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General Liability Insurance for Accountants, Bookkeepers, Tax Preparers and other Finance Professionals
In the unlikely event that your client or employee should claim that you or someone who works for you caused them bodily injury or damaged their property, you could be facing an expensive lawsuit. General liability insurance is designed to help you face these types of claims, paying for your legal defense costs; bond premiums; any settlement you may be ordered to pay; and other "hidden" costs, such as income you lose out on while spending time in court.
Most accountants believe that they're at low risk for general liability claims, and they're usually right. Even so, your contract with your client may require you to carry general liability insurance. Why? Many companies require all contractors to carry this type of insurance to reduce their own level of risk. If you'll be working on-site at the client's offices, it's very likely you'll see this type of clause in your contract.
What You Need to Know
Regardless of client requirements, general liability insurance is one of the most commonly purchased types of insurance for accountants, and for good reason: Accidents do happen, both at your office and your clients' sites. And it only takes one costly incident to put many small accounting firms out of business.
As a professional accountant, you may have a low-enough risk that you could be eligible to get covered through a discounted package policy called a BOP. Learn whether you qualify.
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- How much general liability coverage does your accounting business need? It depends on several factors, including which state you're working in and your own level of risk. Ask Business Insurance Now for a free risk assessment to determine your business's potential liability and ensure that your policy provides adequate protection.
- Certain general liability insurance policies do not cover claims incurred by independent contractors working for you. However, some do, and in fact, they may cover both you and the contractor if the contractor makes an error on the job. If you're not sure whether your contractors are covered, read your policy thoroughly, and ask your insurance agent for clarification.
- Claims related to professional negligence are not covered by general liability insurance. For these types of "errors and omissions" claims, you'll need a separate professional liability insurance policy.