Every business has unique risks that can seriously harm an organization’s operations if not properly protected against. As a business utilizing technology to produce and deliver products and/or services, it’s important to recognize and take precautions against risks that your Commercial General Liability insurance coverage does not include.
Technology Professional Liability insurance coverage, also referred to as Tech Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, is essential for companies using technology because it addresses a lack of protection in Commercial General Liability policies, which typically do not cover claims of third-party financial harm.
Who needs Tech E&O Coverage?
Not only technology industry businesses have technology-related risks. Most companies today utilize technology in some part of providing a service or product and need to take the necessary precautions. To ensure your company is covering all bases, a full risk management assessment is needed.
What does Tech E&O cover?
Tech E&O insurance manages risks, resulting from providing a product or service to a third party, that are not covered by a Commercial General Liability insurance policy. Specifically, Tech E&O insurance protects your business in the event that a third party suffers a financial loss due to your product or service not performing as it was intended or expected, including the event of an error or omission committed by your company. These insurance policies also cover defense costs in the event of litigation.
Tech E&O coverage would apply in the following situations:
- A mistake was made and an error in the code of a website or program your company produced isn’t found before it is implemented. A third party depends on this product or service to operate its business and its operations are stalled due to the error, causing them a financial loss.
- A part your company produces is installed in a piece of equipment. After a short amount of time, the component simply stops working, causing the equipment to fail to work, but otherwise not damaging anything or hurting anyone. The third party that relies on this equipment for its business has to stop operations and suffers a financial loss.
- An employee of your company recommends that a client make an adjustment to its network. The client follows the advice and its network crashes as a result, causing a time and financial loss for its operations.
In all of these cases, Commercial General Liability insurance coverage would not cover a claim or any costs of litigation because of the presence of an error and the lack of resulting physical damage to the third party’s property.
Contact me anytime to learn more about protecting yourself with a comprehensive professional liability insurance policy.
Technology Errors and Omissions insurance, also referred to as professional liability, protects IT based businesses against claims for programming errors, software performance, or the failure to perform the work as promised in a contract.
More formally explained, it protects technology companies if they are faced with the two most common forms of liability risks:
- claims for “malpractice” in which companies are sued for failing to maintain accepted standards of care as a technology professional or company, and
- breach of contract claims for failing to perform contracted services in a timely manner and within the contractual terms.
Your design team spent numerous hours creating a website they felt met the client’s needs perfectly. But weeks after the site launched, you learn that a member of your team accidentally deleted critical content on the site. This created a liability exposure for your client who sues you for restitution. Just when you think things can’t get worse, you learn that your general liability insurance will not cover your employee’s error.
How will you pay for damages to your client – and the legal expenses related to the lawsuit? Either of the types of errors and omissions allegations outlined above can tie up company funds, personnel and focus for years; and IT based businesses are especially prone to high dollar lawsuits.
Don’t be fooled, however. Technology Errors and Omissions insurance coverage is NOT provided by a commercial general liability policy. IT consultants and companies who have general liability without professional liability (Errors or Omissions) coverage are taking a serious risk. It’s the same concept as a doctor practicing medicine without malpractice insurance.
All Types of IT Firms Need Errors and Omissions Insurance:
From massive software giants to individual consultants writing programs or servicing computers out of their homes, all are equally at risk for E&O liability suits. Here are some more examples of the types of businesses that need this coverage:
Software and computer-related services
- Prepackaged or custom software developers
- Website designers
- Computer consultants
- Systems integrators
- Electronic components
- Consumer electronics
- Communications equipment
Telecommunications & connectivity services
- Long distance telecommunications carriers
- Internet/Application Service Providers
- Web site hosting
Technology Errors & Omissions insurance is a technical and specialized line of insurance. If your business is in need of this coverage, be certain the insurance agent you’re reaching out to is knowledgeable on the subject and understands ins and outs of these policy forms!