Why Canada’s Brokers Count on South Western Insurance to Protect Their Reputations in Western Canada

Oct 2017

As an insurance broker, your professional services expose you to liability on a regular basis. If a client believes that your actions have caused them financial loss, many will not hesitate to initiate a claim against you. South Western Insurance Group Limited’s Brokers’ Errors and Omissions Insurance (Brokers’ E&O) is offered in Western Canada and is designed to safeguard both your assets, and your reputation. According to Barb Pattenden, the company’s Director of Insurance Operations, Brokers’ E&O insurance is “professional liability insurance that protects insurance brokerages, their employees or individuals against claims made for any allegations of negligence or wrongdoing.” E&O coverage is mandatory for licensed insurance brokers across most of Canada. This is probably a good thing, given the amount of evidence suggesting that brokers’ errors and omissions claims may be becoming more widespread. In Pattenden’s estimation, “People will claim for anything now. If a broker has a client whose claim is denied, they are not going to think it is their fault. They are going to want to blame their broker, even if it is going to get thrown out because it amounts to a frivolous claim.” Some of the most common brokers’ E&O claims that Pattenden sees include:

  • brokers failing to increase policy limits as instructed by their client, resulting in an underinsured building
  • brokers failing to submit insurance applications to the insurer
  • brokers failing to add a sewer back-up coverage endorsement
  • brokers failing to properly explain policy exclusion and restrictions to their client

Mandatory requirements aside, Pattenden emphasizes that E&O insurance is essential for brokers, “to protect themselves, protect their clients, and to protect the insurance companies as well.” All licensed general insurance brokers are eligible for coverage with South Western Insurance Group Limited’s Brokers’ E&O insurance. The company’s premiums are competitive, and their coverage includes:

  • Claims-Made/Full Prior Acts
  • First Dollar Defence
  • Defence Costs in Addition to Limits of Liability
  • Worldwide Territorial Coverage
  • Punitive Damages, and
  • Employment Practices Liability and Outside Directors Liability extension for Defence Costs

Brokers taking advantage of South Western Insurance Group Limited’s policies can rest easy since, as Pattenden explains, “Errors and Omissions insurance often covers both court costs and any settlements up to the amount specified by the insurance contract.” In fact, with full prior acts coverage in place, you are protected even if a claim arises from acts that took place prior to the inception date of the policy. As a licensee, you must maintain E&O insurance at all times, but you can count on South Western Insurance Group Limited to keep the coverage process as streamlined as possible. “The senior underwriter who manages this product for us – Nancy Chivers – has been with SWG’s E&O department for 28 years,” says Pattenden, who lays claim to 29 years of experience with E&O insurance herself. “Our underwriters have a very deep level of knowledge. And with over 55 years in the industry as a company, we have both the underwriting experience and the underwriting background – especially in E&O insurance.”