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How to Protect Your Agency Against the Approaching E&O Litigation Wave

Insurance industry experts are predicting a surge in E&O claims arising from the weather disasters and the pandemic in 2020. Now is the time to examine and strengthen your E&O risk management program before the wave hits.

Here are a few suggestions on what to evaluate:

Take another look at your agency’s documentation procedures.

  • Communicate and document. Properly used, coverage checklists are a good way to communicate coverages being offered and document coverage rejections.
  • Review the Disclaimers your agency is using in your voicemail, email, fax cover, agency websites, proposals, and social media outlets. Disclaimers are a special form of communication which help reinforce customer communications and provide clear guidance of what is expected of the customer and your agency.

Review the language on your website to make sure it is not overstating the agency’s expertise or capabilities, inadvertently creating an increased standard of care.

Review your agency’s claim filing process.

  • Don’t make claims decisions. Let the insurance carrier do that.
  • Don’t dissuade a client from making a claim.
  • Create a structure for communications regarding claims and potential claims internally by defining who such matters should be reported to inside your agency. Use claims and potential claims situations as a training tool for your staff.
  • Finally, if a customer becomes disgruntled with the handling or outcome of a claim, consider putting your E&O carrier on notice.

Read 2020 Could Make 2021 the Year of Insurance Agency E&O Lawsuits for more information.

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Cari Senefsky

Director of Professional Liability
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Gunnar Kephart

E&O Advocate