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Obtaining coverage for clients is an independent insurance agent’s chief concern, but often agents overlook their own risks and find themselves with inadequate errors and omissions (E&O) coverage.

A recent InsuranceJournal.com article, titled “Today’s Insurance Agency E&O Costs, Coverage and Claims,” sheds light on common E&O claims issues and offers tips on mitigating an agency’s risk for these types of claims.

Insurance Agent E&O LiabilityTo protect both their “hard earned money and reputation,” agencies should periodically conduct an E&O audit, reviewing things like:

  • Agency growth
  • Changes in ownership structure (sole proprietor to partnership, for example)
  • Changes in the customer base (more clients with higher exposures or insuring those with higher values and limits).

Having “certain disclaimers and warranties on proposals” are safeguards against E&O claims, according to Mark Harris, a national program administrator.

According to the InsuranceJournal.com article, the top five issues to consider when selecting E&O coverage include:

  1. Claims handling experience
  2. Longevity of E&O carrier in providing coverage
  3. Extended reporting period (tail) options
  4. Direct access to underwriting and claims personnel
  5. Availability of risk management information/advice

Contact Bill Hager at 561-306-5072 or via email to discuss your case.

Bill Hager’s Experience as an Insurance Expert

Mr. Hager has extensive and substantive experience relating directly to wide range of insurance policies, including interpreting policy language and determining the insurer’s obligations under such policies. He served as a regulator for eight years in five positions:

  • Commissioner of Insurance (Iowa);
  • First Deputy Commissioner of Insurance;
  • Member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC);
  • Administrative Law Judge f/k/a Hearing Officer at the Department of Insurance (IA); and
  • Assistant Attorney General assigned on a full-time basis to the Department of Insurance.

In these positions, Mr. Hager, along with his staff, approved (or disapproved) of the language of insurance policies used by each of the insurance companies doing business in the state of Iowa. This regulatory action also included the approval of policy application forms. In addition, he regularly served as an Administrative Law Judge (then known as a “Hearing Officer”) in matters relating directly to insurance policies.

While Commissioner, Mr. Hager also served as a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) and participated as a member of its Executive Committee.

In addition, Hager has served in the following capacities:

  • President and Chief Executive Officer of NCCI, a major property casualty insurance entity;
  • Elected Member of the Florida House of Representatives with service on the Insurance Committees;
  • General Counsel and Chief Lobbyist to the American Academy of Actuaries;
  • Attorney in private practice;

Click on the link to read more about Mr. Hager’s insurance expertise.

Disclaimer

Material for this article was taken from a collection of industry sources relating to the subject.

In all of the general statements here, see the state law of the controlling jurisdiction. Every case is different and circumstances vary widely depending on the governing state law, policy provisions, and related considerations.

This blog is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or an opinion in regard to any topic discussed. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state.