You are the consummate professional. You have life and business experiences that matter. You breathe energy into others. You contribute. You network. You hustle. You bring value that is unique and helpful. You make others better.
You are on the hook.
Professional negligence (actual or alleged) is not covered on a standard insurance policy (see Exclusions. Professional Services). Your exposure as a professional is not as much property damage or bodily injury, it is how your advice changes the trajectory of your client.
Certainly no one would sue you for your advice? Guess what. It happens and those suits settle quietly (with or without insurance) because most of the time it is in everyone’s interest to do so.
So which attorney are you calling when the suit papers come? Feel good about managing those defense costs? It is real folks!
Here are a few hypotheticals where professional liability insurance may protect you even if you believe a mistake hasn’t been made.
HR Consultant – You are hired to help solve complex hiring/onboarding decisions. Your advice is heeded and it turned out to be a disaster for all parties involved. You are sued for your negligence to properly address all the risks your client faced.
Executive Coach – You are hired to improve sales management, but the strategy was not successful, and sales actually decreased. The client could make a claim for failure to deliver the services promised.
Marketing Consultant – You are hired to help launch a new website and branding initiative. There were multiple delays and extensions that caused your client to miss the launch date and their peak sales season. They sue to recover the financial harm caused by you.
Just like many insurance products, everything is OK – until it is not. And when “it is not” hand shake deals and smiles go out the door when your advice causes financial harm.
Jeremy Hyde | Colligan & Company
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