Handling Client Expectations to Reduce Professional Liability Risks
A huge part of managing professional liability risks is how you and your clients engage with customers. An individual can sue for any type of negligence, bad business advice, or error that they feel fit, and even if the claim is unfounded, the business facing the lawsuit could face devastating losses. Overall, whether it’s your client or their customer, they have certain expectations. These expectations can only be met if they are reasonable, and claiming you can offer more than what they expect could be a dangerous game.
For example, let’s say an architect is very well known for designing luxurious office buildings. A business owner approaches this architect and asks them to design a similar office building for their company, however they are on a much tighter budget than most of the architect’s clients. Building designers have gotten themselves in hot water before legally by claiming they can do their work within their clients’ budget, only to charge them far outside what they said their budget was. The more ethical thing to do, and what will reduce the Architect’s professional liability risks, is to politely decline the business owner, or discuss the clients’ needs and desires to determine whether they really are the right architect for the job.
The architect scenario above is just one example of how handling client expectations can either reduce or increase professional liability risks. Another profession where raising customer expectations too high are a common problem is in the legal field. It’s important for the lawyers in your clients’ firm to be well trained and know how to offer the best value to their own clients. An individual who hires a lawyer for any reason is likely to already be emotionally charged, so promising them a result or reward that is more than they are likely to receive could be a legally risky choice for lawyers to make.
PLRisk Advisors provides Professional Liability (Errors and Omissions) insurance products for a number of professionals, including architects, attorneys, insurance agents, mortgage bankers, and much more. Please contact us today at 855.403.5982 to learn more about our standard and customized Professional Liability insurance plans.