- What does E&O cover?
- What is a claims-made-and-reported policy?
- What kinds of claims are not covered?
- Who is covered?
- Where does coverage apply?
- Do I have coverage for prior acts?
- Do you offer E&O insurance for appraisers?
- I want to purchase coverage for a state that’s not listed on your website. Why doesn’t RISC offer insurance in all 50 states?
- How do I enroll online?
- Why does the website not recognize my login information?
- How do I enroll by mail?
- Is your website secure?
- Can I purchase coverage with a credit card over the phone?
- What should my effective date be?
- I do not yet have a license number. What do I enter for the license number?
- I received a message that the license number I entered is invalid. What should I do?
- I do not wish to provide my social security number. What should I do?
- I enrolled online for my individual coverage. Is my firm required to have a separate policy?
- Why can’t my firm purchase endorsements?
- Why isn’t my state listed under the conformity endorsement?
- Where can I find evidence of the endorsements I purchased?
- Do I still need to send my enrollment form to RISC if I enroll online?
- Where can I get a receipt of my payment?
- My credit card payment failed. What should I do?
- I am unable to download my certificate of coverage. How can I access it?
- Will you notify my commission that I have enrolled online?
- I made a typographical error on my online enrollment. How can I correct it?
- My information has changed since I purchased coverage. How do I update my information?
- I already enrolled online but would like to add endorsements. Can I purchase endorsements separately?
- Can I receive a cancellation or refund?
- What happens if a claim is not made until after this policy expires?
- How are claims handled?
- What if I currently have notice of a claim or a potential claim?
Generally, real estate E&O insurance applies to claims that are made against you that allege a negligent act, error, or omission in your professional services (for real estate licensees, this would be your services as a real estate licensee, for appraisers in our Colorado appraiser program, this would be your services as a licensed or credentialed appraiser). We suggest you review the policy’s definition of a claim to familiarize yourself with what may be considered a claim under the policy. A written demand for money or services that seeks damages and alleges a negligent act, error, or omission in your professional services may be a claim. A claim may also be service of a lawsuit or notification of alternative dispute proceedings that seeks damages and alleges a negligent act, error, or omission in professional services. Of course, all insurance policies are subject to terms and conditions, so you should review the actual policy to determine the scope of coverage provided.
Claims-made-and-reported policies apply to claims that are made and reported during the individual policy period. Unlike occurrence policies, under claims-made-and-reported policies, the applicable policy is determined by when the claim is first made, not when the subject transaction occurred. To apply for coverage, claims must also be unknown and unforeseen at the inception of your individual policy period. Under claims-made-and-reported policies, it is critical to immediately report any claim or potential claim to your insurance provider. Failure to do so may jeopardize any coverage that may have otherwise been available.
E&O policies do not provide coverage for all types of claims that may be made against real estate licensees. We urge you to review the entire sample policy for your state (available on your state’s webpage), including the Exclusions section. We also suggest you investigate other types of insurance, such as general liability and business owners, with us or your current insurance broker to determine your insurance needs, as they provide coverages not available under E&O insurance. Please note that we do not currently offer products other than real estate E&O insurance.
Review the definition of insured under your state’s sample policy (available on your state’s webpage). In every state, the policy insures (1) the active licensee who paid the applicable premium; (2) the licensee’s heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns in the event of the licensee’s death, incapacity, insolvency, or bankruptcy (to the extent coverage would have been available to the licensee); (3) the licensee’s unlicensed employees, but only while assisting the licensee in the performance of the licensee’s professional services; and (4) any real estate firm for the firm’s vicarious liability for negligent act, errors, or omissions in the licensee’s professional services (to the extent coverage would be available to the licensee).
• Each state’s policy applies to claims arising from professional services in that state. If you are domiciled in the state, that state’s policy will also apply to claims arising from professional services performed anywhere you have an active real estate license, provided you are duly licensed in the jurisdiction where the professional services were performed and the services would require a real estate license if provided in the policy state.
• If you are not domiciled in the policy state, the policy only applies to professional services performed in the policy state. However, you will be treated as domiciled in the policy state if your principal real estate license is affiliated with a real estate office located in the policy state and you reside within 50 miles of the policy state’s line (note, under the North Dakota policy, the mileage limit is 75 miles of the North Dakota state line).
• Domicile – According to Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 485, domicile is “a person’s legal home. That place where a man has his true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment, and to which whenever he is absent he has the intention of returning. [Citation omitted.] Generally, physical presence within a state and the intention to make it one’s home are the requisites of establishing ‘domicile’ therein. The permanent residence of a person or the place to which he intends to return even though he may actually reside elsewhere. A person may have more than one residence but only one domicile. . . .The established, fixed, permanent, or ordinary dwelling place or place of residence of a person, as distinguished from his temporary and transient, though actual, place of residence. It is his legal residence, as distinguished from his temporary place of abode; or his home, as distinguished from a place to which business or pleasure may temporarily call him.”
• If a claim results in or from a lawsuit, the lawsuit must be brought within the United States or its territories or possessions. The Kentucky and North Dakota policies also apply to lawsuits brought in Canada.
The policy applies to acts, errors, and omissions in professional services you provided after your retroactive date. The retroactive date is the date you first obtained, and since which have continuously maintained, real estate E&O insurance, with no gaps (in other words, no break between policy periods). If there is even a one-day gap between the end of one policy and the beginning of the next, you will lose coverage for any professional services provided before and through the last day of the gap, even if you had a policy in place when the subject services were performed and again when the claim arises. Accordingly, it is important to pay your premium timely to prevent a gap in coverage. If you fail to purchase coverage timely, call RISC immediately to see if you qualify to backdate the inception of your coverage to your state’s group policy’s effective date, which may avoid a gap and loss of your retroactive date. Curing a gap in coverage will not remedy noncompliance with mandatory insurance requirements, so you may still be subject to regulatory penalties and fines.
In states other than Colorado, appraisers must also have an active real estate license to purchase insurance under the real estate E&O policy and may purchase add an endorsement for appraisal activity.
Since Colorado requires that appraisers have E&O insurance and has a group program for appraisers, we offer a program to Colorado appraisers, regardless of whether they also have a real estate broker license. In Colorado, if an appraiser also has an active real estate license, the appraiser may review the appraiser group program and the real estate broker group program to determine which program to elect for appraisal coverage.
I want to purchase coverage for a state that’s not listed on your website. Why doesn’t RISC offer insurance in all 50 states?
RISC specializes in providing real estate and appraisal E&O insurance in states that have group policies and require licensees or appraisers to maintain E&O coverage. At this time, RISC only provides E&O insurance for those states.
From the home page, click on “Enroll Now”, or select your state then click on Enroll or Renew. Note that licensees in Kentucky, and Louisiana may enroll in our program through their respective state real estate commissions when applying for or renewing their license.
Please Note that we now have a new online enrollment system. Unless you have made a purchase online since this site went live on October 3, 2016 you DO NOT have a login. If you have enrolled on our website since October 3, 2016, please contact our office to see if you created an account.
From the home page, select your state, and “Enroll or Renew” to download the applicable enrollment form. There are separate individual and firm enrollment forms for states that require individuals and firms to carry E&O insurance and for states where firm coverage is optional. Note that licensees in Kentucky, and Louisiana, and South Dakota may enroll in our program through their respective state real estate commissions when applying for or renewing their license.
Check the website address. Normally, website addresses begin with http. Secure websites begin with https. Some browsers also display a lock icon, usually in the lower-right portion of the window, to indicate the site is secure.
No, the credit card payment option is only available on our secure website. We do not accept any other electronic payment types. If you do not wish to enroll online, you may submit your enrollment by mail with a check or money order.
New Licensees: Many states require license applicants to show proof of coverage before a license is issued. If you are in one of those states, you may request your effective date to be the date you enroll in our program. However, the policy will not provide any coverage for conduct performed without an active real estate license.
Switching to Our Program from Another Provider: It’s very important that there be no gap between the date your insurance through another provider ends and your insurance through RISC begins. If you have been insured with another company and move to our program, you will want to request an effective date for our policy that is on or before the expiration of your other policy.
Our policies do not apply to claims concerning professional services performed before your retroactive date (the date from which you have maintained continuous real estate E&O insurance). If there is even a one-day gap between when one policy begins and the other ends, the new policy will not apply to claims involving professional services performed prior to the new policy period, even if coverage was in place at the time of the professional services and again when the claim is made. A break in coverage while you have an active license also violates state law and may result in regulatory penalties and fines. To request to backdate coverage up to 90 days, use the Backdate Request Form for your state. Even if your coverage is backdated, this procedure does not cure failure to comply with state law, so you may still be subject to state regulatory penalties and fines.
Once You Are Insured Through RISC: Maintaining continuous coverage is very important, so always remember to renew your coverage timely. If you renew your coverage with us before your current policy expires, then your new effective date will automatically coincide with the expiration of your current policy.
If you do not renew coverage before your current policy expires, then you may want to consider requesting to backdate the inception of your new coverage. You may request to backdate up to 30 days when enrolling online or by mail. You may also request to backdate up to 90 days using a Backdate Request Form. Backdate Requests Forms are available on the webpage for each state. The carrier reserves the right to deny requests to backdate.
If you have a break between the end of one policy period and the beginning of the next, you will lose prior acts coverage. The group policy does not apply to claims concerning professional services performed before your retroactive date (the date from which you have maintained continuous real estate E&O insurance). Therefore, if you have a gap in coverage, you will lose any previously-established retroactive date and your new retroactive date will be the effective date of the new policy. The new policy will not apply to claims involving professional services performed prior to the new policy period, even if coverage was in place at the time of the professional services and again when the claim is made. A break in coverage while you have an active license also violates state law and may result in regulatory penalties and fines.
The inception date of each state’s group policy is listed below. Your individual inception date must be on or after the group policy’s inception date. PLEASE NOTE: Your state may have requirements that your E&O coverage must be in place prior to the effective date – please check with your commission to be sure you are compliant. Some states have strict penalties!!!!
Colorado: January 1
Iowa: January 1
Idaho: October 1
Kentucky: April 1
Louisiana: January 1
Mississippi: July 1
Nebraska: January 1
New Mexico: January 1
North Dakota: January 1
Rhode Island: April 30
South Dakota: January 1
Tennessee: January 1
If you do not yet have a license number, check the pending box next to the license number field. Please provide your license number to RISC once it is issued so that we can update our records. Nebraska licensees must provide a license number at the time of enrollment.
Please refer to the instructions beneath the license number field in order to correctly format your license number. License numbers must be a submitted in a certain format and contain a certain number of digits in order for us to verify your insurance with your state real estate commission. If you need assistance, please contact us.
RISC only requires the last 4 digits of your social security number. This is often used to help identify you when providing your purchase information to the Real Estate Commission. If you are still uncomfortable providing this information, you may enter “0000.”
Firm license coverage is required for licensed firms in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, and Louisiana. Firm license coverage is optional in Mississippi, Nebraska and Tennessee. There may be some exceptions to the requirement in your state (i.e. Branch Offices.) Please contact your real estate commission to determine your state’s firm license coverage requirements.
ATTENTION COLORADO LICENSEES: Active licensed real estate companies that (1) employ licensees in addition to the responsible broker and (2) are organized as corporations, limited liability companies, or partnerships are also required to carry E&O insurance. Real estate firms that are sole proprietorships or that do not employ licensees other than the responsible broker are not required to carry E&O insurance but may choose to do so (the responsible broker is required to maintain individual E&O coverage).
Firm licensees are not eligible to purchase endorsements other than the conformity endorsement for other states where your firm has an active firm real estate license where firm license coverage is required. Firm license coverage is required in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, and Louisiana. When individuals purchase insurance through our programs, a real estate firm the individual represents is insured under the individual’s policy for the firm’s vicarious liability for negligent acts, errors, and omissions in the individual’s professional services. Optional endorsements purchased by the individual licensee will also apply to the firm when the licensee’s insurance applies to a claim against the firm. Contact our Claims Department for more information.
A conformity endorsement is only needed when a licensee has an active real estate license in more than one state that has a group real estate E&O policy and requires E&O coverage. In that situation, the licensee may purchase a conformity endorsement to conform insurance under one state’s policy to meet the other state’s minimum coverage requirements. The states listed are the only other states that have group policies and require real estate E&O coverage. To be eligible for a conformity endorsement, you must (1) purchase insurance through our program for the state you are domiciled in (either actually domiciled or considered domiciled under the policy terms), (2) have an active license in your state of domicile, and (3) have an active license in the conformity state. Please refer to your policy to determine if professional services in any other states are covered.
Domicile – According to Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 485, domicile is “a person’s legal home. That place where a man has his true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment, and to which whenever he is absent he has the intention of returning. [Citation omitted.] Generally, physical presence within a state and the intention to make it one’s home are the requisites of establishing ‘domicile’ therein. The permanent residence of a person or the place to which he intends to return even though he may actually reside elsewhere. A person may have more than one residence but only one domicile. . . .The established, fixed, permanent, or ordinary dwelling place or place of residence of a person, as distinguished from his temporary and transient, though actual, place of residence. It is his legal residence, as distinguished from his temporary place of abode; or his home, as distinguished from a place to which business or pleasure may temporarily call him.”
If you enrolled online, any endorsements purchased were downloaded with your certificate of coverage. If you enroll by mail, any endorsements purchased would have been mailed to you along with your certificate of coverage. You may also contact our offices and request copies of endorsements by mail, fax or email.
No, there is no reason to send a hard copy of your enrollment form if you enroll online.
If you enroll online, an email receipt will be automatically sent once your payment is processed. If you enrolled online and did not receive an emailed receipt, your email address may have been incorrectly entered or your Spam protection service may have filtered the email. We suggest you check your email’s junk folder. Please contact us if you would like a copy of your receipt.
If you believe you may have incorrectly entered the credit card information, repeat the online enrollment process. When you reach the payment screen, please confirm the information entered in the Billing Information is exactly as it appears on your credit card statement. Please note the payment amount may be deducted from your available balance each time you submit your information, although the funds may not ultimately be deducted from your account if the transaction fails. Accordingly, if you are not sure about the information being submitted, you may not want to resubmit your transaction until you have verified your billing information with your credit card issuer. If you need detailed information about the reason your payment failed, please contact us.
A link to your certificate of coverage is provided upon the completion of online enrollment. Your certificate will download in .PDF format. If you have difficulty downloading your certificate, you may need to update your version of Adobe® Acrobat Reader® or other PDF reader. For assistance, please contact our help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reference your name and Customer ID number in your email.
We will verify coverage electronically with the real estate commission in the state of the group policy you purchase. North Dakota licensees, please note the North Dakota Real Estate Commission requires you to provide your certificate of coverage to them, regardless of whether we also provide proof of coverage. For licensees who purchase conformity endorsements to comply with other states’ licensing laws, it is the licensee’s responsibility to provide proof of insurance to the other states’ commissions. All licensees are responsible for providing proof of coverage to other entities that may require it. New licensees should review their state’s licensing requirements to verify the preferred means of insurance notification. Please note that we cannot accurately verify your information with your state’s commission if you do not provide your name or license number exactly as it appears on your license.
Any changes to your online enrollment must be submitted in writing by email at email@example.com or fax at (502) 897-7174. Please indicate in detail the changes that need to be made and include your name, license number, the Customer ID Number (from your email receipt), and the name on the credit card used for payment. Do not include your credit card number.
Any changes to your information may be submitted in writing by sending an Information Update Form to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax at (502) 897-7174, or mail at P.O. Box 6709, Louisville, KY 40206-0709.
I already enrolled online but would like to add endorsements. Can I purchase endorsements separately?
Endorsements can only be purchased online while you are enrolling in the basic policy. If you have already purchased the basic policy, you must mail a completed Endorsement Enrollment Request Form, available on each state’s webpage, along with the appropriate payment by check or money order directly to RISC. Please note that most endorsement premiums cannot be prorated (if proration applies, it will be indicated on the Endorsement Enrollment Form) and the insurance carrier reserves the right to refuse to sell endorsements after the group policy’s inception.
You may request a refund in writing prior to the inception date of your individual policy period. If you enrolled online, please include your Customer ID Number (from your email receipt) and the exact name on the credit card used for payment. Cancellations or refunds are not permitted after the inception of your individual policy period. If you purchased coverage for the purpose of obtaining a real estate license but did not actually receive an active license, cancellation may be permitted after verification with your state’s commission.
• These are claims-made-and-reported policies, which mean they only apply to claims that are first made and reported to the carrier during the individual policy period or any applicable extended reporting period (ERP). ERPs are important, because claims often arise years after the underlying transaction occurred.
• In all states, an automatic ERP applies if the insured licensee’s license is retired, inactivated, or allowed to expire. The automatic ERP allows the policy to apply to claims first made and reported up to 90 days after the policy’s expiration date, provided the act, error, or omission occurred after the retroactive date and prior to the effective date of cancellation or nonrenewal.
• An Optional ERP Endorsement, commonly known as “tail coverage,” may be purchased within 90 days after your policy’s end date. ERP Endorsements cause the policy to apply to claims first made and reported up to a specified number of years after the policy’s end date, provided the act, error, or omission occurred after the retroactive date and prior to the effective date of cancellation or nonrenewal. More information about ERP Endorsements is available on the tail coverage page.
• Claims must be reported in writing to the carrier as soon as possible after the claim is first made but in no event more than 90 days after the insured becomes aware of the claim. To protect the insured’s interests and assure coverage conditions are not violated, it is essential to properly report claims. Immediate action is required by the real estate licensee and/or licensee’s broker.
• To report a claim, send RISC the following: A completed Notice of Claim Form, a copy of the claim, and copies of any other pertinent documents. Cooperate fully with any appointed defense attorney and your own company’s management. RISC will be happy to answer questions regarding coverage for any claim that has been submitted in writing.
Immediately report the claim or potential claim to your current carrier or risk jeopardizing any potential coverage for the claim.