Independent And Self-Employed Contractors: Who Needs Errors and Omissions Insurance?

We often hear errors and omissions (E&O) coverage associated with doctors, lawyers, and financial professionals. But they aren’t the only folks who benefit from this vital coverage. In fact, the general advice on who should carry E&O insurance is ‘anyone who provides services for a fee.’ That’s pretty broad, and we’re going to get into the why and how of the matter.

Why Errors and Omissions Insurance?

Perhaps you’re thinking, “I don’t offer professional advice or service at a level that could ruin my customers’ finances or health, I’m just a plumber or a roofer, or (insert-your-trade-here). Why would I need to have an E&O policy?’

First off, you’re not “just” a contractor, you’re a provider of professional services that require skill and experience to execute well. There are plenty of folks out there who aren’t representing your industry well. You, on the other hand, are always on the up-and-up and work hard to meet obligations and fulfill contracts. And that’s why we’re proud to have you as our client. 

That said, everyone makes mistakes, and plenty of factors outside of your control could leave clients less than happy with a job. Every contractor could encounter clients who are quick to lay blame and even quicker to sue. E&O is a serious protection in cases of:

  • negligent services, mistakes, and inaccuracies
  • professional errors or oversights
  • failure to deliver promised services
  • failure to meet contractual obligations
  • failure to deliver a service on time

You’re probably thinking, ‘I already have general liability coverage, do I really need E&O too?’ The short answer is yes, you do. Here’s why. General liability and errors and omissions policies cover different sets of risk exposures. General is, well, more general in nature, covering everything from slips, trips, and falls to property damage and advertising liabilities. E&O steps in to protect you, your employees, and your business in the case of legal action from a client who claims that they suffered loss due to your negligence. And if you regularly visit various client properties, craft or sell products, use social media as part of your marketing efforts, or if your business offices are open to clients and the public, you absolutely need both!

But there are other, more positive reasons why you should investigate E&O insurance, like better chances of winning bids, higher likelihood of getting bigger jobs, and the peace of mind that comes with comprehensive protection. E&O insurance could also be legally required depending on your state and/or client.

What’s also great about E&O insurance is that it extends to the employees you have on staff. Of course if you generally work with other independent contractors, they’ll likely need to carry their own policy. If you’d like to inquire about adding an extra insured for a specific project or you need a certificate of insurance to share with a client, you know you can always reach out to your friendly neighborhood Contractors by Zinc agent for help.

Protection From Legal Action

It would be lovely to not have to worry about lawsuits and legal troubles, but that’s just not the world we live in. Some clients will inevitably be unhappy and others might even find a way to bring legal action against you and your business. Maybe you did neglect to complete an aspect of their job or you didn’t meet a deadline, or maybe you didn’t. Either way, it’s going to take a lot of time, energy, and resources to negotiate or prove your case. In situations like these, E&O coverage kicks into gear, so you can keep your business up and running in the meantime.

E&O policies are invaluable and cover various legal expenses, including:

  • Attorneys’ fees
  • Settlements/judgments
  • Court costs

E&O is a simple way to protect your life’s work and your business’s bottom line. 

Beyond Errors & Omissions

So we’ve established that E&O coverage is vital, but there are other risks you face everyday that this policy won’t cover. We’re talking about general liability, workers compensation, commercial auto, and cyber protection. Anything you do more than the average person is a risk, and every risk is worth covering–insurance has your back.

Work With an Insurance Agency Who Gets You

Contractors by Zinc is just one of the family of brands that make up Zinc Insurance, and our aim is to use our experience to ward off risk at every turn. As a small business, we know what you’re up against, and what it takes to operate safely in the face of risk. We’re your neighborhood agency and we’re in the best position to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about who we cover and get your free, personalized quote.

This blog post does not provide insurance advice and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional insurance advice from a licensed representative. Never ignore professional insurance advice because of something you have read in this blog post. Contact your licensed representative if you have any questions about your insurance policy.

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  • Josh Freet

    ZINC's Contractor Insurance Expert

    Josh Freet, ZINC's contractor insurance expert


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