Professional Liability Insurance in Ohio
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Professional liability insurance in Ohio

Professional liability insurance coverage, also called errors and omissions insurance (E&O), protects small business owners against the cost of client lawsuits over unsatisfactory work. Although not required by state law, it's strongly recommended for professional service providers in Ohio.

What is covered under professional liability insurance in Ohio?

Professional liability insurance covers the cost of lawsuits related to the quality of your work, including legal fees and settlements.

It covers the following types of customer claims for many Ohio businesses:

  • Accusations of negligence, such as an architect who creates an unsafe building design.
  • Work mistakes and oversights, such as an accountant who makes a mathematical error or fails to include the right data in their work resulting in a financial loss to the client.
  • Inaccurate advice, such as an attorney who misinterprets a legal statute that results in a costly mistake.
  • Missed deadlines and undelivered services, such as a web designer who fails to build a website before a client’s busy season.

As a lawyer, if you don't have legal malpractice insurance, you must have your client sign a "notice to client" form and retain a copy of the signed form for five years after the termination of representation.

Is professional liability insurance required in Ohio?

While Ohio doesn't require professional liability insurance for small business owners, you might need this insurance policy to sign a contract or to get a license in your field.

Healthcare professionals

Professional liability is referred to as medical malpractice insurance when it applies to doctors and other healthcare professionals, such as therapists. This coverage is essential, especially in a setting where a mistake could cause a bodily injury or worsen a medical condition.

In Ohio, doctors and surgeons who do not carry medical malpractice insurance are required to inform their patients of their lack of coverage in writing before providing their services.

Real estate professionals

While Ohio doesn’t have E&O insurance requirements for real estate agents, franchises and clients may ask their agent to have this coverage and stipulate proof of insurance in business contracts.


For lawyers, professional liability is also known as legal malpractice insurance. Ohio mandates that lawyers must either carry malpractice insurance with minimum limits of $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 in aggregate, or inform their clients if they don't have malpractice.

As a lawyer, if you don't have legal malpractice insurance, you must have your client sign a "notice to client" form and retain a copy of the signed form for five years after the termination of representation.

Get professional liability insurance for your Ohio business

Who should carry professional liability insurance in Ohio?

Any business, from Columbus to Toledo, that provides a professional service or expert advice should carry professional liability coverage, as a client could sue if your service or advice causes accidental harm. Even a frivolous lawsuit can be expensive between accounting for attorney’s fees, court costs, or a settlement.

Industries often at risk for professional liability claims include:

Technology professionals

IT consultants and other tech professionals are susceptible to lawsuits related to system downtime, data breaches, missed deadlines, and errors. They can bundle E&O insurance and cyber insurance into one policy—tech E&O—to protect against all of these risks.

Building design businesses

Those who work in building design, such as architects and engineers, are at risk of a lawsuit if a client accuses them of making a costly mistake. For example, a bridge could develop cracks over time, or a project could be delayed for months due to unforeseen circumstances.

Contractors and construction businesses

Those who work in construction and contracting, such as carpenters and electricians, could face a client lawsuit over construction delays. They could also face accusations of negligence if the customer is dissatisfied with their work or has to make expensive changes or repairs after a job is finished.

Insurance professionals

Insurance professionals, including insurance agents and brokers, deal with large amounts of financial data and at times have to use their best judgment in advising their clients. If a client doesn’t have enough coverage, or the right type of coverage, they might blame their agent or the insurance agency for failing to make sure they were protected.

Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, a disgruntled customer might file a lawsuit if your advice leads to a financial loss.

How much does professional liability cost in Ohio?

View video transcript.

Get professional liability insurance to protect yourself from claims that you didn't deliver on a deadline, or made a costly mistake.

Some clients require you to have this policy. It can protect you from expensive lawsuits for only about 60 dollars per month.

Don't put your business at risk. Apply for your policy today!

Alert. Alert.

Professional liability insurance costs on average $61 per month nationwide. In Ohio, the average cost is $59 per month.

The cost of professional liability coverage depends on several factors, such as:

  • Your type of business, industry, and similar risk factors
  • Coverage limits and deductible
  • Your business size and location
  • Business operations
  • Your claims history
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How does professional liability insurance work in Ohio?

Professional liability insurance covers your legal defense costs if you’re sued over a mistake in your professional work, and it's affordable for low-risk businesses.

Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, a legal battle can be expensive. In addition to your attorney’s hourly rate, you’ll likely be charged for administrative costs such as copying, filing, and travel expenses. You may also have to pay for expert witnesses to testify on your behalf, a court-ordered legal judgment, or a settlement to avoid trial.

Professional liability insurance covers all of the above, up to the coverage limits of your policy. The policy limits you choose should take into account how expensive it can be to fight a professional liability lawsuit. You also need to determine the amount of coverage required to obtain a contract or work in a certain field.

For example, healthcare professionals in Ohio typically purchase policies with liability limits of $1 million per claim and $3 million in aggregate per year.

Are there any exclusions in professional liability insurance?

A professional liability policy covers a wide range of lawsuits, but it will not cover intentional harm you cause to others. Most insurance carriers exclude:

  • The illegal violation of any law, regulation, or statute
  • Any services you provide under the name of another entity, such as a subsidiary business or organization not listed on your policy
  • Defamation, such as libel and slander
  • Discrimination

Does general liability insurance include professional liability coverage?

General liability insurance does not include professional liability coverage. General liability covers common business risks and liability claims such as customer injuries, customer property damage, and advertising injuries.

If a customer falls and suffers an injury at your workplace, it would be covered by your general liability policy, which would include your legal defense costs. If someone sues you over unsatisfactory work, it would be covered by your professional liability coverage.

Read more about general liability vs. professional liability insurance.

What other types of insurance should OH businesses consider?

Commercial general liability and professional liability are often the first two policies bought by small business owners. However, they are not the only types of business insurance coverage that policyholders might need.

Workers' compensation insurance is required for all employers in Ohio, even if the company only has one employee. Workers' comp covers medical costs and lost wages for employee injuries and illnesses.

Commercial property insurance covers your business's physical location and equipment. It’s often required to sign a commercial lease.

A business owner’s policy (BOP) combines general liability coverage and commercial property insurance. It's usually less expensive than buying each policy separately.

Commercial auto insurance is required in Ohio for any vehicle used solely for work purposes. It covers costs related to a vehicle accident.

Cyber insurance covers the cost of dealing with a data breach or malicious software attack, including the cost of notifying affected customers.

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) protects against lawsuit expenses related to claims of harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination that professional liability typically won’t cover.

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Professional liability vs. errors and omissions insurance
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How do I get Ohio business insurance?

Complete Insureon’s easy online application today to compare quotes from top-rated U.S. insurance providers. Our licensed insurance agents can help answer any questions about your business insurance needs. Once you find the right insurance for your Ohio small business, you can begin coverage and get your certificate of insurance in less than 24 hours.

Updated: August 4, 2023
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