Frequently Asked Questions


What is professional liability insurance?

Professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance (E & O insurance), protects your business if you are sued for negligence, even if you haven't made a mistake. You should seriously consider this coverage if your business provides professional services and/or is requested by a client to have professional liability insurance to complete a contract.

What is general liability insurance?

General liability insurance coverage protects your business from third party claims for bodily injury, associated medical costs and damage to someone else's property. You should consider this coverage if: you or your employees visit a client's place of work, clients visit your place of work, you write or speak about a client's business, you use third-party locations for any business-related activities; you are required to have general liability insurance before entering into a contract

What is TRIA?

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) is a United States federal law signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 26, 2002. The Act created a federal "backstop" for insurance claims related to acts of terrorism.

GL policies are quoted by Hiscox to include TRIA protection, which comes at a rate of approximately 1% of premium. You can elect to waive TRIA protection, and your premium will be reduced approximately by $4 annually.

What other types of insurance might my SVN practice need?

Besides professional and general liability policies, you may need:

If you have questions about what coverages your particular business needs, please call David Guterman at 323-312-8260 to discuss.

Who is Hiscox?

Hiscox is an insurance company that specializes in writing policies for small professional services businesses like yours. We tailor our coverage to your needs, and allow you to change your coverage as your business changes.

Hiscox policies are written on an admitted basis through Hiscox Insurance Company Inc., rated A: "Excellent" by A.M. Best.

What states does Hiscox offer policies in?

Hiscox writes PL and GL policies for small businesses in all states except Alaska

Your Hiscox policy will be written in the state where your business resides, but coverage follows you wherever you perform your services, as long as any legal actions brought against you are done so in the United States.

Who is the Guterman Organization?

Guterman Organization is a premiere financial advisory firm: we serve entrepreneurs and corporate executives in software, health and biotech, social services, investment management, hedge funds, private equity, real estate, energy, wineries, vineyards and paper industries. Guterman Organization is family-owned and operated in Beverly Hills, California. For four generations, our family has advised and counseled private clients and firms, in finance, law, and real estate. We have 28 years of financial advisory, finance and real estate experience. Since our practice began, we've treated every client with dignity and care.

Rates and Payment Plans:

What are my insurance rates based on?

Your policy rates are calculated based on several factors, with the most influential elements being your annual revenue, the amount of coverage you require, your deductible, whether you work from home or have an office

How much insurance coverage is right for my business?
The amount of coverage that's right for your business should be determined after consideration of several factors:

If you have questions about how much coverage is right for your business, please call David Guterman at 323-312-8260 to discuss.

What is a deductible? How does it affect my premium rates?

A deductible is the amount of loss costs you are willing to pay before your insurance policy begins coverage. The higher deductible you choose, the lower your policy rate will be.

For professional liability, you can choose a deductible ranging from $0 to $10,000. There is no deductible for general liability policies.

What payment options are available?

Your Hiscox policy offers you the choice of paying in full at time of purchase, or spreading payments out monthly (two months' payment to start the policy, and monthly thereafter.)

Payments can be made using Visa, MasterCard or American Express cards.

Specific Coverage Questions:

Are my employees covered by my policy?

Your professional liability policy covers the acts of your employees (including any part-time, seasonal, temporary employee, volunteer or student intern), your independent contractors (1099 workers) and your leased workers, as long as they are performing services under your direction.

I practice in several states - do I need a separate policy for each state I work in?

Your Hiscox policy will be written in the state where your business resides, but coverage follows you wherever you perform your services, as long as any legal actions brought against you are done so in the United States.

Am I covered when I drive clients to or from visitation locations?

Hiscox policies do not provide coverage for automobile usage, regardless of whether you have passengers or not.

If you have questions about whether your auto coverage meets the needs of your business, please call David Guterman at 323-312-8260 to discuss.

Am I covered if I supervise visits in public places, such as parks, cafe's, malls, etc?

Your Hiscox policy will provide coverage for your services wherever they are performed, as long as any actions brought against you are done so in the United States.

If I am appointed Guardian ad Litem (GAL) - am I covered in that role?

No - please contact David Guterman at 323-312-8260 to discuss coverage options for your role as a Guardian or GAL.

What happens if I am accused of sexual molestation - is that covered?

If a lawsuit is filed against your business alleging sexual molestation occurred in the course of performing your professional services, you will be defended up to a sub-limit of $200,000. This coverage is provided by Professional Liability Insurance only.

What kind of claims does my professional liability policy cover?

Professional liability insurance coverage gives your business protection from the risks you face in delivering your professional services. Some examples are:

What kind of claims does my professional liability policy not cover?
What is a "claims made and reported" policy?

Professional liability insurance only provides protection only as long as your policy is in force. This means that only the claims made and reported in the policy period will be covered. When you cancel your policy you may not have protection in place, even if a claim later arises from work completed during a period in which you had insurance. So it's wise to keep coverage in place even after you have completed a project. However, if you must cancel your coverage, you can opt to purchase an extended reporting period (see the explanation below).

If I am sued, are my legal fees covered? How much coverage is there for legal costs?

If legal action is brought against you in the United States, your professional liability policy will cover your legal costs after you meet your deductible. Legal costs are covered up to the limits selected for your professional liability policy.

Policy and Claims Service:

My business is complicated. Who can I talk to about my specific situation?

David A. Guterman is a Certified Financial Planner(R) and Trust and Estate Practitioner(R) who is very knowledgeable about the insurance needs of SVN members.

Call David at 323-312-8260 to discuss your specific situation.

When will I get my policy documents?

Your Hiscox policy documents will be emailed to you promptly upon purchasing your policy, usually within 30 minutes.

Who do I call if I need to increase my coverage, or change my policy information?

Hiscox has a full staff of licensed advisors ready to help you with your policy needs. They can be reached Monday through Friday from 8am to 10pm EST at 888-202-3007.

How do I report a claim? What will that experience be like?

If you have a claim, you can call Hiscox at 866-424-8508 or report it online at Hiscox claims specialists are experts at resolving claims and possible claims, and are there to serve you, the SVN member client.

Please have your policy number handy when calling or reporting a claim.