How to Protect Your E&O

Over the years, I have seen some mishaps from CSRs, producers, and agency owners that have resulted in clients filing a claim against their agency’s E&O Insurance policy. The real kicker is that some of these could have easily been avoided. As an agency owner, you try and protect your E&O Insurance against all possible claims. But did you know one of the ways to protect that policy is by educating your staff about its benefits?

In fact educating your staff about your E&O policy can result in:

  • Lower E&O premiums
  • Increased awareness by agency staff
  • Improved overall agency operations
  • Increased revenue opportunities
  • Reduced exposure
  • And keeping your deductible in your pocket

So where do you start? Actually, the answer is with Applied Epic! You can set up protocols and workflows that each staff member must follow when working with clients in Epic. These workflows can help ensure that each member of your team follows your agency protocols. So let’s get into an easy workflow that you can set up today. Your agency should be creating activities in Epic when speaking or working with clients. Now how do activities help prevent E&O claims? Each activity takes only a few seconds to generate and is dated and time stamped. These activities cannot be edited or deleted, so they are perfect for documenting your client interactions. The final step to creating a workflow is making sure that you and your team follow up with an email to the client. After every client call or visit, you should send a follow up email of the conversation or policy change requested. Be sure to attach the emails under ‘Attachments’ section within your client’s Epic account. This way every staff member will have access to view all activities and attachments when the clients calls or visits.

Image this scenario: A client calls your agency to add coverage for a $150,000 Rolex watch. The customer service representative explains to the client that in order to add jewelry onto the policy, the carrier requires an appraisal. The client says, “I will email it to you tomorrow.” The CSR then politely responds, “Please note you have no coverage on the watch.” The following day, the CSR calls to follow up with the customer about sending the appraisal and receives no response. The next day, same thing. A week later, the same client calls to report a claim for their Rolex, and the CSR explains that there is no coverage because the appraisal was not received. The client then files a claim against the agency’s E&O Insurance policy on the grounds that they called to add the jewelry and it wasn’t added. Unfortunately, the customer service representative has nothing to affirm that an appraisal was requested, and subsequent voicemails were left. Because there were no activities in Epic to officially document the interaction, the E&O policy paid the claim.

So, how could this have been avoided? I will say it again: Document, document, document! Every time a client calls, visits your office, and every time you follow up with them needs to be recorded! Using Activities in Epic is an excellent solution because they cannot be edited or removed, so they will hold up in court as evidence of your agency’s efforts. In the event of an E&O claim, we can provide the courts with the lists of Activities for a client. The courts can then identify that, each and every time a client called your agency, an activity was created and followed up on.

Another way to help protect your E&O Insurance is to follow up on the policy download or carrier change. Making sure your policy downloads correctly ensures that the change was made with the carrier, and that the carrier successfully processed the change.

Your staff should be educated on avoiding E&O exposure because it helps prevent claims and payouts on your end. Creating protocols and maintaining workflows that regularly produce Epic Activities could help you save on higher E&O Insurance premiums and keeping your deductible. So take some time to meet with your team and discuss how you can implement these easy practices into your everyday client interactions!

For more tips to help protect your E&O Insurance while using Epic, contact!

This article is made available by ASNOA for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law. It does not aim to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog, you understand there is no attorney-client relationship between you and ASNOA. We strongly recommend consulting a lawyer for individual needs of your business.

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