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Insurance Agent and Broker Malpractice: Identifying and Mitigating Risks, Defending E&O Claims

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will discuss the wide-ranging and heightened professional liability risks facing insurance agents and brokers, the types of conduct that may give rise to expanded risks, and how to best protect and defend against a variety of errors and omissions claims that may arise. The program will address traditional agent and broker errors and omissions claims, as well as expanded exposures based on the application of fiduciary standards, and what conduct by agents/brokers can give rise to a fiduciary duty of care. The panel will also discuss professional liability risks to individuals and entities outside the broker-customer relationship, as well as how and in what manner individuals and entities can be targeted by insurers with which insurance coverage has been placed. The panel will also discuss new risks and challenges arising from providing agent/broker services remotely and from technological advances in how services are provided.


When insurers deny claims that policyholders believe should have been covered, or for whatever reason the policyholder has insufficient insurance for their losses, insurance agents and brokers can often find themselves targets of attempts to recoup the uninsured loss via a variety of legal claims. These claims typically follow a recognizable pattern but are becoming ever more challenging to confront and defeat. This webinar will offer strategies for mitigating such claims, defending such claims in court, and where possible, avoiding them altogether.

Although in most states brokers/agents typically have no duty to advise or guide insureds as to the types or limits of coverage to purchase, insurance agents and brokers, striving to offer "value-added" service and distinguish themselves from their competitors, often promote themselves as not just order takers, but risk management advisers providing specialized expertise. This has led courts and the public to increasingly view insurance agents and brokers as highly trained professionals providing expert guidance through a complex and confusing process. Concomitantly, this trend has meant that judges and juries increasingly blame brokers and agents for insufficient insurance coverage for a loss or liability exposure. The combined effect has been a dramatically heightened E&O risk to agents/brokers generally. And this risk has only expanded with the increasing provision of remote agent/broker services, as well as the increasing use of technology to submit applications for insurance and quote and bind coverage.

In this presentation, our expert panel discusses the traditional duties and responsibilities of agents and brokers and how the law has evolved to create a dramatically heightened risk for E&O and other claims. The panel will also discuss how brokers typically get themselves into trouble and provide a specific and easily applied list of actions that can be taken to avoid, mitigate, and defend against E&O exposures. In doing so, the panel will discuss industry data illustrating where the biggest risks reside, offer insights into what can be expected to be drivers of future claims, and offer a number of interesting and informative real world examples of how the risks have played themselves out in court.

Listen as this panel explores how to identify, prevent, mitigate, and defend agent/broker professional liability claims.



  1. Existence and parameters of brokers' traditional duties and the traditional risks presented
  2. How and why brokers can be deemed to have assumed expanded "fiduciary" duties, the growing risks presented, and the manner in which the risks have evolved
  3. Strategies for managing risk and defending against E&O claims


The panel will review these and other pivotal issues:

  • What does broker E&O insurance cover and what doesn't it cover?
  • What is the broker's responsibility and liability for providing consulting or risk management services? How is it different from simply procuring coverage? What conduct gives rise to heightened duties?
  • What is a broker's duty of care to the general public or others impacted by the absence of insurance outside of their customers/clients for whom the insurance was purchased?
  • Does the broker owe a duty of utmost good faith to the policyholder? To insurers?
  • What is the measure of damages for broker negligence and how is it determined?


Balice, Joseph
Joseph G. Balice

Haynes Boone

As a member of the firm’s Commercial Civil Litigation Team, Mr. Balice’s core practice is representing...  |  Read More

Quinn, Thomas F.
Thomas F. Quinn

Wilson Elser

Mr. Quinn’s commercial civil litigation practice spans 30 years and focuses on professional liability defense and...  |  Read More

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