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Accountants Errors and Omissions (E&O)

183 tax preparers have been convicted and sentenced to an average of 28 months incarceration for abusive tax preparation in 2014.

Everybody makes mistakes. But sometimes those mistakes can end up being costly. When the loss of a client is brought to court and an auditor is partly at fault, they can be on the hook compensating the damage. Even if the auditor is only found to be 5% at fault, and the second party is found to be 95% but is insolvent, the auditor is responsible for paying back the entire loss.

Burns & Wilcox, a leader in excess and surplus insurance, can connect you with Accountants Error and Omission (E&O) coverage. By partnering with top insurers, Burns & Wilcox can provide access to the most comprehensive and relevant coverage for accountants in the event they make a mistake that leads to financial or reputational loss for their clients.

Coverage Details and Features


  • Various limit options available
  • $10M primary capacity
  • Broad definition of professional services
  • Claims-made coverage
  • Duty to defend policy
  • Worldwide coverage
  • Standard and non-standard capabilities
  • Deductible starting at $1,000
  • Deductible credit for use of mediation or non-binding arbitration
  • Bilateral tail
  • ERP includes options for death, disability, and retirement
  • Risk management tools


  • Admitted & non-admitted capabilities
  • Various limit & deductible options
  • $10M primary capacity & excess capabilities
  • Worldwide coverage available
  • Claims made – Duty to Defend policy
  • First dollar defense available
  • Broad definition of professional services
  • Risk management resources for policy holders
  • Multiple year policy options
  • Deductible credit for use of mediation
  • Extended reporting period options for:
    • Retirement
    • Death
    • Disability

Optional Enhancements

  • Multi-year policy option
  • Excess coverage
  • Aggregate deductible
  • First dollar defense
  • Additional limit for claims expense
  • Employment Practices Liability Defense Coverage
  • Non-profit Directors & Officers Defense Coverage
  • Subpoena Expense Coverage
  • State Licensing Board Proceeding Expense Coverage
  • Loss of Earnings Coverage
  • Real Estate Agent Professional Liability
  • Insurance Agent Professional Liability

Questions to Ask

Have you used the specific Accountants E&O application rather than a Miscellaneous E&O app?
When an industry warrants its own separate errors & omissions (E&O) application, there is usually a good reason for this. For accountants, bypassing the accountant’s liability application could mean less coverage for the activities in which CPAs and fiduciaries engage. Even more important, it costs your clients more. An accounting firm that has important risk management practice in place, such as requiring two signoffs for certain activities or using automatic conflict of interest systems, may be eligible for credits that will bring down the rates they pay. It is worth the extra time to complete an APL provide a good picture of the risk.
Is your business part of a franchise or is your business a member of a professional organization?
Some franchise organizations and some professional organizations provide E&O coverage to their members, and a retail agent can review the policy to make sure it is adequate. There is no reason to be overinsured, but you need to make certain all professional activities are properly covered, so a supplemental policy may be needed.
What is your ownership structure?
Are you an independent company or a subsidiary? Do have any joint ventures with other companies – as is the case with some retailers that offer tax services within their stores? Do your professionals work for the company or are they independent contractors? It is important to make certain every professional in your client’s company is covered, so structure is important.
Does your business provide extra services part of the year?
Many accounting firms provide tax services on behalf of other companies during tax season as an additional stream of revenue. Businesses that choose to expand their tax services need to make sure they have a professional policy that will protect them for all the services they perform throughout the year.
Do any of your people provide services independently – apart from their regular jobs?
Accountants sometimes have their own personal clients, for whom they provide tax or other services, apart from their “day job.” Moonlighting can be a good way to supplement income, but if a problem develops and there’s no coverage, moonlighting could be detrimental to the practitioner’s financial health. Anyone engaged in outside work should be made aware that this work is not included in the business E&O policy and should seek to obtain coverage for their moonlighting activities.

Applications for this product may vary. Please click below to find the office nearest to you for assistance.

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