Real estate agents bring people and the property of their dreams together. Whether it’s the perfect home, the perfect office space or a great investment, real estate agents are in the business of both selling property and selling themselves. After all, your clients place a great deal of trust in you. They like you. Surely, you don’t have a need for errors and omissions insurance?
- What is Real Estate E&O Insurance?
- Who Needs Real Estate E&O Insurance?
- What does Real Estate E&O Insurance Cover?
- How Much does Real Estate E&O Insurance Cost?
- Top 5 Providers of Real Estate E&O Insurance
What is Real Estate E&O Insurance?
Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is another name for professional liability insurance. These days, anyone can be sued for any reason. Even if the lawsuit is groundless or frivolous, you still have to deal with the high cost of defending yourself in court. Errors and omissions insurance covers these costs.
For a more thorough explanation of professional liability insurance, see “What is professional liability insurance? And its cost?”
Who Needs Real Estate E&O Insurance?
Most of your clients will be happy with their purchases. But what if something goes wrong? Real estate agents have been sued for failing to disclose defects in a property, for misfiling paperwork, or for breach of contract. There’s a great deal of emotions and money involved in the sale of real estate, and when things go wrong, clients can try to find someone to blame.
Even if you work for a large real estate agency or brokerage firm, the firm should have some professional liability insurance, or E&O, to cover for the agents. However, as a real estate agent, you usually work for the firm as an independent contractor, and you could be sued and held responsible if something goes wrong in a real estate transaction. Having your own E&O insurance will protect you in such cases.
What does Real Estate E&O Insurance Cover?
Errors and omissions will cover court costs and legal fees in the event you are sued. Remember, you don’t have to be at fault for someone to sue you, but you still have to go to court. E&O insurance will cover you in case of:
- Professional mistakes
- Failure to deliver
What doesn’t It Cover?
- Criminal acts
- Bodily harm
- Property damage that you cause
- Polluted property
How Much does Real Estate E&O Insurance Cost?
Insureon estimates that the median cost for E&O insurance for realtors is about $55 a month.
Based on the quotes we got from the 2 companies that we recommended below, the real estate E&O insurance cost is in the range of $30-60 a month.
What Benefits Should I Consider Purchasing E&O Insurance for Real Estate Agents?
Check with your real estate company to see what coverage they provide. Keep in mind that their policy probably covers all of their agents, and might not be enough if someone were to sue you personally.
Some states require real estate agents to have their own errors and omissions insurance, but even if your doesn’t, it’s worth it to get a policy.
Top 5 Providers of Real Estate E&O Insurance
These are our recommendations for realtors. If you’d like further information, see “Best Professional Liability Insurance for Small Business.”
Victor Insurance Managers: Best for Discounts
Victor Insurance managers has paired with the National Association of Realtors to provide members with E&O insurance. They offer discounts for such members, plus discounts for continuing your education, use of home warranties, and for longevity (staying with them for three years, five years, or ten years).
In order to purchase a policy with Victor Insurance Managers, you must submit an application. A broker or agent will then email you with a quote. It requests your NRDS ID, so we were unable to get a quote.
Insurance Bee: Best for Affordable Coverage
Insurance Bee sells insurance to small businesses, freelancers and independent contractors. They can give you a quote and you can purchase it online, thereby saving you a lot of time.
You can also talk to an insurance agent if you’d like. You can pay either all at once or in monthly payments. You can change your policy at any time. They can offer you general liability, cyber insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance as well.
They don’t insure every state, but if you’re a state they don’t insure, they can refer you to another carrier.
360 Coverage Pros: Best for Fast Enrollment Process
They offer comprehensive and affordable insurance for real estate agents. Through their relationships with other companies, you can get discounts on NFL tickets, Target, Costco, movie tickets and more.
You can get a policy online and be on your way in minutes.
RISC (Rice Insurance Services Company): Best for Mandated Coverage
If you live in one of the states that requires realtors to carry errors and omissions insurance, RISC can help you out. They provide insurance for Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Tennessee.
They offer coverage exceeding minimum requirements. All of their policies are guaranteed-issue if you have an active real estate license.
CRES insurance Services: Best for Comprehensive Coverage
Cres insurance services offers some innovative features such as Open House and Showings coverage, which covers you in case of any mishaps while showing a home (dog bites, slipping on stairs, etc.)
They cover all of your real estate activities and include 25 free building permit history reports with your policy, so you can show them to potential buyers and thereby reduce liability. They even include pollution coverage, which most companies do not cover.
After you put in your personal information, it takes you to a checklist of what kind of real estate sales you do. Sometime after that, they request your license number, so we were unable to get a quote from them.
They don’t insure every state, though.
Emotions surrounding real estate sales can run high. Protect yourself and your business by purchasing errors and omissions insurance. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but if you need it, you’ll be glad you have it.