Understanding your E&O coverage
March 26, 2020
Licensees who continue to provide real estate services throughout the COVID-19 crisis should be reassured in knowing that they continue to have E&O coverage and that coverage has not changed as a result of the current situation.
We cover claims for errors, omissions and negligent acts in the course of providing real estate services under the Real Estate Services Act (RESA). We remind you that E&O has never covered claims relating to or arising out of sickness or disease. We encourage you to check with your insurance broker or managing broker to see if other policies such as a brokerage’s Comprehensive General Liability or excess policy may apply.
The risk that someone takes a run at you, claiming you were negligent because they caught COVID-19 from a showing or meeting you arranged is likely small. Such claims would be difficult to prove, as it would be challenging to convince a judge of the specific source of the infection. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and to take steps to avoid these claims in the first place.
Both the BCREA and the Real Estate Council have urged an immediate end to open houses and in-person showings during the current state of emergency declared by the provincial government. Those who do not comply with these recommendations put the safety of their clients, the public, and themselves in jeopardy.
Use the resources and checklists RECBC provides on their COVID-19 Guidance for Real Estate Professionals webpage. They’ve prepared this material to help you provide real estate services while complying with orders from health officials. Take responsible steps to make sure you’re protected.
Although the Courts are closed until at least early May, this doesn’t stop people from making claims against licensees. Although we’re working remotely, we’re still handling new and old claims and responding to your inquiries.
Let us know immediately if you become aware of a claim or potential claim. If you’re not sure, call us anyway. We’re here to help.
Following all the guidelines of the government and health authorities is the first step towards getting back to “normal”. You don’t have to stop providing real estate services – you’ve got the same coverage you always had – but ending open houses and in-person showings means you may need to be creative in how you do business, to protect yourself and those around you.
If you have any questions, call us at 604-669-0019 or email us at email@example.com. We’ll respond!