Professional liability insurance more commonly known as errors & omissions (E&O) is a form of liability insurance that helps protect professional advice – and service – providing individuals and companies from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in such a civil lawsuit. The coverage focuses on the alleged failure to perform on the part if, financial loss caused by, and error or omission in the service or products sold by the policyholder. These are causes for legal action that would not be covered by a more general liability insurance policy which addresses more direct forms of harm.
Professional liability insurance may take on different forms and names depending on the profession. For example in reference to medical professions it is called malpractice insurance, while errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is used by insurance agents, consultants, brokers and lawyers. Other professions that commonly purchase professional liability insurance include accounting, engineering and financial services, construction and maintenance (general contractors, plumbers, etc., many of whom are also surety bonded), and transport. Some charities and other nonprofits/NGOs are also professional-liability insured.