As a real estate professional, you spend your time and energy helping people appraise, rent, buy, and sell property. You likely find yourself in unique situations on a regular basis, whether you’re showing clients a home that’s fresh on the market or arranging the paperwork for a closing back at the office. It’s a detail-oriented line of work, and it’s not always possible to control every outcome.
How can you protect yourself against an unfortunate situation that could threaten your professional and personal assets? Real estate business insurance is the best place to start. CoverHound is here to walk you through three reasons why real estate professionals need business insurance policies that have their back.
In Case of Injury
A good rule of thumb in real estate is to expect the unexpected. What if a client slips and falls on the tile floor in your entryway and breaks a bone? What if an employee at your office racks up substantial medical bills because of an equipment malfunction at work? Over the course of doing business, any number of odd incidents can occur due to human error or pure chance. Without a liability policy that’s scaled to fit your needs, you could be on the hook for paying off the resulting damages.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, general liability insurance covers “legal hassles due to accident, injuries, and claims of negligence.” Oftentimes, the best option is enrolling in a Business Owners Policy (BOP) that combines this general liability insurance with property coverage.
In Case of Property Damage
In the same way that an unforeseen event can lead to bodily injury and subsequent litigation, property damage can seriously hamper your business without the right protections in place. Think of general liability insurance much like a homeowners insurance policy for business. Your office and properties are filled with valuable equipment that’s integral to keeping your business afloat, and the right real estate business insurance policy goes a long way in protecting against damages to this property.
David Brauner, senior broker at OREP.org, advises real estate agents to consider general liability insurance, noting that “coverage includes but is not limited to property damage to others, bodily injury, business interruption and loss of income coverage, personal property coverage (computers, client records, buildings) and employee dishonesty.”
In Case of Litigation Costs
You undoubtedly work hard to keep your clients informed every step of the way. But information slipping through the cracks just once can lead to a costly, time-consuming lawsuit against you. Just consider the tale of two real estate agents who faced a seven-year legal battle after selling a rural home in Pennsylvania. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the buyer sued agents Fran Day and Tom O’Neill for failing to disclose that the house she bought from them had been the site of a recent murder-suicide. They won the case, and their professional liability coverage paid for a bulk of their hefty legal bills.
Professional liability insurance is often called errors and omissions coverage (E&O) because it protects against just that. As the Insurance Information Institute states, claims that fall under professional liability insurance include “negligence, misrepresentation, violation of good faith and fair dealing, and inaccurate advice.” Since the real estate profession involves an extensive amount of advising clients and operating on good faith, it’s crucial to protect yourself against litigation that could easily put you out of business. The Insurance Journal writes that professional liability insurance can also protect real estate professionals against liability if a sale falls through.
It’s crucial to protect your career and assets with the right levels of real estate business insurance. Compare policies with help from the experts at CoverHound today!