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AXIS Insurance Services: We Know E&O

AXIS INSURANCE SERVICES: WE KNOW E&O

Axis Insurance Services: We Know E&OProfessional liability lawsuits abound in every profession and expose individuals and businesses to significant losses if not properly managed and insured. Axis Insurance Services, LLC focuses on providing businesses and individuals with insurance programs that protect against claims alleging errors and omissions or failure to perform as contractually promised. The Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based firm offers customized programs throughout the country for many professions, including: architects, commercial and residential real estate firms, property managers, title and escrow agents, insurance agents and brokers, third-party administrators, lawyers, mortgage bankers, IT consultants, appraisers, accountants, medical groups, and others.

Axis Insurance Services writes insurance programs for large and small accounts, and is known as a prominent player in providing solutions in complex cases that require specialization.

Why E&O?

Simply put, no profession is immune from lawsuits that can arise from negligence or an error or omission in the course of performing one’s duties. But each profession’s risk is different and requires the expertise and experience of a firm like Axis to evaluate loss control measures to help mitigate risk and provide the coverages needed should a claim or loss occur. For example, an attorney can be sued for failing to file a lawsuit within the statue of limitations required under law, not properly preparing for a trial, and not following court orders. A real estate firm can be sued for alleged non-disclosure of defects on a property that causes significant damages for the owner. An architect may be sued for design flaws that cause property loss, like leaks and cracks.

The nuances of each profession — understanding each and every one of them and evaluating the best measures to a prevent loss in the first place – is critical. That’s what Axis does with each of its clients, assessing their operations and reviewing potential risks and how best to minimize them. Once this is done, recommendations for a comprehensive professional liability or error or omission (E&O) insurance program is presented, including reviewing the limits available, deductibles, enhancements, restrictions, and costs to best determine what makes sense for each client.

An E&O or professional liability policy, in addition to paying judgments against the insured (up to the coverage limits on the policy), also pays for defense costs. This is very important, as it’s not uncommon for a professional to spend thousands of dollars defending against an allegation that may ultimately get dismissed.

What’s more, an error or omission can occur on almost any transaction. It doesn’t matter how long a professional has been in business or how good he or she is. Also, keep in mind, that a General Liability policy does not provide coverage for professional liability.

Examples of E&O Suits

If one thinks that professional liability coverage is something that isn’t worth its value, think again. Just take look at some of the lawsuits filed this year around the country that involved errors and omissions claims; the outcomes of the suits are not yet known but they still need defending, which can be very costly:

  • In a Chicago suburb, a charter school filed a lawsuit against an architectural firm alleging that it was responsible for delaying the school’s opening and endangering students. Due to the delay, the school had to spend hundreds of thousands of additional dollars fixing the problems. The lawsuit alleges that the architectural firm failed to inspect and coordinate its work with the builders. “Panic bars” were left on the outside of the building, which allowed access inside without the use of a key or electronic pass. This oversight, according to the lawsuit, “posed a substantial risk of harm to the charter school’s students and staff and could have resulted in significant damage and theft to the charter school.”
  • A lawsuit filed by a condo association in Palm Beach, Florida alleges that the work performed by the complex’s developer does not comply with building codes, and that the majority of the work is shoddy. The suit claims that the developer and architect are liable for the building code failures.
  • A Los Angeles manufacturing firm sued a law firm who used contract attorneys (at an hourly rate of $25-$30) to review documents in a whistleblower lawsuit brought against it. The lawsuit claims that in using the contract attorneys, the law firm “negligently performed their duties.”

The list is endless and continues to grow, with a wave of new lawsuits coming up, such as in the mortgage brokerage industry with subprime loans, computer gaming consultants and software functionality and performance, and others. Axis keeps up to date with what is going on in the legal and regulatory environments so that the insurance programs provided keep pace with a changing landscape, and so that clients are aware of additional exposures and how to avoid them. 

You can find out more about Axis and its E&O programs at https://www.errors-omissions.com/.

 

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Blogged on: October 18, 2011 by Mike Smith
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