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11 Best Professional Liability Insurance Companies for 2011

If you’re a small business and in the market for professional liability insurance, below are 11 best companies offering this type of insurance for small businesses. In order to get an idea of the prices where online quotes were offered, we looked at a hypothetical accounting business in Wisconsin that had been in business for three years and has three total employees.

  • CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
  • Mercer: Best for Business and Medical Organizations
  • HPSO: Best Comprehensive Policies for Medical Providers
  • Geico: Best for Small Businesses & Independent Contractors
  • AllState: Best for Customer Service
  • Nationwide: Best for Employment Practice Liability Coverage
  • State Farm: Best for Customizable Plans
  • The Hartford: Best for Plans Related to Specific Professions
  • Hiscox: Best for Comprehensive Coverage
  • Thimble: Best for Fast Online Experience
  • Next Insurance: Best for Covering a Wide Variety of Professionals

CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes

Professional liability insurance is probably the most common business insurance policy. That explains why most, if not all, business insurance companies, from big corporations to insuretech startups and everyone else in between, offer this policy to a wide variety of business types. That is a good thing for professionals and businesses looking for this type of insurance. However, having so many choices also makes it difficult to compare quotes and policies.

CoverWallet is probably the most well-known digital broker. They work with several business insurance companies. Once you provide your personal and business information on their lead form, they are able to get several quotes from these companies for you to compare and select the one that is the most suitable to your needs.

Mercer Professional Liability Insurance: Best for Business and Medical Organizations

Mercer is especially good for business and medical organizations thanks to their specialized professional liability insurance plans. Businesses of all sizes can find appropriate plans for themselves and their staff through Mercer. This major firm offers group insurance plans as well as solo plans for individuals, medical students, and schools through Proliability.com. You’ll need to fill out an online form to request a free quote from one of their representatives.

HPSO Professional Liability Insurance: Best Comprehensive Policies for Medical Professionals

Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) is another insurance provider geared towards those in the medical industry. HPSO provides comprehensive professional liability policies that cover a broad range of incidents, like:

  • Professional liability
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Assault Coverage
  • Medical Payments
  • First Aid Benefit

You can apply for a quote online, but will get a message stating that they’ll contact you later with quotes.

Geico Professional Liability Insurance: Best for Small Businesses & Independent Contractors

Many people recognize Geico as a car insurance company, but they offer much more to customers and businesses. Geico offers professional liability insurance that is written by third-party insurance companies. Their plans typically cover your business, staff, temp. staff, and contractors. 

Those who work as rideshare drivers may also be interested in Geico’s Rideshare Insurance that is designed to replace traditional car insurance. It covers drivers while working or not working, when the app is on or off, so you are insured in all situations.

AllState Professional Liability Insurance: Best for Customer Service

Another insurer popular for their car insurance, Allstate also has a wide selection of business insurance, such as Business Owner’s Policies, General Liability, and Professional Liability. If you want a company that is focused on making life easy for the customer, this is a good choice. Allstate offers something called Express Access to ID cards or bill payment without having to log in. They also provide a mobile app that allows customers to access their accounts, document property, and more.

Nationwide Professional Liability Insurance: Best for Employment Practice Liability Coverage

Nationwide offers a variety of customizable professional liability insurance plans so you can get the coverage you need for your specific type of business.

The professional liability plan covers errors and omissions (E&O) and employment practices like wrongful termination, wrongly refusal to employ, charges of discrimination, or invasion of privacy or defamation claims made against companies by employees. To get quotes, you have to enter very specific contact information for you and your business.      

>>MORE: Professional Liability vs. Malpractice vs. E&O Insurance: How Are They Different?

State Farm Professional Liability Insurance: Best for Customizable Plans

State Farm offers business and professional liability insurance. It helps you pay for defense and judgments that come from liability claims due to negligence or an error & omission (O&E) on your part. State Farm offers several different types of liability insurance:

  • Commercial Liability Umbrella Policy 
  • Professional Liability
  • Errors and Omission Liability
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)
  • Not-for-Profit Organization Liability with EPLI 
  • Condo and Homeowners Association Directors and Officers Liability with EPLI

In order to get quotes, State Farm wants you to talk with an agent at one of the offices.

>>MORE: What is Professional Liability Insurance? And Its Cost?

This is a solid company to look into if you want policies for specific professions. The Hartford specializes in offering professional liability insurance to specific types of professionals. For instance, the company specializes in professional liability insurance for consultants, accountants, home inspectors, tech professionals, real estate professionals and even lawyers.

For us, getting a quote online through the Hartford allows you to enter in your business information, but then links you to an 800 number in order to get an actual quote “based on the business location.” 

Hiscox: Best for Comprehensive Coverage

Hiscox is known for its comprehensive professional liability coverage. As part of its professional liability coverage, Hiscox covers alleged or actual negligence, defense costs, personal injury, worldwide coverage, temp staff and contractors, claims for past services, and claims and damages. It also covers a wide variety of professionals, like therapists and marketers.

When we tried to do the quote process online, it gives you an 800 number to call to finalize some of the details of your business.  

Thimble: Best for Fast Online Experience

Thimble is a company that specializes in the digital experience. Its website states that you can get your business insured in just 60 seconds. We tried the quote process at this site. Nothing popped up for accountants, so we entered “consultants and freelancers” as business type. You can select either a coverage limit of $1 million or $2 million. We selected $1 million.  

However, the policy states it covers general liability, accidental injury or damage to property and products / completed operations coverage one year from inception. One person costs $5, and adding two others costs about $10. The site doesn’t clarify whether that’s monthly or one payment, however.  

Next Insurance: Best Insuretech Offering the Best Digital Experience from Buying to Managing Your Professional Liability Insurance

Next Insurance is another insuretech company that specializes in online business insurance plans. Plans for this company are billed monthly, which it’s nice enough to state right on the homepage. You can purchase professional liability / E&O Insurance right through the website.  

Next Insurance also prides itself on having no extra fees, which can be an inconvenience through other providers. The policies are also geared to cover a wide variety of professionals, from electricians to nail technicians. 

To get a quote, for this one we were able to list ourselves as accountants. The plans come as basic, pro and pro plus plans. The “most popular” pro plan with $1 million per claim, $1 million per policy and a $2,000 deductible comes to about $61 per month.

What Is Professional Liability and What Does It Cover? 

At its core, professional liability insurance protects professionals and businesses against claims of negligence and lawsuits. For instance, if you are an accountant who miscalculates a client’s income for their taxes and they end up owing back taxes and fees you could be sued by the client. Professional liability insurance can help cover the defense costs and any settlement you end up owing. 

Professional liability also covers the expenses associated with:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Legal malpractice
  • Undelivered services
  • Bad advice

Do You Need Both Professional and General Liability Insurance? 

It is a good idea to get both types of insurance, as each protects different parts of your business. For instance:

  • Professional Liability Insurance: Covers negligence, professional mistakes, and lack of service on the part of the business owner or covered staff.
  • General Liability Insurance: Covers against accidents and bodily damage caused by your products and services, or that occurred on the premises.

By obtaining both coverage options in your insurance policy, you’ll have more complete protection. 

How Much Does Professional Liability Insurance Cost? 

Most people are surprised to find that professional liability insurance can be very affordable to maintain. Insureon reports that the median cost for professional liability insurance is $59 per month, while Trusted Choice states that the average range for this insurance is between $83 to $250 per month.

There are several things that affect the quote you receive when applying for professional liability insurance. These can include:

  • Risk factor
  • Business size
  • Chosen industry 
  • Claims history
  • Coverage limits
  • Deductible

Who Needs Professional Liability Insurance? 

Anyone operating a business can benefit from professional liability insurance. It’s not just for doctors and lawyers these days. If you provide a service or advice to clients you could be held liable for mistakes, poor service, or services withheld. Some of the industries call professional liability insurance malpractice insurance, and some calls it E&O (or errors and omissions) insurance. Below are the list of professions and the name it usually uses for professional liability insurance:

Professions usually refer to it as “professional liability insurance”Professions usually refer to it as “malpractice insurance”Professions usually refer to it as “E&O insurance”
Consultants Nurses; nurse practitioners; and nursing students Accountants and CPAs 
Engineers & architects CounselorsReal estate agents 
Accountants and CPAs Lawyers and attorneys Notary 
Federal employees Social workers Home Inspectors 
Teachers and educators Physical therapists Appraisers
Private investigators, security guards, and policemenPharmacists Insurance agents
Contractors And other healthcare professionals

Professional liability insurance for nurses

As a nurse, you may think that if you follow the doctor’s instructions, you’ll be immune from professional liability lawsuits, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Over $90 million dollars was paid for malpractice claims over one five-year period by CNA, and that’s just one insurance company. And the hospital you work in might protect you, but they are more concerned with their own best interests. To find out who the top five providers of professional liability insurance for nurses are and how to get a quote, click here. 

Professional liability insurance for nurse practitioners

Depending on what state you work in as a nurse practitioner, you may work directly under a doctor, or you may have a great deal of autonomy. Either way, it’s a good idea to get professional liability insurance, also known as malpractice insurance. For more information and for a list of the top six providers of professional liability insurance for nurse practitioners, click here.

Professional liability insurance for nursing students

Believe it or not, nursing students have been sued for malpractice. On the plus side, the rates for professional liability insurance for nursing students tend to be lower, and some companies let you upgrade as soon as you graduate. Read our recommendations here.

Best professional liability insurance companies for engineers and architects

Engineers and architects often work on big projects for corporate clients who may sue if they aren’t happy with the results or unwanted delays. Professional liability insurance can help with defense costs, settlements, and costs associated with fixing mistakes. Some of the best companies for engineers and architects include:

  • CNA
  • Victor
  • A&E

Best professional liability insurance companies for consultants

Business consultant is a term tied to those working in many fields, from accountants to IT. No matter what your area of expertise, it’s important to protect yourself with professional liability insurance. If advice you give or changes made don’t work out for a client, this insurance coverage can protect from the costs of lawsuits, replacing lost data or equipment, and lost revenue. 

Some of the best professional liability insurance companies for consultants are:

  • NAPA
  • TechInsurance
  • The Hartford

Professional liability insurance for counselors

Psychologists and counselors work with some very troubled people. What happens if they take something you said out of context, and it causes them financial or emotional hardship? They could sue you. Professional liability insurance is reasonably priced, and it could protect you from such a scenario. See our list of the top providers of professional liability insurance here. 

Professional liability insurance for lawyers and attorneys

Although lawyers are mostly in business of suing other people, they can get sued themselves. Things like negligence and breach of contract are just some of the things lawyers can be sued over. We recommend getting professional liability insurance from companies that either specialize in such insurance or who have a great deal of experience. Read our recommendations and more information here.

Best professional liability insurance companies for federal employees

Federal Employee Professional Liability Insurance is a type of errors and omissions insurance that protects those who work for the government. If you are a federal contractor, law enforcement officer, or a civilian military employee, you may qualify for this insurance. Some of the best insurance companies for this professional liability insurance, include:

  • Simply Business
  • Starr Wright USA
  • FEDS

Best professional liability insurance companies for teachers and educators

Teachers are becoming more at risk of lawsuits from angry parents over incidents that occur in the classroom. If you are in this field today, you might want some extra protection in case of an accident or if you need defense against a lawsuit.

Some of the best professional liability insurance companies for teachers in 2021 include:

  • Forrest T. Jones & Company
  • CoverWallet
  • National Education Association

Professional liability insurance for social workers

Social workers are often subpoenaed as part of custody disputes or in family court. Given the highly charged emotional atmosphere these cases can generate, social workers can be easily be sued. To protect your license and your practice, you should consider professional liability insurance. Read more about this insurance for social workers here

Professional liability insurance for accountants and CPAs

Accountants and CPA’s need professional liability insurance because they deal with money, and for most people, money is an emotionally charged issue. You may think that you only work with a few clients, who you’ve worked with for a long time, so you’re safe. However, there are many cases of accountants and CPAs being sued by long-term clients—even people they thought were their friends. And you may not have to make any mistakes at all—you client could just be disappointed that the tax return you filed didn’t merit as big a return as they thought. 

Professional liability insurance for accountants and CPAs is available for as little as $45 a month, or $500 a year, which is worth it for the peace of mind and protection it gives you. 

Wondering who to go to for a quote? Here are our top three providers:

  • AICPA member insurance (an Aon company)
  • Hiscox
  • The Hartford

Be sure to shop around and get quotes from at least three companies before you decide.

Professional liability insurance for physical therapists

There’s no doubt that physical therapists have an important job, helping people on the road to recovery after an injury. Since your job involves physically touching your patients, accidents and misinterpretations can happen. Then, too, sometimes people may not regain as much mobility as they had hoped for and can blame the therapist. If you want to learn more about professional liability insurance for physical therapists, click here.

Professional liability insurance for pharmacists 

Pharmacists fill scripts that other people have written, so how could you possibly get sued? Someone may mislabel a bottle, resulting in harm to a patient. Or you could misfile something, leading to the wrong information in a client’s chart or record. Pharmacists can be sued for violating HIPAA as well. All in all, professional liability insurance is a good idea. Click here to read up on our recommendations for providers. 

Professional liability insurance for contractors

Contractors are sued for building or construction errors. Furthermore, you may be held responsible for any mistakes your subcontractors make. And since designing and putting up a building is a complicated process, many things can and do go wrong. If you have general commercial liability insurance, you may wonder why you need professional liability insurance as well. Professional liability insurance protects you from errors made by third parties, as well as pollution insurance, as well as any mistakes you make. There are many types of contractors, such as:

  • General contractors
  • Concrete contractors
  • Electricians
  • Carpenters
  • Elevator repair
  • Plumbing
  • Excavation 
  • Masonry
  • Painters

Since there is a wide range of services provided by contractors, there is quite a bit of a range in costs. The type of work you do, location, and what type of coverage limits you choose will all affect how much you pay. 

If you’re interested in obtaining a quote as a contractor, we recommend these companies:

  • Biberk
  • Hiscox
  • Next

Shopping around will enable you to get the best rates, so don’t skip this step. It can save you hundreds of dollars.

Professional liability insurance for police, security guards, and private investigators

One only needs to turn on the TV or open the internet to find a video of a police officer acting in a questionable way. Scrutiny of the police, and security guards and private investigators along with them, have increased the need for professional liability insurance for these professions. To find the top providers of professional liability insurance, as well as more information on insurance for these professions, click here. 

Best Professional Liability Insurance Companies in California

Whether you are a lawyer or a nurse working in California, it’s vital to have professional liability insurance. Unhappy clients and patients can cause a lot of financial damage with lawsuits and potentially big payouts. If you are worried about malpractice suits, consider a policy from one of these professional liability insurance companies in California:

  • Hiscox
  • CNA
  • Embroker

Best Professional Liability Insurance Companies in Texas

While Texas is known for its business friendly laws and regulations, small businesses and companies can still be sued for mistakes. If you are a professional operating in Texas, be sure to get liability insurance to cover costs associated with legal advice, client’s lost wages and income, and settlements to clients. Some of the best professional liability insurance companies in Texas include:

  • Hiscox
  • Next Insurance
  • Higginbotham Insurance

Best Professional Liability Insurance Companies in Florida

Almost any professional can be covered by this type of insurance, though it’s not required in Florida. However, medical malpractice insurance is required for doctors. Your small business will be well protected from liability claims with the appropriate professional liability insurance, especially if you offer legal services or medical care.

Some of the best professional liability insurance companies in Florida are:

  • Hiscox
  • The Hartford
  • Embroker

Final Thoughts

Some of the most well-known companies to look into for professional liability insurance include CoverWallet, Mercer, HPSO, AllState, Nationwide, State Farm, the Hartford, Hiscox, Thimble and Next Insurance. They each have their own strength and uniqueness. You should consider them carefully and choose the most suitable to your situation. It is always a good idea to consult with an insurance agent and shop around with 3-5 carriers to compare quotes.

FAQs

1. What types of small businesses will need professional liability insurance? 

All types of businesses could potentially benefit from professional liability insurance. If you provide any type of product or service for individuals or companies, a mistake, error or omission (E&O) on your part could lead someone to seek financial restitution.  

However, certain businesses need it more than others because the losses could be far greater. The III lists several types of professionals that might benefit from professional liability insurance the most. These include: accountants, IT consultants, engineers, graphic designers, real estate professionals, insurance professionals, investment advisors, architects, management consultants and software developers. The institute suggests you consult with an insurance agent or your trade organization to see if this type of insurance is right for you.    

2. Is professional liability insurance required by laws in all states? 

According to the III, some states do require this type of insurance, so be sure to check with your state’s laws. Consult with your local Chamber of Commerce, or again, check with local trade associations.   

3. What is usually excluded in professional liability insurance policies? 

Insurance provider CPH & Associates lists several common exclusions: 

  • Illegal acts
  • Services you provide under an entity name that is different from the one listed on the policy
  • Illegal discriminations 
  • Punitive fines and associated costs
  • Slander or libel
  • Bodily harm to another person

However, different plans can vary, so it’s important to review your policy.  

4. I am a lawyer or a financial advisor working at a firm, the firm buys professional liability insurance, should I still buy my own professional liability insurance? Why and why not? 

This is a situation that carries some gray areas. Lockton Affinity, a personal training insurance provider, outlines the situation well. If you are an employee, the employer’s policy could cover you, but the policy might only offer an aggregate limit. That means you and all your co-workers are covered up to a certain limit, which you all may exceed. So you may want to carry your own policy to be safe.

If you’re a contractor, you are typically more responsible for your own costs. Many independent contractor contracts state that you are responsible for any legal fees that come up. You may want to consult with an insurance agent about your specific situation.     

5. How is professional liability insurance different from general liability insurance?

They are quite different. General liability tends to protect from lawsuits and related costs. It also tends to cover medical expenses, damages and attorney fees that you’re legally responsible for.

Professional liability specifically covers damages resulting from professional errors and omissions (E&O) on your part relating to the work you perform.    

6. Is HPSO a good professional liability insurance provider? 

HPSO, or Healthcare Providers Service Organization, covers over 90 professions associated with healthcare. The cover:

  • Pharmacists
  • Counselors
  • Clinical social workers
  • Physician assistants
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists

If you’re a healthcare worker, it’s worth getting a quote from HPSO because they have a good reputation and they offer comprehensive policies that consider things like telemedicine. However, they don’t offer cybersecurity coverage, which may be a concern if you frequently communicate with patients online. 

They offer several professional discounts on their policies, including one if you take a risk management course. They’ve been in business for over 30 years and are they insure more than a million healthcare workers. 

You can get a quote online for either yourself or your business.

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