13 Risks Facing Professional Services Companies

General rc bio umbrella.
By Travelers
6 minutes

See how Travelers can help professional services firms manage 13 risks facing the industry, from cyber risks to severe weather events. Having the proper coverage from a trusted carrier can help businesses prepare for the unexpected, so they can focus on the future.

The exposure to risk for professional services businesses continues to grow as the world becomes more and more dependent on technology and as the industry faces other emerging risks. Here are 13 professional services risks to look out for and the types of insurance coverage that can help protect your business:

1. Cyber Risks

It takes only one cyber event or data security breach to impair a professional service company’s financial results, or even potentially put them out of business. One successful hack, lost laptop or lost paper record can cause a data breach that impacts the privacy of customers, employees and others.

Travelers can help protect your professional service business before, during and after a breach. CyberRisk coverage* can be a crucial safeguard against the devastating financial consequences of a cyber attack, with protection that provides coverage solutions for digital forensic investigations, litigation expenses, regulatory defense expenses/fines, crisis management expenses, business interruption, cyber extortion and betterment.

2. Employee Injuries

Work-related accidents are an unfortunate reality in any industry. For example, musculoskeletal injuries can occur in slippery walkways on your property, or as a result of prolonged hours at workstations that may not facilitate optimal employee efficiency and comfort.

Significant medical bills may result from workplace accidents or injuries. Travelers’ Workers Compensation insurance can provide resources aimed at helping employees make a timely recovery and smooth transition when they return to work.

3. Employment Practices

In an increasingly litigious environment, there’s a risk that an employee can sue your professional  service company if they believe they were treated unfairly in your workplace. Terminations, promotions, hiring practices – all invite scrutiny and can increase your risk of being sued. And there is the potential publicity surrounding a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit that can harm your reputation and brand. Travelers Employment Practices Liability insurance* can help protect your organization from the costs associated with an employment-related claim.

4. Equipment Failures

Equipment breakdown of heating, cooling or electrical components can disrupt operations and result in increased costs and lost profits. Often armed with digital sensors and microprocessors, much of this equipment’s sophisticated nature may render it more susceptible to failure and downtime.

Repair or replacement costs to get your operations back up and running can be covered through policies that insure equipment failures. Travelers’ Equipment Breakdown insurance can help cover costs and expedite a return to normal operations, and a comprehensive package like EnergyMax21SM can help cover your lost income caused by a shutdown.

5. Errors & Omissions

Regardless of how well you plan, the potential for mistakes in the performance of a professional service is very real. Your business’s financial security can depend on how well protected you are from a lawsuit or claim. Travelers Miscellaneous Professional Liability coverage* offers protection for an array of emerging exposures, as well as for losses resulting from negligence or errors and omissions in the performance of professional services.

6. Evolving Workforce Dynamics

Adopting a culture of safety starts with recruiting and hiring, and continues through to onboarding and day-to-day employee engagement.

To build and maintain a safe and healthy workforce, start by leveraging preventive programs designed by insurers. For instance, as a customer, you could take advantage of the Travelers Workforce Advantage® platform, which can help you analyze working conditions in offices and facilities, as well as implement changes that emphasize ergonomic techniques to ensure people and equipment are interacting efficiently and safely.

7. Going Global

For companies with international operations, a vehicle accident or workplace injury could have costly ramifications if the occurrence isn’t adequately covered by domestic policies. Your insurance representative may help you conduct a quick check of covered risks and policy limits in foreign countries where you may operate to help you identify any potential gaps.

Insurance programs for international exposures seek to equate foreign coverages to U.S. standards. Extending to more than 100 countries, Travelers Global Companion Plus+℠ coverage is an effective solution for international exposures and includes Property, General Liability, Commercial Auto and Workers Compensation policies, and more.

8. Large Losses

There are routine claims and then there are incidents with the potential to generate catastrophic losses that exceed the limits of a primary liability policy. Consider the case of a sales rep who causes an at-fault accident with a company vehicle, resulting in severe injuries and extensive property damage.

Consider adding excess liability coverage that works with your primary insurance policies. Helping to insulate your organization from potentially crippling losses, Travelers’ Umbrella and Excess Casualty coverage can provide additional financial protection when a loss exceeds the limits of your primary general liability policy and other qualifying coverages.

9. Mobile Equipment

State-of-the-art surveying equipment that moves from job to job may hold value beyond prescribed policy limits. It’s not unreasonable to think that theft of or damage to that job-critical property may result in substantial costs for replacement or repair.

To appropriately cover property that is transported to different locations, the ability to schedule specific items and cover them for a stated or appraised value is important. With Inland Marine coverage from Travelers, that coverage can extend to unique works of art or antiques displayed in offices or common areas.

10. Third-Party Risks

Hiring subcontractors can help expand your business’s capacity, but what happens if they make a mistake?

Transferring risk to the appropriate party is an important aspect of your insurance strategy. While Travelers’ General Liability insurance could help cover you for the negligence of a subcontractor, you should require these parties to carry their own insurance. In addition to securing Business Insurance from Travelers, consider discussing risk transfer strategies with your agent.

11. Vehicle Accidents

From company cars to vans and heavy trucks, your fleet can be both an asset and a liability. Serious vehicle accidents not only pose a threat to the value of your vehicles, but can also involve serious injury to pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles. And the risk is ever-present.

Commercial auto insurance lets you select liability and property damage amounts that cover minor fender benders on accidents of a more complex nature. In addition, Travelers’ Commercial Automobile insurance coverage may extend to rented vehicles and medical expenses incurred by third parties.

12. Visitor Injuries

As clients and other visitors come and go, the odds of an on-site injury to those parties increase. Nowadays, litigation over these types of incidents is all too common and can lead to significant legal expenses as well as the possibility of verdicts that can carry devastatingly high damage awards.

In light of these possibilities, general liability coverage is critical. It can help protect your business from the costs of a legal defense and payments for damages when someone claims your business has caused them bodily injury or property damage.

13. Weather and Unexpected Events

Hurricanes along the Atlantic coast, California wildfires and powerful storms just about anywhere typify the perils that businesses face. Damages to buildings and computer systems can upend operations and constrict cash flow.

Consider the right insurance that provides financial protection to enable your business to get back up and running as soon as possible after weather damage occurs. For offices and business equipment that are the backbone of your operations and comprise the bulk of your physical assets, commercial property insurance can provide coverage for your business’s physical assets, and coverage helps keep revenue flowing when the unexpected happens.

Solutions for All Risks

For service-oriented companies, insurance needs can be complex. Find a trusted partner who understands the unique risks facing your business and offers comprehensive solutions to help you prevent losses and mitigate claims costs. With Travelers, you get an insurer that has your back. Contact an agent for all your business insurance needs.

*Available through Travelers Bond & Specialty Insurance

A warehouse worker driving a forklift and using it to transport a pallet

Top Stories

6 Risk Management Considerations for Wholesalers and Distributors

From protecting property and inventory to safeguarding employees and business vehicles, wholesalers and distributors face many risks. Learn the risk considerations for wholesalers and distributors now.

Related Products & Services

Coverage for wholesalers and distributors serves a broad range of businesses, including home furnishings, office equipment and industrial supplies.

More Prepare & Prevent

Tips to Help Keep Employees and Visitors Safe in Parking Lots

Slippery conditions, uneven surfaces and poor lighting can make parking lots and garages hazardous for employees and visitors. Explore tips to help keep your parking lots safe.

Safe parking lot of a business.

More Prepare & Prevent

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace

A business may be held liable for every step in the supply chain. Monitoring and regulating that chain can help prevent future liability claims.

Slippery when wet sign inside a business lobby.

More Prepare & Prevent

Premises Security and Liability

Help prevent premises liability issues like slips, trips and falls, as well as safety risks like fires and assaults, with premises security tips.

Busy sidewalk in front of a secure building.