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Real estate agents and realtors commonly rely on a variety of different insurance products to help mitigate risks. Products can include, but are not limited to:
Essential coverage for your customers
Get protected against employment-related issues
*plus Workers Compensation
As a realtor, you're involved in one of the most important transactions of a person's life. This is prime exposure for a lawsuit from unexpected disappointments coming from a past customer. You may also have an office at risk of damage or loss from any sort of disaster. The proper coverage covers legal fees and judgments if a client accuses you of oversight, or replaces your office in case of a fire or other covered peril.
Business Owner's Policy (BOP) combines property, general liability and business interruption to protect your business from a variety of risks. Whether your office is damaged by fire or a client slips and harms themselves, BOP will limit your liability to keep your business running smoothly.
Workers' Compensation coverage is required in most states once a business reaches a certain number of employees (this minimum varies by state, so it's important to check local laws or speak with a professional).
Most risks associated with the industry relate to decisions you make as a realtor or real estate agent within the realm of conducting business. E&O insurance covers the vast majority of errors or misjudgments on your part that may occur.
Many realtors dismiss Cyber Liability insurance as it's not recommended for their business. However, because of the data transmitted and the communication they do, a real estate business is prone to a data breach that could leak customer's personal information. Cyber Liability covers the fines of cyber liability cases and the losses that result in the damage to your brand's reputation.
Umbrella Insurance is a type of real estate policy designed to protect your business from major claims and lawsuits. It does that by providing additional limits and coverage on top of your General Liability, Commercial Auto and other insurance policies.
Realtors and real estate agents who perform duties outside of the norm, such as property management, may have additional risk exposure. Property managers, for example, may take on risks within the properties they manage and within their own physical business office. General Liability Insurance or a Business Owners Policy helps cover the risk of personal or bodily injuries that can occur when customers come through your properties.
Realtors who have extended their business operations into construction and construction management will find General Liability policies and Workers Compensation uniquely important as well. In those cases, the risk of injuries for both customers and workers increases, making those policies far more necessary.
Standardized forms are an easy fix to reduce your risk. As many errors and omissions in the industry arise from improper paperwork, utilizing standardized forms will help lower the risk that a form may not meet the proper legal requirements or that any information may be missing.
A Contract Liability Insurance Policy (CLIP) provides additional insurance over and beyond the Commercial General Liability insurance. This is often required when you are in a contractual agreement with another business. This policy protects your business against any liability that may arise as a result of the contract.
The greatest negative impact that could affect your earnings is getting out there without insurance. Getting sued even just once can threaten everything you've worked so hard to create. Having insurance for your real estate business keeps your business protected from lawsuits and keeps from spending your business assets on legal fees and fines.
Although most realtors and real estate agents shoot for precision when conducting business, there are times when either oversights or mistakes can occur. Typically, these are not purposeful. In many cases, an agent may simply make an error due to misinformation or miscommunication. Nevertheless, once the error is made, if there is any damage or fallout to the client, the realtor or real estate agent may be held at fault.
Many common real estate agents and realtors mistakes occur during the document filing and drafting of paperwork. Some of this relates to many real estate agencies expanding their businesses into new fields. This includes construction management, an area where many agents have less experience. As a result, agents and realtors may find themselves making errors due to a lack of proper procedures.
A sale went wrong, or a purchase that just does not get through for a client may also result in a lawsuit. This is particularly true if a realtor or an agent’s promise to buy or sell a property does not occur as planned. If the promise is in writing, the agent or realtor may likely find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit from the client, particularly if the lack of success was due to some mistake or delay from the agent in the process.
Realtors who perform property management also face errors and omissions liability risks. While other forms of insurance are also common for property managers, E&O will cover the type of risks involved with the service-side of property management, such as proper filings, or even when it comes to taking care of known or unknown safety issues on the property. A home that needed new roofing, for example, may develop a leak that becomes costly to the owner. If the property manager failed to take care of the issue because of a lack of proper record keeping, this would be considered an issue that can fall under E&O liability coverage.
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