5 Simple Ways to Avoid E&O Claims
Follow these simple tips and tricks to avoid E&O insurance claims being filed against you.
1. DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE
- Investigate the financial standing of any company whose products you are selling, if you are not selling through your primary company.
- Check on the company’s reputation for denying claims or underwriting “after the fact”.
- Check reputations of General Agents, brokerage agencies, other brokers, etc. with which you place business.
2. STANDARDIZE POLICIES & PROCEDURES.
- Set up a manual of all routinely-followed procedures. Keep a manual on every employee’s desk.
- Document, in writing, each employee’s scope of authority.
- Develop checklists to insure the timely completion of tasks.
- Set up and maintain a diary system.
- Set up a forms manual with instructions outlining when to use standard letters, memos, meeting reports, etc.
- Set up a procedure for handling checks.
- Devise a system to learn about complaints/comments, so you are aware of problems immediately.
- Use 2-part telephone memos and note forms. Mail one part to the client with notes confirming your discussions
3. TRAIN YOUR STAFF
- Devise a training checklist for new employees.
- Document employee’s file regarding completed training.
- Include dates of training, subject matter, grades, etc.
- Hold staff meetings every one to two weeks. Have a written meeting agenda, keep minutes and record attendees’ names. Keep this information, and handouts, in your meeting file.
- Train employees on policies and procedures listed in manual, and on company products and underwriting guidelines.
- Emphasize loss prevention.
4. STAY CURRENT
- Designate one person to maintain files on changes in Federal and State laws that affect your business.
- Keep track of all staff license renewal dates.
- Subscribe to trade journals and maintain a library.
- Attend professional meetings regularly.
- Participate at professional conventions.
5. THINK DEFENSIVELY
- Maintain a defensive, professional attitude.
- Leann from professionals such as doctors. Get a second opinion, have a witness present, etc.
- Prepare for possible court cases five years into future.
- Carefully store files, notes and emails, maintain ex-employees’ addresses and phone numbers for possible reference, etc.