E&O insurance form with pen


By Dan Francis | October 31, 2017

Around our office, we joke that errors-and-omissions is a very dry topic – but it’s not much of a joke, because any professional-liability insurance is complicated by definition, riddled with intricacy and awash in fine print.

Luckily, the team at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection is here to break it down for you.

E&O insurance is general business insurance for travel, tour, and event-planning companies. It protects the entirety of services provided by these companies, from the day travel planning starts until the last traveler safely returns home.

This insurance appoints the proper legal defense if necessary, and pays damages to a traveler or group of travelers for allegations of mishandling or negligence. 

Not only is BHTP one of the only companies in the world to offer E&O specifically tailored to the travel industry, it’s also one of the only firms to offer you a personal representative and a 24/7 team of professionals to assist you in case of emergency or to help mitigate a claim.

We call that the Booking Protector®, and it can be extremely important if the unforeseen should happen to your business. 

Here's an example of the Booking Protector in action.

An insured agent booked a large extended family on a Caribbean cruise departing from Miami. The agent informed the group that the grandfather of the family would not need a passport to travel. Unfortunately, that was not the case once they arrived, and the grandfather was denied boarding.

The agent notified our Booking Protector team, who quickly went to work expediting a passport for him. Within four hours, it was in their hands and the clients were back on their way!

The expedited passport cost $450, but that amount was much lower than the thousands of dollars wasted if the whole family would have needed to cancel their trip – and that doesn’t begin to take into account the potential legal fees, court costs, and much more.

This is just one illustration of how BHTP works together with our covered agents to mitigate losses and prevent claims.

Person writing at a table in bright sunlightPhoto credit: Bethany Legg via Unsplash.

Here are a few more common things E&O covers: 

1.  Agent mistakes where the client is at a financial loss.

Agents tell us, “I never make mistakes – I’m a professional!” But in reality, booking errors happen all the time. Also, it’s very difficult for agents to know anything and everything about a specific destination.

This takes on added importance when you realize that most travel professionals are partially if not entirely dependent on other businesses (sometimes located outside of the United States) in order to execute the services they’ve sold.

If a client is injured on a trip, their property is stolen or damaged while in the custody of a recommended vendor, the traveler has a vehicle accident, or a service provider unexpectedly goes bankrupt, travel-specific E&O insurance will work to make the client financially whole while minimizing out-of-pocket expenses for the agent and preserving their ability to continue operations.

Pouring coffee into mug that says "ugh"Photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash.

2.  Travel situations resulting in a client’s financial loss, bodily injury, or personal injury.

If a client is injured on a trip and holds the agent liable, we will defend the agent – and those situations can be extremely expensive.

For example, if a traveler is on a bus tour, the bus crashes and s/he is injured, even though you had nothing to do with the accident, you as the travel agent can still be held liable for “advising” the customer to take an unsafe excursion. Even in the case of a frivolous lawsuit, BHTP fulfills its duty to defend.

3.  Internet-liability coverage.

When our E&O policy was created in 1985, travel was booked very differently. In the modern age, most bookings and correspondence are done online. Internet-liability coverage was added to protect agents from anything conveyed online that eventually leads to a claim.

Person writing on documents on tablePhoto credit: Olu Eletu via Unsplash.

4.  Peace of mind!

You work really hard to build your business. You don’t want one mistake to put you out of it!

Whether it’s an unforeseen circumstance, booking error, or frivolous lawsuit, BHTP is here to defend you, protect your finances and preserve your livelihood.

E&O insurance is an easy decision for business owners, since an unforeseen allegation can cause a mature, successful business to go bankrupt overnight.

It’s important to find the proper type of business insurance to fulfill your specific needs, and our team of E&O professionals is on hand to guide you to the most suitable policy.

Dan Francis
Dan Francis

Dan Francis is one of the nation’s leading authorities in insurance for the travel industry. He joined Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection in 2007, and has spent the last decade developing the company’s errors-and-omissions business into an industry leader. For the past four years, he has transitioned into leading the development of BHTP’s fixed-benefit product lines – the first such lines in travel insurance. Dan is licensed in all 51 jurisdictions for Property & Casualty, Accident & Health, Limited Line-Travel and Surplus Lines. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

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