1. The definition of professional services is changing… for the worse.
The courts have been steadily expanding the notion of professional responsibility to new professions, and broadening the duty and standard of care a professional is expected to deliver.
That means that the old stalwart malpractice claims against doctors and surgeons are now side-by-side with suits against meeting planners, auctioneers, bookkeepers, translators, and claims adjusters.
2. The judgment isn't your clients' biggest worry.
Being sued for negligence is expensive. If your client needs to defend themself (even if the claims against them are without merit), tell them to keep a chequebook handy, as legal fees, court costs, and professional witnesses don't come cheap.
If a suit is found in favour of the plaintiff, your client’s reputation and that of their company can be irreparably hurt.
Having Professional Liability Insurance means your client will have their own expert to guide them through the process and help them make good decisions while the insurer pays the legal bills.
3. The judgment should worry them too.
Having expert claims professionals and lawyers guiding your client through the process can save them a lot of money and stress, but there is still the possibility of a large settlement or judgment against them.
In fact, court awarded judgments has more than doubled in size since 2000.
4. It's not just their services that they need to be worried about.
Professional liability suits can also land in your client’s lap when their employees mess up, or when a contractor or supplier doesn't uphold their promise.
In these cases, your client will carry the burden of having to defend themselves against someone else's error or omission.
5. A good contract between your client and their customers won't save them.
Although having a strong contract outlining the scope of services being provided (and limitation provisions) is a great risk management tool, they may not hold up in the courts.
The more negligent one is, the less likely a limitation of liability clause will protect you.