If you're an environmental consultant, you face a lot of liability risks. Giving advice and keeping clients up to date on policies and procedures can leave you open to more risks than you may think.
Let's say you run field tests and decide that your client's new business structure won't have any adverse effects on the land or the city nearby. When construction begins, however, the pollution from drilling spills into the water and contaminates the drinking water of the city nearby. Now, your client's business faces a lawsuit by the city, and the blame falls to you for not conducting a thorough test. Although you work diligently, mistakes happen, and it's important to always be prepared.
So, what insurance should you have to protect yourself and your business?
There are many different coverages you can purchase as an environmental consultant. The main liability insurances you may need include:
- Commercial General Liability Insurance: This is a basic insurance policy that every business should carry in case everyday business operations cause bodily injury or property damage to a client or other third party. This insurance can also help with legal fees should the victim sue.
- Professional Liability Insurance: This is the insurance policy needed to cover the incident specified above. Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance provides compensation if your advice (or your company's advice) causes a client to lose money.
Carrying these insurance policies won't only ensure that you're covered in the event of an accident or lawsuit. It will also reassure your clients that, if a mistake is made, they will receive compensation.
The Cost Of Insurance For Environmental Consultants
The price of professional liability insurance varies depending not only on your profession, but also your location, claims history and credit. Overall, the median cost of professional liability insurance is around $650 a year. The cost of general liability insurance for consultants has a median of around $350 a year.
You may also be able to bundle certain insurance, especially if you have a physical address for your business. A business owners policy (BOP) combines general liability and property coverage into one affordable policy for small businesses. This doesn't cover professional liability, however. Larger businesses should consider a commercial package policy — which combines coverage from a BOP and allows for additions such as professional liability, business income insurance, commercial auto insurance and crime insurance.