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Most engineers are familiar with Murphy's Law—that if anything can go wrong, it will. This law is particularly apt for engineers since they work on projects that are often complex and involve lots of people working together on tight schedules. Things can go wrong when a design has an undetected flaw, or an analysis is based on flawed data, or a technician installs a part the wrong way or your client doesn't communicate well.

Perhaps the technology you're working on will be a part of a client's manufacturing facility and your estimates of its completion time were overly optimistic. Meanwhile the client is losing millions of dollars per month because their plant is dependent on your technology. Another scenario might be a client who invests hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment recommended by an engineering consultant working with you and the equipment fails to perform as expected.

As should be clear, the engineering consultant must be insured against litigation from dissatisfied clients. Litigation, whether baseless or not, is costly. To mitigate this risk, the engineering consultant should take out professional liability insurance.

Professional liability insurance covers you should a client sue you because of damage caused by your services. The damage could be due to a mistake, negligence or an omission on your part or that of someone working for you. Professional liability insurance also has you covered when a client sues because his or her expectations weren't met by your service. This problem is often caused by miscommunication or a contract that left something open to your client's interpretation.

Professional liability insurance covers the legal costs of defense and any damages you must pay in the settlement. Whether the errors, omissions or negligence on your part are true or baseless, you are covered. Any claims arising from your services with a past client are also covered up to a specified retroactive date.

Don't expose your consulting business, yourself and your family to the hardships of financial ruin. You've worked hard to build up your business and your life. For information on getting a professional liability insurance policy that addresses your specific requirements, contact an independent insurance agent near you.

Get the coverage you need. Call Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance Agency at (415) 883-2525 for more information on San Francisco professional liability insurance.

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