Learn about business insurance requirements and the most common policies for real estate agents and brokers in New York.
If you have a commercial lease, your property manager may require you to purchase general liability insurance. Commonly purchased by real estate agents and brokers in New York, general liability insurance can protect your business from expenses associated with common mishaps, such as client property damage and injuries.
Your clients may require errors and omissions insurance in a contract. Also called professional liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance provides financial protection if a client files a lawsuit claiming your work caused financial harm because it was late, erroneous, or incomplete. Though E&O insurance is not required in New York, some states require real estate agents and brokers to carry this policy.
State law in New York requires nearly every small business with employees to provide workers’ compensation coverage, and business-owned vehicles must be covered by commercial auto insurance. Personal vehicles used for business purposes should have commercial coverage, as well.
General liability insurance is the foundation of a real estate agent or broker’s business protection, with coverage that extends to client injuries, client property damage, and advertising injuries. Most commercial leases require you to have this coverage.
Many clients require proof of errors and omissions insurance before entering into contracts for professional services. This policy, also called professional liability insurance, can help cover legal expenses if a real estate agent or broker is sued for unsatisfactory performance or a work mistake.
If you own a real estate agency or brokerage in New York that has employees, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. This policy is optional for sole proprietors. However, if you break your arm by tripping on the steps at a property, or develop carpal tunnel syndrome after years of working on a computer, you can turn to your workers’ comp policy to help pay your medical bills and lost wages.
Real estate agents and brokers often qualify for a business owner’s policy. This package helps your business save money by bundling commercial property insurance with general liability insurance at an affordable rate.
Personal auto insurance policies typically exclude business use, which means you could end up paying for an auto accident if it happens on a work errand with your personal vehicle. Commercial auto insurance is required for vehicles owned by real estate companies. Hired and non-owned auto insurance covers personal vehicles used for business purposes.
Cyber liability insurance can help real estate agents and brokers survive data breaches and cyberattacks experienced by your company. Many professional liability policies include this coverage, but check with your licensed Insureon agent to make sure.
In New York, real estate agent business insurance costs are generally lower than the national median, according to an analysis of Insureon applications. As general liability policies trend higher in New York state, it may make sense for real estate agents to consider a business owner’s policy, which bundles general liability and commercial property insurance for a discount.
The cost of errors and omissions coverage is lower than the national rate, although it’s typically the most expensive policy for real estate agents. It may be tempting to go without this policy, considering it’s not a requirement in New York. However, in the event of an errors and omissions suit against a real estate agent, the legal costs can range up to six figures. Overall, real estate agents and brokers in New York can expect to spend around $200 per month to secure their small business.
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