E&O insurance is also known as professional liability insurance. This type of insurance protects you in case you make a mistake or accidentally leave something out in your professional capacity. It protects you if a client sues you because something you did or didn’t do resulted in them suffering from a financial loss.
- The 9 Best E&O insurance companies
- What is E&O insurance?
- What does E&O insurance cover?
- How much E&O insurance do you need?
- How much does E&O insurance cost?
The 9 best E&O insurance companies
Many companies offer E&O insurance since it is one of the more popular business insurance policies for small businesses. We studied and compared more than 20 companies and here are the top 10 companies for your consideration:
CoverWallet E&O Insurance: best for Comparing Online Quotes
CoverWallet is very easy to get a quote from. They use AI to collect quotes from several different companies so you can compare. Also, if you need help determining what business insurance you need, CoverWallet can help you do that. It is not an insurance company, it’s a digital business insurance broker, and as such, it won’t give you quotes from companies it doesn’t partner with. But it’s worth a look. They gave us this quote from Hiscox for an accounting/tax preparation business.
Chubb E&O insurance: Best for Comprehensive Coverage Options and High Customer Satisfaction
Chubb has coverage options for businesses of all sizes. This means that if your business really takes off, you won’t have to search for another insurance company because Chubb can handle anything up to huge, multinational corporation.
They are almost never the cheapest option out there, though, but they do have high customer satisfaction and provide good service.
This is actually a quote from CoverWallet, but the quote is from Chubb. This proves that it is easy to compare quotes from several companies with CoverWallet. You don’t need to go to different companies to obtain quotes several times.
Hiscox E&O insurance: Best for bundling discounts
Hiscox has a lot of experience in the insurance world, having originated in 1901. They offer many types of business insurance and it’s easy to get a quote. You can earn a discount if you buy more than one policy with them. They also offer discounts for small businesses and those who switch their policies to Hiscox.
This quote is for a sole proprietor account in Maine.
CNA E&O insurance: Best for group E&O insurance policies
CNA is headquartered in Chicago and has twenty years of business insurance experience. You can get a quote for either a business owners policy (which combines general liability and property coverage) or workers compensation insurance. If you want a quote for any other type of business insurance, you’ll have to contact an agent.
One of their specializations is E&O insurance. However, they mostly underwrite group E&O insurance policies, which means that they are the underwriter of E&O policies when you buy it through your professional associations or community.
They do have a variety of policies, which they can tailor to your specific circumstances. Customer reviews are mostly positive, with a score of 4.6 out of 5 on ConsumersAdvocate.com, although they only got one of five stars on Yelp.
Napa E&O insurance: Best for some specialized professionals such as insurance agents, investment advisors, or tax preparers
Napa is unique, in that it specializes in E&O insurance. You can apply for insurance and get proof of insurance within five minutes. They offer E&O insurance for:
- Life and health insurance agents
- Property and Casualty agents
- Investment advisors
- Tax preparers
- Travel agents
Tax preparer insurance starts at $72 a month.
To get the cheapest quote, you need to compare quotes of several companies. One way to get several quotes more conveniently is to work with a digital broker like CoverWallet or Simply Business. They partner with several business insurance companies and are able to provide you with several quotes within a few minutes.
State Farm E&O insurance: Best for combining the E&O policy with your other personal insurance policies
State Farm sells most types of small business insurance, including E&O insurance. If you want a quote from State Farm, you’ll have to enter your zip code and then an agent will reach out to you to discuss your needs. They offer:
- Commercial auto insurance
- Professional liability insurance (E&O)
- Business owners policies
- Workers compensation
- Builders risk
- Surety and fidelity bonds
They have decent customer service scores, although most of the reviews are based on their auto and home insurance. They have 24/7 claims service either online or on the phone.
The Hartford E&O insurance: A respectable and reputable brand name in the world of small business insurance
The Hartford offers many types of business insurance. They offer online quoting, at least in theory. However, when we entered our information, it told us to call them so they could discuss our needs.
The Hartford is one of the most respectable brand name in the world of small business insurance. They are the grandfather of small business insurance with a lot of experience and reputation in the industry. They insure over a million small business customers, and if you buy more than one policy, you’ll earn a bundling discount.
According to their own website, the Hartford offers superior customer service, although reviews are more mixed on third party review sites.
USAA E&O insurance: Best for Military Members
USAA business insurance is underwritten by Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance. If you are currently or have ever been a member of the military, USAA is worth a look. In addition to E&O insurance, they also offer:
- Business owners policies
- General liability
- Workers compensation
- Cyber liability
- Commercial auto
If they can’t offer you a quote, you get a popup that refers you to the Hartford. Whatever type of insurance we requested resulted in getting this popup. However, you might be able to get a quote by registering with the site first. That requires you to enter your military ID, so that’s probably why we couldn’t get a quote.
ConsumerAffairs.com rates USAA with 2.5 out of 5 stars for business insurance, so keep that in mind.
Zurich E&O insurance: Best if your business offers services to international clients
Zurich offers a variety of small business insurance, including:
- Builders risk
- Cyber risk
- Management liability
- Professional liability
- Workers compensation
Zurich is a global company, but one of their subsidiaries is Farmers insurance. They sell insurance through agents, so you’ll have to call to get a quote. Zurich was founded in, yes, Switzerland, in 1872. Because there is no online quoting, it’s a little difficult to estimate what the rates are for Zurich. They have some one-star reviews but given the size of the company the number of complaints against them is pretty small (66 complaints on the Better Business Bureau and 57 complaints on ConsumerAffairs.com).
If your business offers services to international clients, especially those who are in Europe, and they require you to have E&O insurance. Having an E&O insurance policy by Zurich will definitely help gain your clients’ confidence and peace of mind.
What is E&O insurance?
E&O insurance is also known as professional liability insurance, or sometimes malpractice insurance. It protects you from lawsuits claiming a mistake you made or something you left out caused a client financial distress. E&O insurance will cover your legal fees and court costs, as well as any settlements that are reached.
What does E&O insurance cover?
E&O insurance covers:
For example, say you’re an accountant who does bookkeeping and tax preparation at home. You misread a 3 for an 8 and as a result, your clients taxes are underreported, subjecting him to fines and penalties by the IRS. They could sue you for this mistake.
What doesn’t E&O insurance cover?
E&O insurance covers mistakes or omissions you made in good faith. If you set out to defraud your clients, E&O won’t cover that. Nor will it cover any illegal acts, or anything you do that pollutes the environment.
How Much E&O insurance do you need?
It depends on your needs, your industry and how likely your services are to lead to someone’s financial loss. Many small business’ owners purchase $1M/1M policies ($1M per occurrence, $1M aggregate limit), just to be on the safe side. If you want, though, you can get as little as $250,000 in liability coverage.
How much does E&O insurance cost?
Average costs for E&O insurance are about $500 to $1,000 per employee, per year. So, if you’re a sole proprietor with no employees, you’ll pay between $500 and $1,000 a year. If you run a trucking company and have 30 employees, you’ll pay somewhere between $15,000 and $30,000 a year. You can read a more detailed breakdown here.
E&O insurance costs vary by companies, so it is necessary to compare quotes from a few companies. Working with a digital broker like CoverWallet or Simply Business is also a good idea since they are able to provide several quotes from their partners within a few minutes.
Best E&O insurance for insurance agents
As an insurance agent, you’re familiar with E&O insurance, and may have even explained it to others. So, you know it’s easy for a client to blame you for a mistake in their paperwork or even if they didn’t quite understand something in their policy. You can read about the top five companies for insurance agents here.
Best E&O insurance for healthcare providers such as doctors or nurses
E&O insurance for healthcare providers, specifically doctors and nurses, is called malpractice insurance. Doctors are often sued by unhappy patients, whether or not the doctor actually did something wrong. See our list of the top ten malpractice insurance companies here.
Best E&O insurance for real estate agents
Real estate agents often deal with clients who are involved in a very emotional purchase. If a deal falls through, they may blame you, the real estate agent. To protect yourself against such claims, see our list of the top six providers of E&O insurance for real estate agents.
Often, realtors work for a company that maintains E&O insurance for all of their agents. But agents should realize that this policy is shared by all of the agents, so you may need your own coverage.
Best E&O insurance for appraisers
Since homeowners are emotionally invested in their home, they often overestimate how much its worth. This can affect their bottom line, either by not having enough money to purchase another home or not having enough equity to remodel. You could get sued, which is why you need E&O insurance. Read our recommendations for the top five providers of E&O insurance here.
Best E&O insurance for home inspectors
Home inspectors are under pressure to inspect a house thoroughly but quickly. You could miss something that winds up costing the homeowner thousands of dollars. They could then sue you for this oversight, which is why you need E&O insurance. See our picks for the best E&O insurance for home inspectors here.
Best E&O insurance for notary public
Since notaries deal with important paperwork, it’s possible that a mistake could cause financial harm to one of your clients. E&O insurance could protect you for as little as $40 a month. Read about our top picks for E&O insurance for notaries here.
Best E&O insurance for IT consultants
Technology can cover just about anything: SaaS (software as a service) fintech, crypto…and since these are cutting edge industries, anything can go wrong. Sometimes a simple mistake can wind up costing thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you’re an IT consultant, we recommend getting quotes from these companies:
- The Hartford
The Hartford offers FailSafe, which covers breach of warranty coverage without a contractual liability exclusion. CoverWallet can bundle your policy with cyber liability insurance, and although CNA doesn’t offer online quoting, they can offer you up to $5 million in coverage.
Shopping around with a few companies to get a cheap quote or comparing online quotes with digital broker like CoverWallet or Simply Business is a good idea.
Best E&O insurance in Texas
Texas doesn’t require errors and omissions insurance for most businesses, but it recommends it. Real estate agents in particular should consider E&O insurance in Texas, even if your company has a policy. Companies we recommend are:
- The Hartford
Texas residents need E&O insurance for the same reasons anyone else does: to protect themselves against litigious clients who claims to have suffered financially due to a mistake or an error.
Best E&O insurance in Florida
The average cost of E&O insurance in Florida is about $775 a year. Florida also has a reputation as being a litigious state, so make sure you’re covered. Also, some clients will require their real estate agents to have E&O insurance. We recommend these companies:
- Simply Business
You can read more about E&O insurance in Florida here.
Best E&O insurance in California
California has plenty of sunshine, movie stars…and lawsuits. The Golden state doesn’t require E&O insurance for most professions, although they have debated requiring it for attorneys. Read about E&O insurance in California here.
How does group E&O insurance work?
Group E&O insurance is just what it sounds like: a group or a company gets coverage for everyone in their company. It will cover both the employer and the employee, up to the policy limit if an employee is named in a lawsuit. This often brings peace of mind to the employees as they know they are covered, but keep in mind that the policy is there to protect the employer first and the employee second.
What’s the difference between E&O and D&O insurance?
Although they sound like they’re probably the same thing, D&O insurance (also known as Directors and Officers insurance) protects executive management team of a company from allegations that their management decisions caused harm to a person, company, or entity. It protects the personal assets of the officers of the company, their spouses and their families. It covers things like:
- Unfair business practices
- Negligent acts
- Investment decisions
- Release of non-public information
- Mismanagement of funds
D&O insurance protects the officers and directors of a company, whereas E&O insurance covers anyone who is a representative of the business and the business itself.
Anyone in business for themselves should consider E&O insurance. Society is increasingly litigious and angry, with more people suing just because they’re unhappy. Before you get caught in the crosshairs of someone’s persecutory thinking, get E&O insurance to protect yourself.