Professional Liability Insurance in Texas
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Professional liability insurance in Texas

Professional liability insurance protects small business owners against the cost of lawsuits over unsatisfactory work. Although not required by state law, it's strongly recommended for professional service providers in Texas.

What is covered under professional liability insurance in Texas?

Professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance (E&O), 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 Texas businesses, which makes it a key part of any risk management strategy:

  • Claims 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.

Texas law does not require physicians to carry malpractice insurance. However, they may need this coverage to work in a specific hospital or other medical facility.

Is professional liability insurance required in Texas?

Texas law doesn't require most small business owners to have a professional liability insurance policy. However, you might need this coverage to sign a contract, rent a commercial space, or 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. Texas law does not require physicians to carry malpractice insurance. However, they may need this coverage to work in a specific hospital or other medical facility.

For example, Baptist Medical Center in San Antonio, Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, and St. David's Medical Center in Austin all have specific requirements for how much malpractice insurance physicians must carry to gain admitting privileges.

Because Texas has a cap on damages from malpractice insurance, you may not need as much coverage as in other states.

Real estate agents

Though E&O insurance is not required for Texas real estate agents, some states require agents and brokers to carry it.


For lawyers, professional liability is also known as legal malpractice insurance. Texas doesn't require attorneys to carry legal malpractice insurance or disclose their insurance status.

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Who should carry professional liability insurance in Texas?

Any business 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 an unwarranted lawsuit can be expensive between 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

Construction and contracting professionals, 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 must make expensive changes or repairs after a job is finished.

Insurance professionals

Insurance professionals, including agents and insurance brokers, often deal with large amounts of financial data and must 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 insurance cost in Texas?

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.

The average cost of professional liability insurance is $61 per month nationwide. In Texas, 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 (e.g., Dallas, Houston, or Austin)
  • Day-to-day operations
  • Your claims history
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How does professional liability insurance coverage work in Texas?

Professional liability insurance covers your legal defense costs if you’re sued over a mistake in your professional work, and it can be affordable for small businesses in Texas.

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 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 work in a certain field or obtain a contract.

Since professional liability insurance is a claims-made policy, continuous coverage is key. In order to file a claim, the policy must be active both when the claim is filed and when the incident occurred.

Are there any exclusions in professional liability insurance?

A professional liability policy covers a wide range of lawsuits, but it won't cover intentional harm you cause to others. Most insurance companies 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 doesn’t 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, including any 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 TX businesses consider?

General liability and professional liability are often the first policies bought by small business owners. However, they aren’t the only types of insurance you might need.

Workers’ compensation insurance covers work-related injuries and illnesses. While it's optional for Texas businesses, many choose to carry this coverage to protect against costly accidents.

Commercial property insurance covers your business’s physical location and equipment. It’s often required to sign leases.

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 Texas for any vehicles used solely for work purposes.

Cyber insurance covers the cost of dealing with a data breach or malicious software attack.

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) protects against legal expenses related to claims of harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and other violations of employees’ rights.

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How do I get professional liability insurance for my Texas business?

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

Updated: July 26, 2023
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