General Liability Insurance
Sometimes called Commercial General Liability (CGL). It is important to note that although a brokerage firm will carry CGL insurance, this typically DOES NOT extend to agents as they are considered independent contractors. CGL protects you from another person or business’s claims of bodily injury, associated medical costs, and damage to property.
• A client visits your office and trips on a rug, gets injured and later sues you.
• Someone is injured slipping on a floor that you’ve polished during an open house.
• Your listing sign blows into the street and hits a passing vehicle causing damage.
• You forget to close a window after showing a home and a rainstorm ends up damaging pristine wood floors
• You forget to turn on the heating for a vacant property that you’re listing causing pipes to freeze and burst, with the water flooding the main floor and basement.
Real Estate Records: A Data Goldmine
At Least 86% of Real Estate Agents Have Cyber Liability Exposure
Businesses of all kinds are quickly learning that cyber security is a necessity, not a luxury. The reality is that hackers target any kind of business looking for companies that have financial / personal data. As a real estate agent, even a small, independent one, you handle a lot of information that could be worth a considerable sum to the right person - financial records, loan applications, and personal information for buyers, sellers, and other clients. This information is just as valuable as stolen credit card information because it can also be used it to commit fraud.
Criminals could apply for loans or take out credit cards in your client's name by taking their…
• Physical addresses.
• Phone numbers.
• Email addresses.
• Financial information.
Data breaches are expensive and they can ruin your reputation as a secure, trustworthy agent. Furthermore, they could be devastating for your clients as they can't have any blemishes on their credit history while looking to take out mortgages for a home purchase.
Keep in mind, data breaches aren't always "hacks." For instance, if your laptop or smartphone were stolen, you'd be liable for any data that's on the phone. Because criminals could theoretically download the data on your phone or laptop, you will be legally required to report this security breach to your clients and privacy regulating bodies.
Also known as Professional Liability Insurance . A mandatory insurance policy taken through your association in order to maintain your license governed by the Real Estate Brokerage Act. As a real estate agent, people depend on your guidance and advice every day. E&O insurance protects you if a client sues you for a number of reasons including negligence, the cancellation or delay of a sale because of your mistake, or a failure to disclose a material fact.
Some frequent examples of claims** include:
• Fraud: A broad category that can include lying or holding back information from the client.
• Breach of duty: When the buyer or seller claims the real estate agent didn’t act in their best interest
• Breach of contract: When the buyer or seller claims the real estate agent didn’t do everything in the contract
• Negligence: When the client claims the real estate agent’s inaction caused harm
• Misrepresentation An example of this would be the buyer claiming that the real estate agent said the property was up to code, but it turns out it wasn’t
• Earnest /escrow money dispute: Whenever funds don’t go where they should, when they should
** for information purposes only. Contact your association for more information on what type of E&O claims are receivable under your policy.
Can you afford a Legal Dispute?
E&O and CGL insurance policies provide great protection against legal action because of alleged errors in your professional services, bodily injury or property damage. However, these are not the only possible disputes you may face and obtaining legal help can quickly become expensive. As a real estate agent, you face a variety of legal risks on a daily basis.
The benefits of legal expense cover include but are not limited to :
• Free legal advice helpline available throughout Canada on any legal topic of concern.
• Cover for tax disputes, such as the costs of responding to a tax investigation.
• Statutory Licence Protection