Bookkeepers and accountants are trusted with handling the sensitive and detailed financial information of their customers. Whether at fault or not, a bookkeeping professional can find themselves in legal hot water with their clients. With thousands of professionals being sued every year in Canada, no bookkeeper is completely safe from being sued by one of their clients.
Though rare, lawsuits could be enough to financially devastate a bookkeeping business. SWG PL – Miscellaneous Professional Liability insurance offers a packaged E&O and CGL policy that covers bookkeeping professionals. Having a broker with industry knowledge to ensure they are properly insured is essential to avoid lawsuits in the future.
Exposures in Bookkeeping
• A bookkeeper could be sued for their client’s unpaid taxes if they are handling payroll taxes.
• If the client’s fortunes take a sudden downturn, or hit bankruptcy, then the bookkeeper could get sued along with their client by third parties attempting to recoup losses through litigation.
• The bookkeeper may be sued by their clients for bookkeeping fraud; typically, these lawsuits happen with investors who claim they would not have invested in a company if they had seen the correct financial statements.
• Bookkeepers can be sued for damages to a client’s property (e.g. accidentally spilling coffee on the client’s computer, damaging it beyond repair).
• Bodily injury in owned, leased or rented offices is always a risk because a client could, for instance, slip and fall on some icy steps leading up to the bookkeeper’s rented office.
• A client or third party could sue the bookkeeper for actual or alleged slander.
• Dissatisfied clients may sue the bookkeeper for errors and oversights, perceived negligence and failure to deliver on quality standards.
Combined E&O and CGL Provides Better Coverage
South Western Group has combined E&O and CGL to meet the needs of various types of bookkeeping services. Errors & Omissions is designed to cover a bookkeeper’s work output, while the Commercial General Liability can cover the physical property of the business. So, whether the bookkeeper owns a physical office or contracts, they can have the coverage they need under one policy.
Why It’s in Brokers’ Best Interest to Specialize
As technologies and sales models change, brokers are required to become more specialized to withstand these shifts. SWG provides a Miscellaneous PL policy at competitive rates, bringing extensive knowledge and underwriting experience in professional liability.