Summer insurance tips for real estate agents

July 18, 2014

Business picks up for real estate owners during the summer. Make sure you’re insured with the proper small business insurance coverage.

The last few years have been tumultuous for real estate, to say the least.  The pendulum-swing shift from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ and back again, seems to happen faster than ever, so small business owners in the real estate industry must remain vigilant about market micro-trends.  This summer’s biggest news?  It’s estimated that 60% of all homes will be bought and sold from May to August.

As a real estate professional you’re in the thick of this busy season and your time is consumed with work.  Maybe you’ve begun offering related services, like property management, to increase your income potential –further stretching your time and attention.  Be sure your real estate business and career as a real estate agent aren’t in danger of being harmed by a lawsuit, which may be more likely due to your increased activity. Having liability insurance in place could help make sure you’re protected.

Most real estate agents should consider these two forms of liability protection: professional liability insurance and general liability insurance. The first, which is also known as errors and omission or E&O, protects you from accusations of negligence and being sued for failure to perform your professional services.  A client may feel like you didn’t show them the best homes because of their religious affiliation, or a buyer could claim you failed to advise them about potential problems with pollution, fungi or mold and decide to sue. Even if you didn’t know those problems existed, you could still potentially be sued.  In instances like these, professional liability steps in to defend you for covered claims and protect  you against  the associated legal costs.

General liability insurance coverage (GL) protects your business against covered third-party claims of bodily injury or damage to someone else’s property.  If a client stumbles and gets injured while viewing a house you’re selling and decides to hold you legally responsible your general liability policy protects you.

No matter how carefully you conduct business, or how good you are at what you do, you’re always at risk.  Lawsuits can be brought against you even if you haven’t made a mistake, and those legal costs have to be paid no matter who’s right and who’s wrong.  By making sure you have the right small business insurance coverage for your real estate business, you can protect yourself from a lawsuit’s devastating effect on your finances.