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   Errors and Omissions Insurance?
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   Author  Topic: Errors and Omissions Insurance?  (Read 796 times)
Charles Jones
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Errors and Omissions Insurance?
« on: Oct 19th, 2005, 6:44pm »
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I have recently passed the USPTO’s patent bar exam, and am a newly minted patent agent.  Having spent many years working as an independent contractor, and seeing no reason to change now, I am hoping to continue in that mode of employment as I gain experience as a patent agent.  My goal will be to subcontract through law firms.  
 
However, unlike computer consulting, where I at least never worried about getting sued, professional liability becomes a real issue in the world of patent work.  I recently contacted the IEEE, of which I am a member, and asked about their insurance.  I received the following reply:
 
“The attached application is for a miscellaneous professional liability policy.  It is not for an attorney, engineer or other specific profession.”  So, right off the bat, I’m not sure that does me any good.  Then, I look at the application itself, and it says:  
 
“Application For Professional Liability Errors & Omissions Insurance” -- Okay, I think.  
 
“If Coverage Is Issued, It Will Be On A Claims-Made Basis”  -- I have no idea what that means.  
 
“Notice: This Insurance Coverage Provides That The Limit Of Liability Available To Pay Judgments Or Settlements Shall Be Reduced By Amounts Incurred For Legal Defense. Further Note That Amounts Incurred For Legal Defense Shall Be Applied Against The Deductible Amount.” -- In other words, I think, the cost of my defense can completely eat up the insurance, so I’m still left holding the bag.
 
Well, bottom line, I realize I have no idea what I’m signing up for here.    
 
Would anyone be generous enough to volunteer a kind of Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Errors and Omissions Insurance?  Along the way, you might include mention of how much people typically sign up for (half a million?  a million?  two million?)?  And, how much should I typically expect this to cost?  ($500?  $2000?  $10,000!?)  A list of recommended brokers would be immensely helpful.
 
Finally, I’m curious -- are there any independent patent agents who practice without this kind of insurance?
 
Thanks in advance for all replies!
 
CharlesJones456@yahoo.com
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