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Top 5 Reasons to Buy E&O Insurance Online

The insurance industry is a conservative, risk-averse business. That’s a good thing because as stewards of their clients’ money, the last thing it wants is to make decisions that put those resources in jeopardy. For this reason, the decision to begin selling insurance direct to consumers online was a deliberate, careful process that took many years to accomplish.

However, today, as insurers have become more comfortable selling insurance on the Internet, most product types are available online. In fact, insurers are now encouraging business owners of all types, including life and health insurance agents, P&C agents, and others to buy E&O insurance online. And frankly, it’s not a hard decision to make for the following five reasons.

First, buying E&O insurance online is typically a painless process. Thanks to leading-edge technology and the customer-facing innovation of firms such as EOforLess, financial professionals can now access websites that simplify and speed the process of buying E&O insurance online. For example, at EOforLess.com, financial advisors can easily establish an account, apply for coverage, and purchase protection in just a few minutes.

Second, at EOforLess, the “click-and-bind” process couldn’t be easier. Just select the right type of professional liability insurance for your needs based on our easy-to-navigate option menu. Then determine your desired coverage limits. With those key decisions made, all that’s left is to establish your account by keying in your personal information and selecting your payment method. Then simply complete a brief list of underwriting questions. If your answers qualify you for purchase, you can click and bind your coverage immediately thereafter.

Third, once your coverage is in effect, it becomes a simple matter to print out your certificate of insurance. Unlike with traditional agent-mediated shopping, buying E&O insurance online means you can get your insurance certificate instantly! If you need proof of coverage to pursue a sales opportunity through a new field marketing organization (FMO),  you’ll appreciate the value of getting it now instead of in a few days or weeks. When it comes to pursuing sales leads, time is of the essence. EOforLess.com responds by allowing you to print your certificate within minutes of getting approved.

Fourth, convenience and speed are meaningless if your E&O insurance is riddled with exclusions or your E&O insurer takes months to process your claim. Fortunately, EOforLess has partnered with some of the top E&O insurers in the market today. This means your protection will be there when you need it. For example, National Ethics Association, sponsor of EOforLess.com, selected Continental Casualty Company (CNA) as its carrier of choice for life and health agent E&O insurance. CNA is the 8th largest commercial property-casualty insurer in the United States and has extensive experience pricing E&O insurance risks in the financial-services industry. It is also strongly equipped to manage the E&O claims process through its team of highly experienced claims adjusters and network of affiliated attorneys.

Similarly, our E&O insurer for property & casualty agents is Everest National Insurance Company, a world leader in P&C reinsurance and insurance. Everest National offers innovative products, responsive service, and unsurpassed financial strength. Rated A+ XV (Superior) by A.M. Best and A+ by Standard & Poor’s, it has $21.4 billion in total assets (2015).

E&O Insurance with So Much More

Fifth, and finally, when you buy E&O insurance online at EOforLess.com, you’re not just buying E&O insurance. You’re also joining the National Ethics Association, a membership organization devoted to promoting ethical business practices in financial services. Your membership provides a variety of valued-added benefits, including:

  • Credibility icons for your website and marketing materials – Use the ethics.net Registered Member logo to show your commitment to ethics and transparency in every aspect of your business.
  • Search-friendly online profile – Point your customers to your ethics.net profile and extend your website’s online marketing & SEO.
  • Elevated trust – Our optional Certified Background Check shows consumers you have passed a rigorous criminal and civil background check, which instantly reduces friction in the sales process.
  • Access to our ethics.net content library – Our extensive online content helps you acquire the ethics and compliance knowledge you need to position your firm for long-term success.
  • Access to free insurance continuing-education courses – Through our relationship with Success CE, we help you sharpen your skills and keep your insurance license in force.

Act Now to Buy E&O Insurance Online

In summary, if you’re an insurance, financial, or real estate professional, why not buy E&O insurance online today? Start by learning more about EOforLess.com here. Then click through to get specific information about E&O insurance for life & health agents, for P&C agents, for registered investment advisors, or for real estate broker/owners.

And don’t forget . . . when you buy E&O insurance online at EOforLess.com, you also get access to a host of other benefits from the National Ethics Association. To learn more about those, go here.

So why wait any longer? If you need E&O insurance, consider this an open invitation to come, see, and buy E&O insurance online at EOforLess.com.

How Can a Policy of E&O Insurance Save Your Business?

As much as financial professionals would like to be perfect, they aren’t. They are prone to making mistakes because they are human. And those so-called errors & omissions can be expensive to resolve, at best, and fatal to a business, at worst. Fortunately, a policy of E&O insurance can save their business with proper planning and commitment.

Part of the problem is every segment of the financial world has become more complex over the years. Whether it’s life or health insurance, investments, property-casualty insurance or real estate, the amount of knowledge required to do business has exploded. The regulations that affect professionals have become mind numbingly complicated. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule, slated to take effect in April 2017, includes over 1,000 pages of dense requirements. And the technologies professionals use to do business evolve so quickly it’s hard to keep up. In this environment, it’s easy to make a mistake through lack of information or time or through a sloppy mistake.

What’s more, even an innocent mistake can explode into a nasty client lawsuit and a potential financial judgment that can cost tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, to resolve.

Consider this: according to a top E&O insurer writing E&O insurance for life and health insurance agents, there are at least 11 major mistakes an agent can make, ranging from misrepresentation, premium errors, and failure to explain or provide coverage to policy change errors and beneficiary-related mistakes. But making a mistake is just the beginning. The same insurer found that the average insurance settlement for a disability-insurance related claim was $149,000. Experts say claim costs for large investment accounts can easily hit half-a-million dollars or more, depending on the amount of assets under management.

Being on the hook for a six-figure or higher legal judgment is not something most financial professionals can fund out of petty cash. In fact, most would have to liquidate some or all of their assets in order to pay for a significant legal judgment. How would you pay for a bill this large? Would you have to declare bankruptcy in order vacate your legal liability? How would you continue to meet your financial commitments—say, sending your children to college or funding your own retirement?  If you had to put your entire financial life on hold in order to deal with a nasty E&O dispute, then E&O insurance is made to order. Without a doubt, errors & omissions are human, but relief from liability is divine.

Don’t Get Left on the Hook for Mistakes You Didn’t Mistake

Compounding matters is that many E&O claims fall into the nuisance category. Sometimes clients take offense at their financial advisor for bogus reasons and retaliate by bringing suit. Other times, they have unrealistic expectations about how their financial products should perform or believe their advisor sold them a bill of goods when in fact, they failed to listen to their advisor’s explanations. Whatever the cause, nuisance lawsuits constitute a large portion of America’s legal docket. But this doesn’t render them meaningless; financial professionals still have to defend themselves against even the craziest of lawsuits.

Imagine being sued for something you didn’t do and then losing a court battle. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate case of adding insult to injury? A better solution: Don’t get left on the hook for mistakes you didn’t make. Research your financial liabilities and then shop for an affordable, yet comprehensive, E&O insurance policy from a provider such as EOforLess.com. This is crucial because even though you might be dealing with a nuisance claim, the costs in time, money, and aggravation are all too real. Being properly insured with E&O coverage will ensure you aren’t left holding the bag financially for something you didn’t do.

Get the Proper Insurance Policy to Fully Cover Your Company

However, locking down this protection doesn’t just happen. You need to get the proper insurance policy to fully cover your company. How? By doing your research and shopping for high-quality coverage that is affordably priced. Here are some pointers that might help you achieve a desirable outcome.

  • First, if your needs aren’t overly complex, take a look at policies issued on a group basis. This typically will yield cost advantages due to the lower costs of insuring large numbers of individuals on a common platform. But if you have an extremely large business and are looking to also insure sub-agents and brokers, then you may wish to consult with an E&O insurance broker. Should that be your situation, understand that dealing with individual brokers will typically require more effort and time due to the complexities of assessing larger risks and shopping them around to multiple insurers.
  • Second, try to take advantage of providers that offer streamlined E&O insurance underwriting, using a limited number of risk-assessment questions to determine eligibility. With such entities, you might be able to receive a lower premium if the company determines you are an attractive risk.
  • Third, check out online E&O shopping platforms, which greatly reduce the time and effort of dealing with bricks-and-mortar insurance agencies. At EOforLess.com, for example, the average buyer can select appropriate coverage, fill out an application, and pay for and bind their insurance in 5 minutes or less.
  • Fourth, once you have the proper E&O insurance policy for your business, strive to keep it in force. This will eliminate any coverage gaps that could leave you uninsured when you need full coverage the most.

In conclusion, E&O insurance is designed to help financial professionals mitigate the risk of getting sued, a risk that can be substantial because they are human and prone to making mistakes. But self-insuring this risk is no longer necessary—or recommended—because  relief from liability isn’t just readily available and affordable, it’s divine!

Buy E&O Insurance Online Fast

Years ago, financial professionals could only dream of being able to buy E&O insurance online fast. They needed this capability in order to secure appointments with field marketing intermediaries and insurance companies. However, at a time when insurers lacked the technology to issue policies online, they forced insurance and financial advisors to buy E&O insurance through brokers using paper applications. This took weeks to process and required the development of proposals that added even more time to the buying process.

Hobbled by antiquated technologies and methods, the E&O insurance industry became a drag on financial professionals wishing to close sales opportunities rapidly in order to grow their bottom lines. Fast forward to today. Now, the emergence of online E&O buying platforms helps producers to find the coverage they need and to buy it in minutes. This has transformed E&O insurance from a sales barrier to a sales accelerant.

Think about it. In today’s marketplace, customer business models can change rapidly. This means their business risks can evolve quickly, too. When a client firm faces a new, exotic risk, they need their insurance agent to be able to quickly find appropriate coverage. The problem is, to access this coverage, agents need to secure carrier appointments to source specialty coverage. Since insurance companies typically require E&O insurance from their agents and brokers, a producer who is uninsured, but who wishes to pursue a sales opportunity, must find, qualify for, and bind E&O ASAP. Enter EOforLess.com, a pioneer in online E&O buying for financial professionals of all stripes.

Click & Bind Your Policy

Thanks to EOforLess.com, insurance and financial advisors in hot pursuit of a sales lead can now visit the site, sponsored by the National Ethics Association, to select appropriate, affordable E&O insurance protection for their business. Thanks to the site’s user friendly design, they can literally select an appropriate policy, set up their account, and pay for it in a mere matter of minutes. To help speed their ability to secure carrier appointments, agents can bind their coverage and print their proof of insurance in just a few minutes more. Talk about empowering agents to pursue sales opportunities. At  EOforLess.com, agents can buy E&O insurance and then convert sales leads into commission income quicker than ever before.

Print Your E&O Policy Today

Once financial professionals select and pay for their E&O insurance on EOforLess.com, they’re done, right? Wrong. As discussed earlier, many agents today must provide proof of insurance to their marketing intermediaries (IMOs, FMOs, RIAs, etc.) or insurance carrier before they can actually submit a client’s policy application. Consequently, they need to be able to bind their coverage and print their E&O policy right away so they don’t freeze their sales opportunities and delay their commission checks.

Traditionally, getting a printed policy or other proof of insurance could take days, if not weeks. Agents would be at the mercy of their E&O insurer’s new-business department, which typically used paper applications and manual procedures to get business on the books. Now, thanks to the emergence of the Web and powerful e-commerce technology, you can bind your coverage and print your E&O insurance policy in five minutes or less. This can greatly enhance your ability to nail down carrier appointments—and to get your customers’ insurance needs squared away as fast as possible. Most importantly, it accelerates the payment of your commissions and all the related benefits that income brings to your business.

How It Is Doneeoforless

Here’s how it is done in 5 minutes or less:

  1. Go to EOforLess.com.
  1. Determine which type of E&O insurance you need—life agents, P&C agents, RIAs, or Real Estate Brokers—and then click “See Plans” for your specific license type.
  1. Determine which coverage level you need to purchase. For example, if you’re a life/health agent who only sells those plans, you can opt for base coverage. But if you also sell annuities, variable life/annuities, or mutual funds, you will need to upgrade to a higher protection level. After selecting your policy, click “Buy Now” to initiate the 2-step purchase process.
  1. Step 1 will create your account with the National Ethics Association – the group-rate sponsor for EOforLess. Here you will establish your payment and billing-frequency for your membership. Now click “Pay & Proceed to Bind Your E&O”.
  1. Step 2 will take you through a series of underwriting questions. If you can successfully answer each of these, you may qualify for this preferred-risk policy. Next, you will establish your payment and billing frequency for your policy coverage, and provide your electronic signature for confirmation. Click “Pay” to bind your coverage.
  1. Finally, you will have the option to download and print your proof of insurance.

In short, at EOforLess.com you can buy E&O insurance online fast. Using the firm’s advanced online technology, you can handle every step of the buying process, not just partial steps. You can select, bind, and then print your policy in five minutes or less in the convenience of your home or office.

For insurance and financial professionals whose time is too precious to shop the old-fashioned way, EOforLess makes buying professional liability insurance quick, convenient, and affordable. Why spend extra time buying E&O insurance the old-fashioned way when you can do it in minutes—and use the time you saved for expanding your business or serving your clients? For most financial professionals, buying E&O insurance online has become a no-risk way to save time and money. What about you?

Buy E&O Insurance Fast Today!

E&O Insurance for Your Business

Do you need E&O insurance for your business? Almost all financial professionals ask themselves this question at one point or another in their careers.  Many answer, “yes” because they perceive themselves to be operating in dangerous times.

Think about it. Insurance and financial advisors deal with complex client needs—savings for retirement, protecting estates, insuring valuable property, etc.  The products they sell can be difficult to understand and explain. Marketplace volatility can produce client losses. And the manufacturers of insurance and financial-services products can fail to stand behind their promises to both the people who sell their offerings and the ultimate consumer. Take all these factors into account and what do you have?  An extraordinary degree of risk for insurance and financial advisors doing business today.

As a result, financial professionals must ask themselves how comfortable they are dealing with such risks. Are they so confident in their expertise that they believe they’ll never make a mistake? Or do they realize that mistakes can happen to any financial practitioner at any time . . . even to those with high degrees of integrity and competence? If you fall into the latter camp, then you fully understand why buying E&O insurance for your business is a wise decision. It simply reflects the inherent risks implicit in doing business, as well as the impossibility of performing flawlessly with every client, in every transaction.

As if this weren’t disturbing enough, consider the types of mistakes financial practitioners are prone to make.

Worst-Case Scenario

According to one major E&O insurer serving the life/health insurance segment, there are at least 11 potential mistakes an agent can make. They range from . . .

  • misrepresentation,
  • due diligence problems,
  • premium errors,
  • office mistakes,
  • failure to explain or provide coverage,
  • tax losses,
  • beneficiary-related mistakes,
  • policy change errors,
  • suitability issues, and
  • business management lapses.

Of all those mistakes the top three most common are misrepresentation (25 percent of the total errors), failure to provide coverage (13 percent), and failure to explain coverage and office errors (both tied at 11 percent).

Compounding the risk is this fact: E&O mistakes carry high price tags. For example, the same insurer found that the average cost of an E&O disability-insurance claim was roughly $149,000. For pension products and individual life policies, the average claim costs were $71,000 and $40,500, respectively. Worst-case scenario? Making multiple mistakes within a single customer account, which could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal liability, potentially leading to the death of your business and a devastating personal bankruptcy.

Protectioneoforless

Faced with risks such as these, most savvy financial professionals decide that buying an E&O insurance policy is a wise decision. What exactly does an E&O policy provide? Simply put, it provides protection—money that cushions the costly financial aftermath in the event you lose a lawsuit in court. E&O insurance provides money . . .

  • to hire an attorney to defend you,
  • to pay for legal judgments and settlements, and
  • to pay for court costs levied in the proceeding.

By having E&O insurance, you avoid being personally liable for the direct and indirect financial costs resulting from your error or omission. Your E&O insurance policy should cover these obligations for you, up to your policy’s limits.

Two other benefits of E&O insurance are less obvious. The first is having an E&O insurance claims adjuster on your side to help manage the claim-settlement process. This can be an enormous time saver. The second is the fact that having E&O insurance for your business reduces your stress and worry should you ever get sued. Not only will you sleep easier at night, you’ll also have more time and energy to spend working on your business rather than hassling with a customer complaint or lawsuit.

Strategy

Given the risks and costs just discussed, what strategy should you follow to mitigate your E&O risks? Many experts suggest finding high-quality coverage, at an affordable price and then buying it in the most convenient way possible. To secure high-quality coverage, make sure the policy is designed to precisely accommodate the needs of your business model and license type. For example, if you provide investment-advisory services, then trying to save money by purchasing E&O coverage for life/health agents may be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Also be sure to read the specimen policy to see exactly how the insurer frames the “insuring clause” (what it promises to cover) and its exclusions (what it will not cover).

To secure affordable protection, investigate programs available through professional associations devoted to your business. Such protection is typically issued on a group basis and can be more cost-effective than individually issued policies.  Also, check to see if the E&O provider attempts to reward financial professionals who adhere to low-risk business practices. Typically, such insurers offer streamlined underwriting screens in which answering no to, say, 10 risk-assessment questions will qualify you for “preferred-risk” pricing. The savings in this case can be substantial.

Finally, consider whether you want to purchase your E&O insurance through a conventional insurance broker or on an online E&O insurance platform. The former method may be appropriate for advisors with complex businesses with large risks. But the downside of buying through a broker is that it will take more time for the person to submit a long application form to one or several carriers and then to receive a proposal back from. Buying through an online E&O provider is typically much faster. For example, at EOforLess.com, you can typically input your information, answer the underwriting questions, and then pay and bind your coverage in 5 minutes or less.

Whatever you decide, the important thing is that you protect your business against the many risks it faces in today’s risky environment.  If you want to assure your professional future, buying E&O insurance for your business is truly the most sensible way to go.

Buy E&O insurance for your business