Burns & Wilcox E&O Can Cater to Small-Shop Real Estate

PRODUCT: Real Estate Agents/Brokers E&O and Real Estate Appraisers Program

COMPANY: Burns & Wilcox, Navigators Insurance Company

BEST RATING: Navigators is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best and A (Strong) by Standard & Poor’s.

AVAILABILITY: Independent agents can access Real Estate Agents/Brokers E&O and the Real Estate Appraisers Program through Burns & Wilcox.

FOCUS: Burns & Wilcox offers an E&O product for both real estate agents and appraisers that is designed for both small and medium-sized businesses. In particular, the company’s Express offering serves “the small, small business—the one- or two-person real estate shops that need adequate coverage, but don’t really pull in the revenues to pay a lot for their policy premiums,” explains Bree Cullum, senior underwriter for the Burns & Wilcox Professional Liability Center of Excellence. “We are able to quickly provide quotes and exceptional service to our client base as we hold the underwriting authority internally within Burns & Wilcox.”

The product comes with a multitude of bells and whistles that make it stand out in the marketplace, including a two-year policy option for anything that fits inside the Express program. That makes it “very convenient for the smaller firms so they don’t have to look at something each year—they can buy a two-year policy and they’re set,” Cullum says. Along those same lines, the Express application contains very few questions, enabling applicants to circle their limit, deductible and premium and send it in as a bind order, “as opposed to going through the whole process of submitting an application, getting it back, having it quoted and reviewing it,” Cullum explains. “It’s easy for your one-person appraiser that generates $20,000 a year.”

UNDERWRITING: The program delivers monoline real estate E&O primary policies. Contracts address E&O exposures in rendering professional services as real estate agents/brokers. Policies cover an independent contractor as a named insured, as well as heirs, franchise corporation of which the named insured is a franchise and lawful spouse or qualifying domestic partner. Per-claim and aggregate limits can reach $5 million. Sublimits for fair housing/discrimination and fungi and bacteria can increase by endorsement for additional premium. Open house coverage, lockbox coverage and pollution coverage are included up to full policy limits. Deductibles begin at $1,000 but can reach $100,000 for large risks.

Defense costs are typically outside policy limits, with endorsements that can push them inside policy limits. The “damages” definition includes punitive damages. A small amount of coverage is available for D&O, reputation protection and security incidents. This policy offers choice of counsel with company’s consent. Extended reporting periods are available for one, two or three years. First dollar defense is available, as are two-year policies for risks that fit the express program. Coverage is also available for real estate appraisers.

MINIMUM PREMIUM: $598 for $1 million/$1 million limits. $500/$1,000 deductible for Real Estate Appraisers. $663 for $1 million/$1 million limits, $1,000 deductible for Real Estate Agents/Brokers.

TARGET: Real estate agents and brokers that have at least some residential business, and real estate appraisers.

COVERAGE TERRITORY: Nationwide except AK, CA, HI and LA.

CONTACT: Bree Cullum, senior underwriter; Burns and Wilcox Professional Liability Center of Excellence; 220 Kaufman Financial Center, 30833 Northwestern Highway, Farmington Hills, MI 48334; 248-702-1352.

Jacquelyn Connelly is IA senior editor.