D&O and E&O: important weapons in every broker’s arsenal

Mar 2018

While the importance of professional liability and E&O insurance has been realized by most Canadian organizations for some time now, knowledge around D&O products has taken longer to seep into the national consciousness. Most large multinational corporations have been well versed in the value of D&O coverage for decades, but it’s taken a while for small and medium sized companies to realize just what an integral role it plays, but awareness is now growing. For any broker who wants to stand out from the crowd, having access to top quality D&O and E&O products is vital. There are massive opportunities in both spaces: the D&O market, for example, already attracts more than $10 billion in written premiums each year “All not-for-profit organizations, privately run companies and public corporations should be encouraged and educated about the importance of D&O coverage,” explains Barb Pattenden, Director Insurance Operations, South Western Insurance Group. “The coverage is usually called upon after a breach of duties or for employment related incidences that are not covered under the General Liability policy. D&O policies can also provide coverage for incidences such as harassment including sexual and verbal, failure to hire, failure to promote, wrongful dismissals and workplace bullying.” Any broker who want to expand their book of business and build a reputation as problem solver needs to have access to comprehensive D&O insurance products. It’s a space in the market that is experiencing rapid growth and it presents good opportunities for brokers to attract new clients. “Brokers should look to partner with an intermediary who offers industry leading D&O products,” Pattenden says. “Getting that underwriter expertise in this product line will help brokers improve their client offering.” Switching the conversation to E&O coverage, Pattenden continues: “professional liability and E&O coverage are usually one and the same but professional liability covers anything that has an association overseeing their code of conducts, like chartered accountants architected and engineers. The basic professional liability policies are pretty clear cut.” In working closely with a professional liability/E&O department with decades of experience, Pattenden has seen first-hand how experience and service go hand-in0hand. She is in no doubt that brokers who work with experience intermediaries receive a much higher level of service, which they can then pass on to the most important stakeholder in the transaction: the end client. Pattenden believes that brokers operating in E&O should always work with an intermediary who specializes in the space. “By working with experienced underwriters, brokers are able to speed up their process and increase efficiency,” Pattenden says. “Brokers who work with intermediaries without that experience level run the risk not getting access to the best carriers and products; you may not get the adequate coverage.”