FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a quote?

We have various ways you can get a free quote:

Who is ISNetworld®?

ISNetworld is a 3rd party that manages the relationship between hiring clients (Owner/Clients) and contractors. There are other 3rd party contractor management companies similar to ISNetworld, such as PICS® and Veriforce® to name a few. Owner/Clients outsource the management of certificates, contracts and safety compliance to these 3rd party service providers.

While these services benefit the Owner/Client, they can make it very frustrating for the contractors and sub-consultants to get preapproved for work and maintain their compliant status. The Risk Specialty Group can help you manage this complex process so that you can save time and stay compliant. We understand that you cannot start a job or get paid unless you are compliant. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with 3rd party contractor management companies, feel free to contact us today.

How do I request certificates?

Email or call us with your certificate request and we will respond back to you within the hour. We understand that there are times you cannot start a project or get paid unless you show proof of insurance. That is why we respond same-day, often within the hour, on certificate requests.

You can also forward a copy of the contract requiring proof of insurance so we can review the requested coverages against the coverages you currently carry. Many times, the insurance requirements ask for additional language verifying “additional insured” status, waivers of subrogation, cancellation notices, primary/non-contributory and other specifications. They can even require copies of these endorsements from the actual policies themselves be shown along with the certificate of insurance. Depending on the policies you carry, this can be an issue and it is for this reason that we do not have an online portal for you to generate your own certificates.

How do I report a claim?

The best way to report a General Liability, Property, Auto or Workers’ Compensation claim is to contact the carrier directly. This will ensure quick set-up of the claim file and that all pertinent information is communicated to the claims department. We also ask that you contact us, as well, so that we can help you during the claims process. Here is a short list of Carriers and phone #’s to their Commercial Claims Departments:

C.N.A. – 877-262-2727

Hartford – 800-327-3636

Travelers – 800-238-6225

RLI Insurance Co. – 877-863-5095

If you have a Professional Liability, Cyber, D&O, EPLI, Crime or any other type claim, please contact us first so that we can discuss the matter with you and point you in the right direction. There are too many carriers that we represent to create a short list on this reference page and there are nuances to reporting a claim in these type situations. If you have been served with a lawsuit or demand letter, forward it to us immediately. Do not wait to report a potential circumstance or an actual lawsuit.

Many of the carriers we represent provide free Pre-Claims Assistance in matters that are not quite full claims, but have the potential to develop into a claim. We would need to report this in a matter that notifies the carrier of the circumstance, but is not reporting as a full claim.

Please contact us today if you are aware of a claim situation or circumstance that could result in a claim.

After you have reported the claim to us, it is usually good industry practice to:

  • Not discuss the matter with anyone other than staff, agent and insurer, unless instructed by your carrier. Information or documents you provide to others may build the case of these parties against you.
  • Not admit liability to anyone. Your liability in a claim is between you and your carrier.
  • Not attend a deposition without the guidance of legal counsel. If you have a question regarding legal counsel prior to or after alerting your carrier, please contact us.
What is covered under professional liability insurance?

Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions) insurance covers you during times a client or 3rd party demands services or money for an alleged wrongful act (or mistake) by you or your firm.  Typical demands covered under professional liability insurance can include:

  • An actual lawsuit from a client claiming your service or design contained an error or omission that has now created Bodily Injury, Property Damage and/or Financial Loss
  • A lawsuit from a 3rd party claiming Bodily Injury, Property Damage and/or Financial Loss from either your mistake or a project you worked on
  • A nasty email (or letter) from a client asking you to fix a costly mistake

As you can see, Professional Liability is meant to protect a professional in the performance of their professional services.  Professional services can include, but are not limited to:

  • Architects & Engineers
  • Surveyors
  • Environmental Consultants
  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Doctors & Dentists
  • Real Estate Agents & Appraisers
  • Health Care Professionals

Many Professional Liability policies only cover economic or financial losses of third parties. This is fine for many professionals like business consultants, real estate agents or accountants. However, professionals like architects and engineers require bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) coverage to be included due to the nature of their services.

Some carriers are now starting to include Cyber & Network Liability as a part of their policy to help provide some coverage for firms in delivering their services digitally.

Understanding the differences in coverage between the various policy forms of carriers can be complicated. We have access to over twenty (20) professional liability carriers that have tailored policies for design professionals and consultants.

What does professional liability cost?

Professional Liability can cost anywhere from $700 per year to 5% of your Gross Revenues depending on what type of Professional Liability policy you want and the Services you provide.

There are so many different insurance carriers offering Professional Liability these days and there can be serious differences between what is covered under each carrier’s policy that it makes comparing policies a bit complicated.

However, we can help you decipher the differences between the various policies by giving you clear choices based on your desired coverage and price point.

What is the difference between professional and general liability insurance?

In short, Professional Liability (errors & omissions) covers you for your Professional negligence.  General Liability covers you for claims involving Non-Professional negligence.

Professional negligence are claims dealing with your consulting, services or design work as an accountant, lawyer, engineer, etc.

Non-Professional negligence are claims dealing with your premises or business operations.  An example is a client slipping-and-falling at your office.  It was during business operations, but did not involve the delivery of your professional services.

EX:  An architect designing a house is in need of Professional Liability to protect them for their design work.  However, the general contractor that is building the house is in need of General Liability.

There are often other misunderstandings between Professional Liability and General Liability insurance, which can be seen in contracts or agreements between you and your clients. Many times, agreements will include requirements that are appropriate for General Liability, such as naming your client as an “additional insured”, but are not appropriate or unavailable under the Professional Liability policy. This is why it is invaluable to have an experienced insurance agent on your team that can review your agreements in a timely manner and represent your best interests.

Another area of confusion between Professional Liability and General Liability is in how claims are reported. Most General Liability policies are written on an “occurrence” basis. Coverage on an occurrence policy is determined by the date that the situation giving rise to the claim occurred. Not when the claim is reported with the carrier.

Professional Liability policies are written on a “claims-made” basis. This difference is significant. Under a claims-made policy, the availability of coverage is determined by the date that a claim is first reported. Below is an example on which carrier responds under the different policy types:

Claims-Made—A new claim is filed in 2019 while XYZ Insurance Company’s policy is in effect. Therefore, XYZ Insurance Company would respond to the claim even if the insured was with a different insurance carrier back in 2015 when the event leading to the claim occurred.

Occurrence—The event leading to the claim occurred in 2015 while ABC Insurance Company’s policy was in effect. Thus, ABC Insurance Company’s would respond to the claim even though the insured is currently covered by XYZ Insurance Company when the claim is filed in 2019.

Do I need professional liability?

The need for Professional Liability (E&O) is created by the type of services you are providing.  Depending on the type of services you are providing, there is usually not a legal requirement to carry Professional Liability.  The need is typically driven by either:

  • Your desire to protect yourself and your firm
  • Contractual requirements with a client

Many people may argue that purchasing Professional Liability just puts a “target” on your back for lawsuits.  And this may be true in a small number of cases.  But eventually, you get to a point in your career and in the maturation of your firm that you are not willing to chance it.  Protecting your firm becomes important to you and your employees to know they are covered in the event of a mistake, or just getting roped into a bad situation because you are involved in the same project.

If you are interested in learning more about how Professional Liability can protect you during a claim, feel free to Contact Us.

What is the purpose of professional liability?

The purpose of Professional Liability (E&O) is to provide you with protection from financial loss during a claim or lawsuit against you and/or your firm.  Protection includes:

  • Organization of the legal team to defend you in the lawsuit
  • Advice on “next steps” and what to do and what not to do
  • Claim and court expenses including expert witnesses
  • Reimbursement of lost earnin for depositions and court appearances
  • Payment on any damages awarded the claimant

All of these costs and expenses are within the policy limits and are subject to your Deductible.  It is important that you work with a Risk Management specialist to help you understand the various policies by giving you clear choices based on your desired coverage and price point.

Why is professional liability important?

Professional Liability is important because it can mean the difference between shutting down your business due to a costly claim and keeping your doors open because you have transferred the cost of the claim to the insurance carrier.

A second, and maybe less important, reason is that there are times a client may require Professional Liability as a contractual requirement.

What does a general liability policy cover?

General Liability policies cover your business from claims involving Non-Professional negligence.  Non-Professional negligence includes claims of bodily injury (BI), property damage (PD) or financial loss arising out of premises, “general” business operations, products, and completed operations; and advertising and personal injury liability.  Some covered claim examples include:

  • A client slips-and-falls at your office
  • A toaster catches fire in your office kitchen causing $15,000 worth of property damage (PD) to your rented space
  • After a year of distributing new marketing brochures, a competitor sues you for $30,000 in copyright infringement
  • You’re a General Contractor and a client sues you for faulty workmanship on their bathroom remodel

Just as important as it is to understand what is covered under General Liability, it is just as important to understand what may not be covered, such as:

  • Cyber & Network Security claims
  • Patent Infringement
  • Employment related claims (i.e. wrongful termination, discrimination, etc.)
  • Professional Services (i.e. engineering, surveying, accounting, real estate, etc.)
  • Employee theft
  • Damage to a rental car
  • Pollution Liability
Do I need workers compensation for my small business

The answer resides in the following three questions:

  • Does your state require it? Most states do require it but it can vary according to # of employees
  • Do you have a client requiring the coverage via written agreement?
  • Do you want to provide coverage to your employees in case they are hurt on the job?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then you have your answer.  There can be businesses in states that don’t require the coverage and their operations are so low-risk that you can consider not carrying Workers’ Compensation.  However, if you are considering not carrying the coverage, it is important that you conduct a Risk Assessment to make sure you are not taking any unnecessary chances.

How do I get workers compensation insurance?

Most of the time you can purchase workers’ compensation through an insurance agent. Some monopolistic states allow you to purchase the coverage directly from the state fund. If you are interested in learning more about purchasing workers compensation, or getting quotes, please Contact Us

How does workers compensation work?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy purchased by an Employer to pay for benefits owed to an injured employee and to cover the Employer for any legal liability it may have arising out of the employee’s injury.

What are the basic types of automobile insurance coverage?

Automobile Insurance covers the insured against financial loss from automobile-related claims. Claims include injuries to others (Bodily Injury) or damage to their property by an auto (Property Damage).

There are multiple coverages under a Commercial Auto policy that must be considered:

  • Description of Covered Autos (symbols)
  • Liability Coverage & Exclusions
  • Physical Damage (Comp & Collision vs. Specified Peril)
  • Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist
  • Med Pay / PIP
  • Towing
  • Additional Insureds & Loss Payees
  • Hired/non-Owned coverage
  • Other Coverage Endorsements (drive other car, rental physical damage, etc…)

Once the appropriate policy and coverages are selected, firms need to have some form of an Auto Safety & Maintenance Plan in place. These plans help reduce accidents, which in turn keeps employees safe and reduces insurance costs.

Feel free to Contact Us today for help in developing an Auto Safety Plan or reducing your insurance premiums.

How much is directors and officer’s insurance?

For most small to medium-sized businesses, directs & officers insurance can cost anywhere from $1,000 per year to $15,000 depending on your type of business and amount of assets.

There are many different insurance carriers offering directors & officers insurance and there can be very real differences between what is covered under each carrier’s policy that it makes comparing policies a bit complicated.

However, we can help you decipher the differences between the various policies by giving you clear choices based on your situation.

How much is E and O insurance

E and O insurance can cost anywhere from $700 per year to 5% of your Gross Revenues depending on what type of E and O policy you want and the Services you provide.

There are so many different insurance carriers offering E and O insurance these days and there can be serious differences between what is covered under each carrier’s that it makes comparing policies a bit complicated.

However, we can help you decipher the differences between the various policies by giving you clear choices based on your desired coverage and price point.

How much does insurance cost for small business?

Insurance for small businesses with low-risk profiles can typically cost:

  • $500 to $750 for General Liability
  • $1,500 and $2,500 per Auto depending on Yr, Make & Model
  • Between $450 and $1,000 depending on Payroll for Workers’ Compensation

However, there can be risk exposures within your particular business that can drive-up these costs.  Or, create the need for additional insurance coverages, such as Professional Liability (E&O) for architects, engineers, surveyors, environmental consultants, construction managers, etc.

Professional Liability (E&O) can cost anywhere from $700 per year to 5% of your Gross Revenues depending on what type of Professional Liability policy you want and the Services you provide.

What insurance do you need for a small business?

Most small businesses can get away with carrying the following insurance:

  • Business Owners Policy, which includes:
    • General Liability
    • Property (computers, furniture, software, etc.)
    • Hired/non-Owned Auto
  • Workers’ Compensation

Depending on the type of business your in and the number of employees, small businesses may also need to consider:

  • Professional Liability (E&O)
  • Cyber Liability & Network Security
  • Umbrella (for higher limits over the GL, Auto & WC)
  • ERISA Bond
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • 3rd Party Crime

We would recommend talking with one of our Risk Managers to obtain a free Risk Assessment based on your particular industry and firm profile.  To talk with one of our Risk Managers, Contact Us now

What are the different types of business insurance?

There are many types of business insurance policies and the importance of each type depends on your particular industry and firm profile.  Here are some of the more common types of business insurance:

  • General Liability
  • Property
  • Auto
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Umbrella
  • Professional Liability (E&O)
  • Cyber Liability & Network Security
  • Drone Liability
  • Directors & Officers (D&O)
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • Crime
  • Employment Practices Liability (EPL)
  • Foreign Liability including Kidnap & Ransom
  • Bonds / Surety
  • Pollution Liability
  • Products Liability
Why is general liability so important?

General Liability policies cover your business from claims involving Non-Professional negligence.  Non-Professional negligence includes claims of bodily injury (BI), property damage (PD) or financial loss arising out of premises, “general” business operations, products, and completed operations; and advertising and personal injury liability.  Some covered claim examples include:

  • A client slips-and-falls at your office
  • A toaster catches fire in your office kitchen causing $15,000 worth of property damage (PD) to your rented space
  • After a year of distributing new marketing brochures, a competitor sues you for $30,000 in copyright infringement
  • You’re a General Contractor and a client sues you for faulty workmanship on their bathroom remodel

Just as important as it is to understand what is covered under General Liability, it is just as important to understand what may not be covered, such as:

  • Cyber & Network Security claims
  • Patent Infringement
  • Employment related claims (i.e. wrongful termination, discrimination, etc.)
  • Professional Services (i.e. engineering, surveying, accounting, real estate, etc.)
  • Employee theft
  • Damage to a rental car
  • Pollution Liability
What is D&O insurance?

D&O insurance stands for Directors & Officers insurance. Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance covers directors and officers of a company for claims made against them while serving on a board of directors and/or as an officer.

Coverage includes defense costs and damages (awards and settlements) arising out of wrongful act allegations and lawsuits brought against an organization’s board of directors and/or officers.

In a way, D&O policies function as “errors and omissions” insurance for the board of directors and officers against claims resulting from managerial decisions that have negative financial consequences.