Finding new clients and servicing your existing client base is more than a full-time job. Which means the last thing you want to do is spend time you don’t have on tasks you no longer need to do. Case in point: buying E&O insurance offline.

If you’ve bought errors and omissions insurance the old-fashioned way—that is, by speaking with brokers, getting multiple paper quotes, and applying and paying for it off the Internet—then you know how frustrating the process can be. It’s doubly annoying to spend time on antiquated insurance buying when you’re already pressed for time. It’s much better to click and bind your E&O insurance online, investing the time you save into more productive areas such as marketing, sales, or customer service.

Think about it: buying E&O insurance offline is so passé. Here are all the tasks that outmoded task involves:

  • Looking around for an E&O insurance broker, either by checking insurance-industry or yellow-page directories, Googling, or asking friends and colleagues for a referral.
  • Contacting each broker and setting up “get-to-know-you” meetings.
  • Speaking with each broker in person or over the phone to discuss your business and E&O insurance needs.
  • Waiting days or weeks for the brokers to shop their markets for an insurer with an appetite for your risk and the expertise to insure it.
  • Waiting even longer for the broker to package up several quotes from insurers in a hard-copy proposal.
  • Waiting for the proposal to arrive in the mail or via e-mail.
  • Reviewing the proposal and deciding which broker/insurer is most appropriate and cost effective.
  • Contacting the winning broker and making arrangements to pay for the policy.
  • Waiting for the insurer to process your payment and remit a coverage confirmation.
  • Receiving your new policy and reviewing it to make sure it’s correct.

Is it any wonder the insurance entrepreneurs at the National Ethics Association and its E&O insurance unit, EOforLess.com, envisioned a better approach? With their errors and omissions online portal, EOforLess.com, you can now buy professional liability insurance with zero aggravation in 10 minutes or less. Here’s what our simple online process entails:

  • Visit EOforLess.com.
  • Click on the specific type of E&O insurance you need based on your license type—i.e., life insurance agent, property-casualty insurance agent, registered investment advisor, or real estate agent/broker-owner. Then click on “see plans” to review the policies available for purchase.
  • Click on “view details” to drill down on your policy specifics. This will include a full list of features and benefits and other contractual items. If you are serious about due diligence, you can also download a complete specimen policy for careful reading.
  • After you review the details and decide the policy meets your needs, click on “buy now” to begin the purchasing process. This involves establishing an EOforLess account and selecting your payment and billing-frequency preferences.
  • Next, click on “Pay & Proceed to Bind Your E&O,” which will bring you to the underwriting screen.
  • If you can answer “no” to all of the underwriting questions, click “pay” to purchase and bind your errors and omissions insurance coverage.
  • Finally, click “print” to receive your errors and omissions insurance proof of coverage. This is the document you’ll provide to your FMO and the insurers with whom you have appointments.

Could buying E&O insurance be any easier? And could the advantages of online buying be any more compelling? For example, when you buy E&O insurance from EOforLess.com, you will be able to get an insurance certificate in just a couple of minutes. This is important when a client has a unique need for insurance for which you need to secure a new insurer appointment. Immediate click and bind allows you to get appointed and close the sale without delay.

Or what if you’re new to the industry and need to find E&O insurance right away? Since you don’t know many people in the business yet, it will be hard to get referrals to a good E&O insurance broker. Rather than spin your wheels, you can just buy your coverage in minutes from EOforLess.com.

Finally, if you lapse your current E&O policy by mistake and don’t want to reinstate it with your prior insurer, you can secure a new one in minutes from us, minimizing a potentially dangerous E&O coverage gap.

Any way you look at it, click and bind is the way to go when buying E&O. And EOforLess.com is your place for quality coverage at a price you can afford. Is your policy up for renewal soon? Then visit the pioneers of click and bind today for an E&O solution you’ll appreciate tomorrow.

 

If you’re like most people, your old habits may die hard. For example, you may have started buying E&O insurance decades ago in the usual fashion . . . shopping for an agent, requesting a quotation, filling out a paper application, then waiting days or weeks for your E&O policy to arrive in the mail.

That process served its purpose for a long time. But thanks to the advent of new technology, it’s no longer the best way to buy E&O insurance. Instead, many financial professionals today shop for and buy their professional liability insurance online. Tens of thousands of them each year would do it no other way.

It’s not hard to see why. Consider the disadvantages of buying it the old-fashioned way:

  • It’s harder to identify providers of E&O insurance. Without the Internet, you’d be forced to ask friends and colleagues for referrals. Depending on their experience, you might end up with only one or several buying options.
  • Your ability to shop for the best features will depend on your agent’s knowledge. If the person lacks awareness of certain key features, then he or she might not bring them to your attention.
  • Your agent might discourage you from running “what if” scenarios, which can have a big impact on pricing, because they can be time-intensive to complete.
  • Once you select an E&O insurer and your desired coverage amounts and other policy options, you request a formal quotation from your agent who decides which carrier(s) to submit it to. This might take days or weeks based on how busy the agent is.
  • Once you receive several price quotes from different insurers, you select one and then submit a paper application to that firm. Hearing the underwriting results might take days or weeks.
  • Once you hear your policy has been approved, you pay for it, typically by sending a paper check to your agent or insurer. Postage will be on you.
  • Days or weeks later, you will receive your policy and proof of insurance. If you need additional coverage certificates, you’ll have to ask your agent or insurer for them.

If that sounds complicated, it’s because it is. Complicated and time-consuming. Using an analog process, it often took days or longer to shop for and purchase E&O insurance. In light of this burden, is it any wonder so many agents went uninsured?

Now, let’s consider the contemporary online alternative:

  • To shop for E&O insurance, you simply enter an appropriate search term into your Internet browser application. The leading online E&O providers generally appear on page one of your search engine results. Click on the ones that interest you to learn more about their firms and offers.
  • Based on your needs, click on the type of E&O protection you’re interested in. For example, if you’re a life agent, select the coverage for life and health insurance professionals. If you’re a P&C insurance agent, RIA, or real estate agent or broker-owner, select the coverage that fits your license and professional duties.
  • Once you’ve drilled down on coverage type, take a look at the pricing and read the provider’s explanations and disclosures. Most will have specimen policies available for downloading, so you can carefully check specific provisions.
  • If the policy meets your needs, provide the firm with your personal and firm information, answer the underwriting questions, and decide on how you’ll pay for the policy. You’ll provide all of this information via online forms that are easy and quick to fill out.
  • After you’ve submitted your electronic application and payment information, wait a minute or two for the provider’s e-commerce platform to process your personal and payment information and then provide your insurance certificate.
  • Finally, print out your certificate for your files and for any insurance FMOs, securities broker-dealers, or registered investment advisors you work with, now or in the future.
  • Depending on the payment method you select, your checking account or credit card will be billed automatically. And when your policy period expires, you’ll be reminded to renew your policy, typically via an e-mail.

Bottom line? The old-fashioned method is more complicated and takes a lot longer than the online method. In this day and age, when time is at a premium, it no longer makes sense to shop the old way. Savvy financial professionals use the Internet to buy E&O insurance because it’s the quickest, most efficient, and easiest method available. If you’re not among them, ask yourself why and consider becoming a modern shopper next time.

When you’re ready to make your move, visit EOforLess.com, sponsor of E&O insurance for financial professionals since 2008. We’ll lay out all your options, walk you through the buying process, and generate your coverage certificate in just a few minutes, not days or weeks. Isn’t it time you bought your E&O insurance the contemporary way from the firm that invented online E&O buying . . . EOforLess.com!

A Contrarian View: Top Ten Reasons NOT to Buy E&O Insurance

On most days, you’re likely to hear us speak of the benefits of owning E&O insurance. But today, we’d like to take a contrarian (and somewhat lighthearted) view. To that end, here are 10 reasons why financial professionals should avoid buying E&O insurance. Ready?

Reason #1. You’re tired of being a life insurance agent, investment advisor, P&C insurance agent, or a real estate agent or broker/owner. You want out of your career, but can’t quite figure out how to extricate yourself.

Have you ever felt trapped in your current career, knowing you’ve had enough, but unsure of how to break free? Well, not buying E&O insurance or failing to keep your policy in force can be a perfect solution. If you get embroiled in a client dispute and end up losing your case without E&O protection, you might end up totally liberated! For example, all of your personal and business assets may need to be liquidated to satisfy court judgments or settlements. With no assets to speak of, including no business resources, you won’t be able to work in financial services or perhaps in any field. In short, you’ll be free of everything you’ve grown tired of and able to try something new . . . or nothing at all!

Reason #2. You have so much debt now that an E&O judgment will likely bring bankruptcy relief.

If you’re like many Americans, you probably carry too much debt, both personally and professionally. Most people soldier on with their heavy debt loads, paying the minimum amount due each month and looking at nothing but years of unrelenting loan payments. However, without E&O insurance, a legal judgment may be a great excuse to file for bankruptcy and get your financial life back.  Also, don’t minimize the personal satisfaction of telling one’s creditors to get lost. Declaring bankruptcy can be worthwhile from this perspective alone!

Reason #3. You’d rather just concede defeat to a client suing you than be forced to participate in a boring court proceeding.

We get this! Having interminable conversations with a lawyer who’s trying to protect your assets is SO boring. And sitting in a courtroom for hours when you could leave work early to play golf or have a beer at the brewpub is SO annoying. For those financial professionals who’d rather hand over everything they own than spend even a minute speaking with their attorney or sitting in a courtroom, this reason is for you!

Reason #4. You believe in the carpe diem philosophy (“seize the day”). In other words, you see no reason to spend money to protect your future security when you can spend it to enhance your current happiness.

In other words, you’re the kind of person who lives for today because who knows what tomorrow will bring. You’re more than happy to go unprotected because chances are nothing bad will happen. Plus, it’s a lot more fun to spend your money on food, drink, and vacations than to make sure your future is safe and secure. Right?

Reason #5. You believe your mistakes are best put behind you, not taken responsibility for.

As part of the human condition, mistakes happen. For this reason, they’re hard to prevent and pointless to get worked up over.  As a result, when you make a mistake, you believe it’s best to move on and let the chips fall where they may. This being true, what’s the point of having E&O insurance, a policy that helps you take full responsibility for your mistakes? Other people can clean up after you so you can just get on with your life. In this regard, paying for E&O insurance is pointless and stupid.

Reason #6. Client disputes are entertaining and best prolonged for maximum enjoyment.

You’re a big fan of Judge Judy. You find human conflict to be fun and love watching courtroom battles on TV. Because of your fascination with legal drama, you’d prefer to prolong the experience if you’re ever sued. You’d do this by defending yourself in court rather than allowing a trained attorney to more efficiently represent you.

Reason #7. Similarly, you believe the only person who can competently defend you in court is you.

In part, you believe this because you have found that the smartest person you know is you. You have also found that no one knows more about winning than you. With bottomless self-confidence, you see no reason to waste money on E&O insurance, which, frankly, will only saddle you with an attorney who’s dumber than you.

Reason #8. It’s best not to have E&O insurance because clients will be motivated to sue you.

It’s a dark view of humanity, but it’s your view. You sincerely believe that everyone is selfish and, given half an opportunity, out to hurt you.  Consequently, you’re convinced that if your clients learn about your E&O coverage, they will ignore your years of service and good advice and contrive a reason to sue you. And all of your clients are like this. 

Reason #9. You’ve never been sued before, and you don’t plan on being sued now.

You’ve been in the industry for decades and have never been sued. Why would clients start suing you now? What could possibly change?

Reason #10. E&O insurance is too expensive for the value received.

Since it’s unlikely you’ll ever get sued, you probably will never use your policy. Paying for a service you’ll never need is a gross extravagance. Why waste the money? And under what scenario would you ever need to use your policy?

With 10 reasons like these, it’s surprising any financial professional buys E&O insurance, ever. They wisely put their money toward more productive uses and let the legal chips fall where they may.  Yet hundreds of thousands do purchase E&O insurance and continue to pay for their E&O premiums year after year, despite never getting sued and having many other legitimate uses for their money.

Hmmm, what do these sensible financial professionals know that the naysayers do not?

Has there ever been an easy-to-understand financial-services product? Even for those in the business, life insurance and investment products can be complicated. This is understandable, of course, because with so much money at stake, product providers must define their offerings using precise legal terms. Unfortunately, this can make their policy documents difficult for consumers to understand, let alone those who sell the products.

This holds true for E&O insurance, as well.  The insuring clauses (the contract language that determines for whom and under what circumstances the product will deliver benefits) and the exclusions (language detailing when policy benefits won’t be paid) for professional liability insurance can confound even experienced agents and advisors.

Given such complexity, it’s important to pull the camera back and view E&O insurance from a wider angle . . . to get the big picture, if you will. This can help you better appreciate what it does and why it’s so important to buy it for your business (and to keep it in force).

To that end, we’ve boiled down E&O insurance into a short FAQ. Obviously, there’s much more to know than what we provide here. However, view this as a refresher discussion on why E&O insurance is essential and how it works. If you have further questions, please explore the E&O HQ at EOforLess.

Q: What is E&O insurance?

A:   E&O insurance is a contract between a financial professional and an insurer in which the latter agrees to assume the former’s liability risks in return for one or multiple premium payments.

Q: What is the purpose of E&O insurance?

A:   An E&O policy provides cash in the event a court finds that an agent or advisor has financially harmed a customer and must now pay a settlement or judgment to that person or entity.

Q: Under what circumstances does an E&O insurance policy provide benefits to a financial professional?

A:   E&O insurance pays benefits after a business professional makes a mistake, fails to do something important, or is negligent about performing his duties, thereby financially harming a client.

Q: What types of benefits does an E&O insurance policy provide?

A:   An E&O insurance policy provides cash to pay an insured’s attorney fees, court costs, and court settlements and judgments, subject to the limits and exclusions stated in the policy.

Q: What are E&O insurance policy limits?

A:   E&O insurance policy limits define the maximum benefits payable under an E&O policy.  They’re typically expressed in terms of two numbers. The first is the per-claim limit, and the second is the maximum allowed for all claims during the policy period.

Q: What are some common exclusions stated in E&O insurance policies?

A:   Common exclusions include claims for litigation settled prior to an E&O policy’s inception date or that is pending at that date; claims that benefit an insured’s family member; claims relating to the insured’s regulatory infractions or fines; claims stemming from a financial professional’s dishonest, fraudulent, criminal, malicious intentional acts or those that willfully violate state or federal law; or claims involving actual or alleged bodily injury, sickness, disease, emotional distress, mental anguish, or the death of any person. Check your E&O policy document to review all exclusions that may affect coverage under your contract.

Q: What is a “claims made and reported” E&O insurance policy?

A:   This is a form of professional liability insurance in which only claims made and filed during the policy period will be covered. If the insured cancels the policy and a claim arises at a later point, there will be no coverage.

Q: Can an insured cancel an E&O insurance policy at any time?

A:   Yes, an insured can cancel an E&O policy at any time. In such an event, the insurer will refund a pro-rated share of the premium. However, if a client files a claim for an incident during the policy period, there will be no coverage unless the insured purchased extended-reporting period coverage.

Q: What’s extended-reporting period coverage?

A:   Extended-reported period coverage provides protection for claims resulting from work completed during a prior reporting period. However, it doesn’t apply to current or future client work.

Q: What is an E&O insurance retroactive date?

A:   An E&O insurance retroactive date refers to how far back the insurer will pay for claims. In many cases under a claims-made E&O policy, your existing insurer will pay for claims arising from prior policy periods with other insurers, as long as you have maintained continuous coverage.

Q: Does E&O insurance protect your firm against frivolous lawsuits?

A:   Yes, your E&O policy will provide you with a lawyer and pay that person’s fees to defend you against frivolous lawsuits.

Q: Are E&O insurance policy retentions the same as deductibles?

A:   Yes, an E&O insurance policy retention is the amount of the claim settlement or judgment the insured is responsible for after which the insurer is responsible for the balance.

Q: Why is E&O insurance important to have?

A:   E&O insurance is important to have because it provides four essential benefits: a reduction of financial uncertainty, assistance with handling a client dispute, personal stress reduction, and bankruptcy prevention.

Q: What is the most convenient method of purchasing E&O insurance?

A:   The most convenient method of purchasing E&O insurance is to buy it from an online provider such as EOforLess, which offers click-and-bind coverage within minutes of arriving at the site.