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What Insurance Agents Need to Know about Business Consultant Risk

Lawsuits Are a Way of Life for Small Businesses

of small-business owners have been threatened with or involved in a civil lawsuit

That number, reported by the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, includes all sorts of lawsuits a business might face, but for consultants, the risk of a negligence suit runs particularly high. Whether they work in marketing, human resources, or management, business consultants are responsible for key aspects of their clients' success. Fall short, and the finger pointing starts. That’s why Errors and Omissions coverage is a vital component of any business consultant’s risk management plan.

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Important Insurance Policies for Management & Marketing Consultants

The small business insurance your client requires often depends on their industry. Clients who work as management and marketing consultants may be eligible for certain insurance bundles that can save them money on their premiums. However, the professional nature of their work opens them up to certain high-level exposures, too. Your ability to quickly and correctly identify their risks will help you provide the right protection for their business.

Management and marketing consultants need a variety of policies to best protect their businesses, including..

Professional Liability / Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance

This coverage is first on the list because of the nature of the industry. Because consultants provide professional services and advice, they need protection when an unsatisfied customer claims they suffered financial losses because of your client's negligence. Professional Liability Insurance, also called Errors & Omissions Insurance, kicks in when your client is sued. It pays for their legal defense and may cover settlements and court-ordered awards.

General Liability Insurance

Your management and marketing consultant clients may also need General Liability coverage. GL Insurance protects your clients against third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage. The industry enjoys a fairly low level of risk in this area; however, accidents can happen. For example, a customer could slip and fall in your client's office or leave property in your client's care that gets damaged by an employee. General Liability can pay for medical expenses, attorney fees, court-award compensation, or the replacement of damaged property.

Property Insurance / Business Owner's Policy (BOP)

Property Insurance protects your clients from the unexpected events that damage their business space, inventory, equipment, supplies, and furniture. Management and marketing consultants may have limited exposure to the risks associated with Property Insurance. This means they may qualify for a Business Owner's Policy (BOP), which bundles Property and General Liability Insurance together in an affordable and convenient package.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Consulting probably doesn't place your management and marketing clients or their employees in a position to suffer work-related injuries very often, but it isn't impossible. For example, your clients may consult at a factory or a construction site, increasing their risk for injury. Additionally, many states require Workers' Comp, making this an essential coverage for your clients.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance

To do their jobs well, many professional consultants need to travel to worksites and client offices. Should your clients rent a car, use a car-sharing service, hire a limo, or allow employees to use personal vehicles for work-related errands, Hired / Non-Owned Auto Insurance protects them if an accident results in a third-party lawsuit.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Your management and marketing consultant clients may have access to an abundance of private client information. Cyber Liability Insurance protects them should they have a data breach that allows unauthorized people to access that information. It may cover the cost of their legal defense, client notification, credit monitoring services, and a public relations campaign to refurbish their reputation.

Tips for Insuring Marketing & Management Consultants

Small-business owners are always looking for a good deal. But cut-rate insurance can turn expensive if it leaves their assets unprotected. Your expertise can help them manage their risk better. Encourage your clients to take steps to mitigate their risk by..

Writing out contracts and schedules before they start a project.

Creating clear procedures to organize workflow.

Keeping accurate records of all client contacts.

When your clients know where their perils are, they can take steps to avoid those perils and choose insurance policies that minimize their exposures.

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