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Going to be a Guest on a Podcast or Interviewed for an Article? Keep E&O Risks in Mind

As an insurance agent prepares to step into the spotlight as a guest on a podcast or for an interview in an article, navigating the discussion requires careful consideration of Errors & Omissions (E&O) risks. While the opportunity to share knowledge and insights can be invaluable for both the agent and the audience, it also presents potential pitfalls that could lead to an increase in an agency’s required standard of care. From the nuances of policy interpretation to the communication of coverage details, being mindful of E&O risks is essential to ensure accuracy, transparency, and compliance throughout the exchange. Whether it’s being a guest on a podcast, interviewed for an article or being part of a video to be posted on social media, keep certain words and phrases in mind that can increase an agent’s standard of care beyond what is required.


Avoid Calling Yourself an “Expert”, “Advisor” or “Consultant”
Establishing oneself as an “expert”, “advisor” or “consultant in a particular area of coverage may seem like a great way to separate oneself from the competition, but overstating expertise or promoting oneself as an advisor can invite reliance by an insurance customer. This can create an easier path to a court finding that a greater duty to advise exists due to a special relationship being formed.

Never Say “Best Coverage”
Clients may be looking for the “best coverage” at the “best price”, but it can oftentimes be unattainable or difficult to know the policy language of each carrier an agent represents, especially in a rapidly-changing environment. Remember, insurance agents procure coverage or may assist with submitting claims on behalf of their client, but they do not make underwriting decisions or investigate and determine if a claim is covered.  Agents should avoid suggesting a customer’s risk is covered or that coverage always exists for a loss when the underwriting and claims decisions are made by a separate company.

It’s Okay to Discuss Your Niche without saying “We specialize in…”
Many agents or agencies have a niche or focus on a specific type of business. This gives the agent the ability to have a more detailed conversation with the client about their insurance needs. However, when talking about a niche business, an agent should avoid saying “we specialize in…” or “our specialists”  as it creates an automatic increase in their duty to advise as well as a blanket statement that applies to all employees at the agency. Instead, an agent should talk about their niche along with their experience in that business category.

Avoid Offering “Peace of Mind”

While agents want to offer “peace of mind” to clients, this phrase can be understood as creating an expectation that the insured will not experience an uncovered loss or have any coverage gaps as they should not have to worry about their insurance coverage. Instead of offering peace of mind to your clients, offer to help them find coverage that matches their described needs or offer greater financial security (including qualifiers in your wording can help!).

As an agent in your local community and beyond, any opportunity to get your name or brand is something to take advantage of. Who knows what that 30-minute podcast or short phone-call interview may lead to in terms of publicity and leads. By keeping “E&O friendly” language in mind and avoiding words that may give clients a path to establishing a special relationship (and therefore may require a greater standard of care), these marketing opportunities can remain advantageous. Just keep the E&O risks in mind.

Looking for additional information about E&O risk management as it relates to an agent’s duty to advise and ways to avoid creating a special relationship? IIAW Members have access to a variety of guides and helpful information on E&O Guardian – a Big “I” member benefit. Visit


Evan Leitch
Swiss Re Approved Auditor
Virtual Agency Solutions/Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin

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