We are working in a world so unlike anything we experienced in the pre-covid days that our roles are changing by the day. Although that isn’t really the case, the way in which we are asked to work has morphed into something totally different than the workforce paradigm leading up to the final months of 2019 and into the early days of 2020.
Now, a growing number of companies have downsized various departments, leaving well-qualified professionals without a job. These seasoned pros are going into business as consultants in record numbers and these are the professionals who can benefit the most from the protections that a professional liability policy can offer them. Let’s look at just a few of the types of professionals who have taken on consulting roles in lieu of full-time employment.
1. Financial Advisor/Consultant
This is an extremely broad and far-reaching service. A financial advisor can work with private investors in creating a retirement plan or they can work within organizations to advise them on anything related to finance. From creating budgets to recommending investments, any mistake, no matter how small, can be the financial ruin of that person or business.
Even the most experienced and knowledgeable financial consultants can overlook something, causing huge losses for their clients. This will often result in a negligence or inaccurate advice claim, and without a solid professional liability policy, the consultant can be found liable to compensate their client. The loss is already devastating for that client, and now it would be the consultant’s ‘turn’ to experience that loss.
2. IT Consultant
If there is one thing that can be said about Information Technology it would be that it is advancing at such a pace that the average person or small business is out of their depth in trying to understand let alone work with those technologies. Many IT professionals have opted to work in consulting, but this kind of role carries huge amounts of risk.
What would happen if you, as an IT consultant advised your client to run with one popular digital security program only to find later that it was riddled with bugs and open backdoors? Your client could suffer huge financial losses as a result and if you weren’t covered by professional liability insurance, you could suffer huge losses yourself when being sued. Being a consultant is not without significant amounts of risk.
3. Strategy Consultant
If there is any consultant who is prime for a high dollar lawsuit, it would be a strategy consultant. These are consultants who operate at the very top of corporate structure and who are there to strategize the direction businesses or government agencies take going forward. Because of this, a strategy consultant often works more as a freelancer in upper-level management. Sometimes they answer directly to the Board of Directors and other times when there is no corporate board, they advise the owner of a small business. If their strategies fail to bear fruit, it is one thing, but if their strategies lead to any kind of substantial business losses, they will more often than not be held accountable. Taking all of the above into consideration, it is imperative to carry at least minimum coverage in a professional liability policy. There is always the possibility of being named in an insurance claim or lawsuit, so your best defense is a great offense. In this case, that is professional liability coverage.