An insurance agents basic duty is to procure coverage that is specifically requested by the client, and insurance agents and brokers maintain insurance agents E&O (professional liability) insurance for protection. Some courts appear to be expanding the insurance agents basic duty to one of an expert, as noted in a recent article in National Underwriter (see here) concerning a case called Hersch vs. DeWitt Stern Group Inc.
This decision is significant in that it is evidence of a continued cementing of the perception in the courts that, in fact, agents and brokers are more than just “order takers.” They are, instead, being viewed more and more as “experts.”
If courts expand insurance agents and brokers duties so they are expected to be experts, and to therefore interpret client needs in addition to responding to client requests, we can expect claims and litigation to increase along with insurance agents professional liability insurance premiums.
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