Professional

What does being a professional have to do with insurance?

First, let's look at the definition of a professional. A professional can be defined as a person who is required to have extensive knowledge usually from academic study with the appropriate training.

A professional is expected to display professional ethics and some autonomy in their work. Often there are established protocols, standards and requirements of a high standard of performance.

Your broker or agent is a professional. You will get expert advice from this broker or agent to help you make decisions. If you get bad advice or the help you receive steers you in the wrong direction then you might have some financial restitution due to you.

Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance is often purchased by professionals. Why? A professional is held to a higher standard of duty. This person "should know better" and so is expected to do the right thing. If you have depended on this person's expertise and they let you down a claim is likely to follow.

If you think that you have been a victim of an error or omission by your insurance adviser then you need to talk to your broker or agent about your concern. If you cannot find satisfactory resolution then you need to take it a step further. You may next talk to the manager or owner of the agency or brokerage where you have your insurance. If you are still not satisfied then you need to seek the advice of the insurance council for that province or territory.

Usually a situation where there has been an error is resolved fairly quickly. Often the insurance company will help out by granting coverage or consideration where needed. If all else fails you might consider legal counsel but that will be at your own cost.

Be aware that you could also find yourself in a similar position with another professional who is outside the insurance industry. A home appraiser who does not identify mold growing in a home; a lawyer who does not file the correct paperwork and you do not get title to your property when needed; or an accountant who does not balance your books could all hurt your financially. You might sue. These professionals likely have E&O insurance which will respond to a claim.

As with all forms of insurance there is no one "pat answer". Each situation needs to be reviewed and whether or not a policy will respond is determined by the wordings. Ask lots of questions when you buy a policy and be aware that all professionals have some degree of duty to fulfill.

TurnersTips strongly recommends that you always seek expert advice from a professional. Your situation is unique and needs to be addressed carefully.

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