physical injuries.
You fail to follow through on a contract, resulting in a lawsuit.
In each of these scenarios, you may file an insurance claim through your primary coverage, and then you can trust your umbrella insurance policy to cover any excessive charges your primary insurance doesn’t pay.
How Much Does Commercial Umbrella Insurance Cost?
Typically, you can purchase a commercial umbrella insurance policy for several hundred dollars annually. Many small business owners want to save money, which may prompt you to avoid this valuable insurance. However, consider the benefits a commercial umbrella policy provides and the amount of money it could save you in the long run, especially if you face a large lawsuit or other liability claim.
How Can Your Business Purchase a Commercial Umbrella Policy?
Talk to your insurance agent about your specific needs. Provide details about your business, such the services you offer, number of employees, financial needs and past claims, as these details can affect the type and amount of umbrella insurance you need.
With a commercial umbrella insurance policy, you protect your business. It gives you peace of mind and security.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Avoid These Business Insurance Gambles
Your business relies on insurance to protect your property and reduce liability. The right insurance is an asset, but the wrong type or amount of coverage can be devastating. Avoid these business insurance gambles as you protect your company.
Insurance is One-Size-Fits-All
Every business is unique with different insurance needs. Purchasing a one-size-fits-all insurance policy may include the wrong coverage, coverage you don’t need, or limits that are too low or too high. Then when you need to file a claim, you realize that you don’t have the right insurance. For this reason, discuss your specific business with your insurance agent, and customize a policy with the right coverage for your needs.
Copy Another Industry’s Coverage
Every business may need similar types of insurance, but each industry is unique. Always evaluate the specific needs of your industry to ensure you have the right coverage. Otherwise, you won’t be covered for the risks you face.
Someone Else’s Policy is Enough
Your clients may have insurance to protect their investment, but that coverage won’t extend to your business. For instance, if a client trips on your building’s front stairs, your liability coverage and not their health insurance would cover the necessary medical treatment. Likewise, your personal car insurance isn’t enough if you damage property while driving the company vehicle. Always verify that your business has the right insurance in place for all your property, liability and other needs so you know you’re protected.
You Don't Plan to File any Claims
No business owner plans to file an insurance claim, and maybe you have gone years without using your coverage. The temptation is strong to feel invincible and cancel your insurance coverage. However, consider what could happen if your water pipes burst and ruin your inventory or a natural disaster forces you to stop production for a month or longer. Insurance can cover these and other financial losses and ensure your company remains in operation. Your plans to avoid filing any claims will backfire, and you’ll wish you had made a different decision when you had the chance.
Keep the Same Coverage Year After Year
The insurance coverage you purchased when you opened your doors was right for you at the time. Consider how your business has grown, changed and evolved, though. You may now have employees who require Workers’ Compensation or a CEO who needs key person life insurance. Old or outdated coverage limits leave your company vulnerable, so review your insurance coverage at least once a year to ensure it’s still a good fit.
Your business is an asset you want to protect. Avoid these insurance gambles when you discuss your specific needs with your insurance agent and purchase the right coverage for your company.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
How Much Cyber Liability Insurance Should A Business Purchase
Cyber breaches that affect big businesses make the news, but over 60 percent of all cyber breaches target small and medium-sized businesses.
Because you must protect your business, no matter what its size, purchase adequate cyber liability insurance.
What is Cyber Liability Insurance?
When your business suffers a data breach, you can file a cyber liability insurance claim. The policy won’t prevent a hack, but it will cover your financial losses and assist your company during recovery.
Common Cyber Breach Risks
Any company, from international mega corporations to small family-owned businesses, that operates online or handles customer data faces cyber breach risks such as:
Human error - using the same password for all websites, losing unlocked devices or downloading malware.
Mobile devices - gateway for thieves when used over unsecured Wi-Fi connections or left unlocked.
Disgruntled former employees - use old login information to hack into your system.
Ransomware - hackers introduce malware onto your computer, encrypt data and require a ransom before they release and decrypt your system.
Coordinated attacks - international hacker groups target the sensitive information your company stores.
How Much Does a Cyber Breach Cost?
After a cyber breach, your company will owe first-party expenses, such as damages to your systems and data, and third-party expenses related to your liability to customers. Examples of these two expenses include:
Customer losses - direct financial loss, credit monitoring and other related expenses.
Business disruption expenses - account for up to 39 percent of a breach’s total cost.
Direct financial loss - resources the hackers steal from your company bank accounts.
Legal costs - handling lawsuits customers may file against your business.
Regulatory fines - imposed by the FCC, FTC, HHS and your state.
Public relations expenses - required to rebuild your company's reputation.
These and other expenses contribute to the $3.62 million global
average cost of a cyber breach
. Each breach affects an average of 24,000 records, reports the Ponemon Institute, and costs $141 per individual lost or stolen record. Multiply this figure by the number of confidential or sensitive records your company stores, and you get an idea of how expensive a breach would be for your business.
Purchase Adequate Cyber Liability Insurance
Many experts suggest that businesses purchase at least $1 million in cyber liability insurance. Without this valuable coverage, your company could face insurmountable financial challenges and possible bankruptcy after a cyber breach.
On average, small businesses pay from $750-8,000 per year for this valuable coverage. Because your needs vary, schedule a consultation with your insurance agent and get a detailed quote.
Protect your customers and your business with cyber liability insurance. It's essential coverage for every company.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.