Professional Liability Insurance, also called E&O or professional indemnity insurance, protects your business or freelancing career from lawsuits related to financial damages that a client experiences or alleges based on things like malpractice, mistakes, errors, or the mismanagement of your professional duty toward them. Professional liability insurance is required by some professions like medicine or law but is often purchased by companies to protect them from common risks.
The best professional liability for you is a policy that balances costs with robust coverage options and is designed specifically to manage the risks of the industry that you’re in. This roundup aims to help readers pick the best professional liability insurance policy for their business.
The Best Professional Liability Insurance for 2021
- Best Overall: State Farm
- Best for Small Business: Nationwide
- Best for Consultants and Independent Contractors: The Hartford
- Best for Financial Services: Travelers
- Best for Medical and Health Services: MedPro
- Best for Real Estate Agents: Hiscox Real Estate Agent Insurance
- Best for Lawyers: Attorneys Advantage
Best Overall : State Farm
Why We Chose It: State Farm has a significant number of professional liability coverage options to choose from tailored to common professions and offered at reasonable prices.
Has several options for common professions
Known for great prices
From a well-rated insurance company
No online application
Limited business hours
State Farm offers policies specifically designed for the needs of common professions such as architects, engineers, dentists, retail pharmacists, and veterinarians.
Policy costs, fees, and deductibles can vary significantly depending on the size and type of your business and the degree of coverage you choose. State Farm also offers a variety of business insurance options and you might be able to get discounts on your professional liability coverage by bundling policies. To apply for a policy, you have to find a State Farm agent near you to make an appointment or call them for a quote Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT.
Filing a claim is easy with State Farm. You can do it on their website or by contacting your State Farm insurance agent.
Started as an auto insurance company, State Farm is now one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. It’s currently rated A++ by AM Best.
Best for Small Business : Nationwide
Why We Chose It: Nationwide tailors its coverage to the most critical concerns of small businesses tailoring that coverage to the risks they’re likely to encounter depending on their industry.
Tailored policies for small businesses
Easy to submit claims
Other business coverage options to bundle with
Don’t list the specific professions they cover online
Can only start your policy application online
Nationwide provides specialized liability protection that wouldn’t be covered by a typical umbrella liability policy with protection against risks targeted for specific industries. Nationwide’s policies vary in cost, deductibles, and coverage options depending on things like your industry, location, coverage limits, and number of employees. Nationwide also provides several other insurance options for your business and you might be able to get discounts on them by bundling your insurance purchases.
It’s easy to apply for a policy. You can either find an agent close to you, apply online, or call their toll-free number to apply. They are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET weekdays.
If you need to make a claim, you can easily connect with your Nationwide agent, start a claim online, or call their toll-free number anytime.
Nationwide has an AM Best rating of A+ in the category of financial strength and claims-paying and is one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. It was started in 1926 as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company but has expanded to provide a wide variety of insurance products.
Best for Consultants and Independent Contractors : The Hartford
Why We Chose It: The Hartford provides insurance policies that are tailored to the specific risks in your field and focus particularly on consultants and independent contractors.
Products tailored specifically to consultants
Specific coverage for many industries
Up to $2 million in coverage
No estimates on website
You have to get a minimum of $250,000 in coverage
The Hartford’s professional liability policies cover things like alleged or actual negligence, misrepresentation, inaccurate advice, and defense costs for claims against your business. To get a quote for your specific situation, you can call them or visit their website.
While the cost of the policy will vary depending on things like the size of your business, the industry you’re in, the amount of coverage you require, your claims history, and your location, The Hartford allows you to save by paying your entire policy cost upfront. They also suggest getting a lower policy amount to save money, but they offer policies for between $250,000 and $2 million in coverage.
Filing a claim with The Hartford is easy. You can do it online or by phone and access the status of your claim online from any device. Their claims hotline is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
The Hartford has been in business since 1810 and has a long history of providing great service. Tt has a financial strength rating of A+ from AM Best.
Best for Financial Services : Travelers
Why We Chose It: Travelers Management and Professional Liability insurance offers a whole host of business coverage aimed specifically at financial services companies and is expert in this area of coverage.
Specializes in consultants and financial institutions
Has personalized service
Offers all the business insurance products you need
You cannot get an online quote
Policy add-ons protect you against specific risk but might be costly
Travelers Management and Professional Liability insurance cover private companies, public companies, nonprofit organizations, financial institutions, managed care organizations, healthcare organizations, community homeowners associations, and professional services. They provide several coverage options to adapt your policy to your business including things like CyberRisk insurance, fiduciary liability insurance, and financial institutions bonds. Depending on your needs, you can likely get all your policies from one carrier and potentially receive bundling discounts.
Your policy costs, fees, and deductibles will vary depending on the industry, location, revenue, and risk of your business and the type of policy you choose; you will need to contact an agent for a quote, something that you can do on their website. You then will be put in contact with an insurance agent near you who will handle your policy questions and future renewals, which provides your business with hands-on service.
Travelers have been recognized in customer reviews for being good at processing claims. Filing a claim with Travelers is something you can initiate easily online. You can also call them to report a claim 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Travelers have been in business since 1853 and is recognized as a company to trust in business insurance. It’s currently rated A++ by AM Best.
Best for Medical and Health Services : MedPro
Why We Chose It: MedPro Group is one of the nation’s leaders in providing healthcare liability insurance for physicians, with over 45,000 doctors choosing their coverage.
Leader in healthcare insurance
Great policy options
Good track record on trial litigation
More expensive than other options because of the level of service
You can’t choose your own lawyers
MedPro offers tailored professional liability insurance to doctors that focus on things like effective claims defense with a team of expert lawyers that win 90% of all liability trials. They also have a significant amount of coverage options including things like occurrence coverage, claims-made coverage, and convertible claims-made coverage.
They will not settle a case without the consent of the physician and they offer retirement tail coverage, a type of coverage for physicians who are retiring to cover them against any claims made during their career of active practice. Cyber and private liability coverage is available at no extra cost in recognition of the amount of personal data that physicians often store as part of their practice. They also help with risk management strategies and provide mock trial options to practice testifying.
To get a policy, you can find an agent online and set up an appointment to discuss your coverage options. To make a claim, you contact your insurance agent, call their claims number, or send their claims forms via email.
MedPro Group is a Berkshire Hathaway company and was the nation’s first provider of healthcare insurance since 1899. They are the leader in customized insurance for medical professionals. Berkshire Hathaway has an AM Best rating of A++.
Best for Real Estate Agents : Hiscox Real Estate Agent Insurance
Why We Chose It: Hiscox has a professional liability insurance policy aimed specifically at real estate agents that are uniquely tailored to their needs.
Tailored to real estate agents
You can make a claim in several different ways
Their AM Best rating is lower than their competitors
Their claims process is slow
While designed for real estate agents, this policy also covers other people working in the real estate field like property managers. They make their coverage particularly appealing to real estate agents by providing flexible monthly payment options to help agents manage their cash flow, immediately assigning a Hiscox agent when you make a claim, and providing coverage for contracts, which helps professionals like architects working in the real estate field. They also provide coverage for work done worldwide as long as the claim is filed in the U.S.
The cost of the policy will vary depending on things like the size of your business, the part of the real estate industry you’re in, the amount of coverage you require, and your location. However, you can easily get a quote or talk to a licensed agent ready to help you Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET.
Hiscox’s real estate professional liability will protect you against things like defense costs, alleged or actual negligence, temporary staff, and independent contractors, and even claims arising from services you provided in the past.
If you need to file a claim with Hiscox, you can do so online, by phone, through your insurance broker, or via email. They clearly state their timelines for processing claims on their websites to make the process clear but note that it can take up to 20 days for the company to decide if it will cover you.
Founded in the UK, Hiscox has been in the insurance business since 1901 and focuses on providing trustworthy worldwide business coverage to protect you. While it is a reputable company it currently has a rating of just A by AM Best.
Best for Lawyers : Attorneys Advantage
Why We Chose It: Attorneys Advantage Professional Liability Insurance Program is tailored specifically for law firms with one to 25 lawyers and provides coverage for both the standard risks of the field and also nonstandard risks related to areas of practice and the past claim history of your business.
Tailored to lawyers
You can make a claim in several different ways
Backed by a global insurer
They don’t cover law firms with more than 25 lawyers
Their tailored coverage might be more expensive than other companies
Aon’s Attorneys Advantage Professional Liability Insurance Program is a great option for professional liability insurance because it also provides services that include robust risk management support, allowing your law firm to reduce claims exposure and the threat of legal malpractice suits or allegations.
How much you will pay in premiums will vary significantly depending on things like your business, how many lawyers work at your firm, the area of practice you work in, your past claims history, and location. However, you can easily get a quote online in minutes on their site or by calling them to speak directly to an Attorneys Advantage Advisor.
If you need to file a claim with Attorneys Advantage, you can do so online, with your Attorneys Advantage Advisor, or by calling their claims support number.
Aon is a global provider of insurance that works in over 120 countries with roots that stretch back to its founding in 1918 in Detroit. Their Aon Affinity group creates customized insurance products for specific types of businesses, including attorneys. Aon has a current AM Best rating of A in financial strength and claims-paying.
Over 10,000 law firms in the U.S. are covered by Aon Attorneys Advantage.
The professional and liability insurance options that we reviewed are all worthwhile options, but some are specifically targeted at certain professions and are the best choices for professionals in specific fields.
While all of the policies provide relatively similar experiences of getting professional liability insurance, some have more flexible claims options and faster claims processes. Ultimately, it’s important to shop around and compare things like the fees, deductibles, and coverage details to ensure that you get the right product for you. However, policies like State Farm offer flexible coverage for professionals no matter your industry and might be a good place to start when looking for coverage.
|Best Professional Liability Insurance|
|Company||Category||Why We Chose it||Standout Feature|
|State Farm||Best Overall||Great option for several different industries||Get all your business insurance in one place|
|Nationwide||Best for Small Businesses||Has a great suite of small business coverage options||Experts in small business insurance|
|The Hartford||Best for Consultants and Independent Contractors||Up to $2 million in coverage||Specialized products for different industries|
|Travelers||Best for Financial Services||Has tailored products for financial organizations||Add-on policy options|
|MedPro||Best for Medical and Health Services||Experts in the health sector||Track record of trial success|
|Hiscox Real Estate Agent Insurance
||Best for Real Estate Agents||Focused on protecting real estate agents||Protects you worldwide|
|Attorneys Advantage||Best for Lawyers||Protects attorneys against their specific risks||Extra coverage options for specific practice areas|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Professional Liability Insurance Cover?
Professional liability insurance protects you and/or your business from financial damages or lawsuits related to mistakes, misrepresentation, and negligence. It is required by law for certain professions like law and medicine. It covers settlements, legal fees, and other expenses related to judgments or lawsuits against you.
How Much Professional Liability Insurance Do I Need?
How much professional liability insurance you need depends on several things including your profession, industry, number of employees, and risk. An experienced insurance agent will be able to tell you what the recommended coverage amount is for your industry.
How Much Does Professional Liability Insurance Cost?
How much professional liability insurance costs are highly dependent on your particular situation, your professional experience, the risk level of your industry, and how much coverage you decide to purchase.
The best way to find out how much professional liability insurance will cost is for you to get several quotes from different insurance providers. However, the average cost of professional liability insurance is $59 per month.
What’s the Difference Between Professional Liability Insurance and General Liability Insurance?
The main difference between professional liability insurance and general liability insurance is what’s covered by each type of policy. General liability coverage will protect your business from lawsuits based on bodily injuries, accusations of reputational harm, and property damage, whereas professional liability insurance will protect your business from lawsuits related to errors and omissions from damages specifically related to the professional services you provide.
Who Needs Professional Liability Insurance?
Professional liability insurance is mandatory in certain professions like medicine and the law, but it is important for all businesses to protect against the risks of customers suing them in the event of actual or alleged malpractice, incomplete work, breach of contract, or other situations that could create liability toward a customer or the general public.
We researched 10 companies that offer general professional liability insurance and specific policies for various common professions then selected the best options for each field or kind of business. When comparing professional liability insurance, we considered things like the types of coverage offered, how much it could be tailored for the particular risks of each industry, the ease of obtaining a policy, the responsiveness of customer service, and its reputation.
All the companies on our list are considered to be reputable, have good customer reviews, and offer specialized coverage.