Insurance Agent Negligence: The Duty Agents Owe to Their Customers

Web Admin - Tuesday, March 04, 2014

illinois insurance agent negligence lawyerInsurance agents often act as a person’s main point of contact throughout the process of procuring an insurance policy. This means people are relying on insurance agents to do their job thoroughly, carefully, and professionally. To that end, the law imposes a duty of reasonable care on insurance agents to ensure that they perform their jobs accurately. 

The fact that agents have this duty means that if the agent harms a customer through their negligence, they may be liable to that customer in court for the damage that their insurance negligence caused. Generally speaking, these sorts of claims for negligent errors and omissions come in two forms: improperly filing or filling out insurance paperwork, and failure to properly counsel the client on the type of insurance they need.

Types of Insurance Agent Negligence

Insurance agent negligence often occurs in an agent’s clerical capacity. An agent must exercise reasonable care in the filling out of insurance paperwork to make sure that the insurance company provides coverage and that the policies are properly updated. An example of this sort of negligence in the realm of car insurance would occur if a person wanted to add someone to their insurance policy, and yet after informing the agent, the agent never properly filed the paperwork to add them to the policy. If the new person, who should be covered under the insurance, was in a car accident, the agent would be liable for the person’s lack of coverage.

Insurance agents also have a duty to exercise ordinary care when advising clients about the types of policy they need, along with possible limits and exemptions of the policy. This claim comes up often in the case of policy exclusions, which are special circumstances in the insurance policy for which the company refuses to pay. These exemptions can often be long and complex, which means that the insurance agent may be liable for negligently advising the customer if they do not make the exclusions clear. 

For an example of this, consider a person buying homeowner’s insurance who explicitly wants coverage for every item in their home in the case of a fire. If an agent provides them a policy that excludes jewelry or some other class of property, the insured might have a claim against the agent for negligent errors and omissions.

The Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations are time limits that the law places on people looking to file lawsuits. In the case of insurance agent negligence, Illinois law limits people to two years to file the suit once the person has a cause of action. However, that time limit can be deceptively complicated since it does not say when a person has a cause of action. Generally, courts start the clock running once the insurer first takes a position that runs against the insured’s expectations. That can mean in some cases the insured needs to act quickly, since it is possible that their underlying insurance case will not even be finished before the statute of limitations related to the agent expires.

If you believe you have been the victim of insurance agent negligence, find an Illinois insurance attorney near you. They can help protect your rights in court and ensure that you recover fair compensation for the harm done by negligent insurance agents. Our firm represents people across the northwest suburban area, in towns like Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove and Barrington.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Recent Posts


Barrington employment law firm Affordable Care Act nursing home negligence Illinois workplace lawyer Des Plaines collections attorney Barrington employment law attorney Fair Labor Standards Act Illinois pet lawyer health insurance dispute drug crime Illinois estate planning law firm Exclusions Long Grove estate planning attorney Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Chicago lawyer Illinois employment law attorneys foreclosure low-ball insurance settlement Illinois real estate lawyer Arlington Heights employment attorney Barrington workers compensation attorney Whistleblower Claims ACA personal injury claim Inverness real estate attorney Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers traffic laws head on collisions Buffalo Grove traffic attorney employment law, Illinois employment laws Palatine civil litigation lawyer Rolling Meadows accident lawyer comp time Crystal Lake business law attorneys installment contracts distracted driving accident victims car crashes Detainer Actions products liability traumatic brain injury Palatine insurance lawyer internet Barrington Traffic Lawyer Long Grove real estate lawyer life insurance policy Illinois employment lawyer Illinois employee rights attorney. natural gas Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer workers compensation benefits Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Chicago estate planning Schaumburg traffic lawyer insurance attorney drug crimes BUI hit and run accident Inverness corporate attorney Palatine estate planning lawyer healthcare claims Illinois Probate Act of 1975 golf accidents Transfer on Death Instrument Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer workers comp Barrington employment attorney Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Illinois personal injury lawyers Illinois DUI attorney Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer rent to own real estate contracts FMLA Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer homestead rights Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury attorney mortgage Barrington estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, estate tax Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Barrington criminal defense lawyer Illinois lawyer fiduciary rule Buffalo Grove real estate attorney bicycle accidents Des Plaines personal injury law firm underinsured motorist insurance denials insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Jay Andrew cell phone tower data real estate leasing Des Plaines pet law attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Deer Park accident attorney natural gas explosion expungement Illinois insurance claims lawyers healthcare Illinois bicycle safety institutional trustee Forcible Entry Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm slip and fall accidents job lawyers Illinois insurance attorney Illinois personal injury creditors insurance agent negligence Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Illinois construction accident attorney Illinois employment law attorney consent to a search DUI penalities Self-Directed IRA Accounts living wills Inverness DUI lawyer independent contractor DGAA sexual images Chicago biking tips estate planning attorney Illinois Smoke Detector Act traffic violations Illinois criminal defense attorney Des Plaines DUI attorney denied insurance claims Chicago estate planning lawyer pedestrian accidents Chicago will attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers power of attorney Rolling Meadows business lawyer llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Chicago car accident lawyer Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Home Sale Contingencies Des Plaines personal injury attorney Class A misdemeanor Illinois LLC creation Mt Prospect Attorney privacy boating DUI Riverwoods estate planning lawyer elder abuse employment law Inverness real estate lawyer IRA trust transfer Kenilworth estate planning lawyer loopholes Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Legal Info rest breaks Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers mass shooting real estate closing Illinois Sales Representative Act capital gains tax slip and fall murder Palatine corporate law attorneys employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys driving DNR Deer Park DUI lawyer controlled substance commercial leasing Des Plaines accident attorney insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys appealing an insurance claim wills and trusts Illinois insurance lawyer changes to mortgage law Long Grove real estate attorney South Barrington real estate lawyer Inverness traffic law firm Chicago insurance claim attorneys Barrington criminal lawyer Fourth of July boating under the influence Palatine traffic lawyer license suspension trucking accident lawyers work unions Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Barrington business law firm Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney workplace sexual harassment caregiver Des Plaines insurance attorney product liability employment contract Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyer Palatine business attorney Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney traffic violations defense Schaumburg drug defense lawyer real estate Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act medication errors Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act bicycle dooring accidents Employment Discrimination Law Illinois traffic ticket lawyer business litigation Illinois law Palatine corporate attorney Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Chicago trucking accident attorney privacy laws Illinois real estate School Visitation Rights Act involuntary manslaughter Deer Park medical malpractice attorney car accident dog bites Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Long Grove estate planning attorneys in terrorem provision Arlington Heights lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Barrington estate planning lawyer modern family estate planning accidental death benefits Palatine personal injury lawyer real estate attorneys guardianship attorney digital information CAM preventing accidents POA Des Plaines drug lawyer Palatine law firm forming a corporation in Illinois Rolling Meadows tax attorney Illinois living will crossover accidents Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer civil rights violation pizza emoji vacation home fines vacation home drugs minimum wage problem employees Illinois home inspection life insurance claims medical malpractice tax attorney employment attorney estate planning manufacturing sexual harassment Palatine injury attorney license reinstatement attorney fees Rolling Meadows real estate attorney eluding a police officer condo association criminal law Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Palatine workers compensation lawyer DUI defense Arlington Heights tax lawyer Illinois attorney holiday statistics federal crimes Palatine trusts lawyer trucking accidents Joliet general practice lawyers deed transfer Illinois Human Rights Act denied insurance claim bad faith insurance claims Deer Park traffic accident attorney underfunded trust Schaumburg estate attorney gift taxes insurance denial appeals cell phone accidents pain and suffering Schaumburg criminal attorney landlord personal injury claims fault based insurance overtime pay Crystal Lake car accident attorney murder defense Crystal Lake employment lawyer Palatine Attorney caretaker rights Illinois car accident attorney Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer hiring employees severance agreements digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Illinois trusts attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer cell phone Home Remodeling Repair Act Rolling Meadows insurance attorney medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers fatal car accidents medical malpractice claims Deer Park employment law attorney estate planning trusts Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Schaumburg estate planning attorney FSLA traffic accidents license Crystal Lake insurance lawyer ObamaCare trust payments medical malpractice compensation Retaliatory Discharge Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney insurance negligence Illinois wrongful termination lawyer personal injury Palatine real estate lawyer Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Do Not Resuscitate revenge porn texting while driving insurance dispute Schaumburg construction accident lawyer dealing with problem employees pedestrian-automobile accident Barrington real estate lawyer construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Chicago insurance law firm compensatory time field sobriety test Rolling Meadows traffic attorney personal injury attorney Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Illinois traffic laws Rolling Meadows Attorney Palatine probate lawyer Palatine employment law lawyer IRA benefits Inverness civil lawyer Crystal Lake employment law attorney Illinois civil litigation lawyer Palatine civil attorney BAIID Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Illinois speeding lawyer Des Plaines real estate lawyer trench injuries wrongful death uninsured motorist Barrington personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers overtime violations Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Illinois workers compensation lawyer Chicago employment attorney drunk driving Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake will lawyer condo reckless homicide Schaumburg Illinois corporate lawyer Illinois medical malpractice lawyers insurance disputes Illinois medical malpractice claim corporate law Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers first degree murder traumatic brain injuries Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Super Mario right to work Illinois Inverness probate lawyer Schaumburg injury lawyer civil litigation attorney Arlington Heights car accident lawyer South Barrington real estate attorney senior citizens real estate attorney Inverness estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers rollover car crashes Rolling Meadows employment attorney Illinois trucking safety jet ski Chicago employment lawyer living trust vs will Inverness elder law lawyer Crystal Lake accident attorney Illinois traffic attorneys Palatine elder law attorney gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys LLCs drug possession swimming pools personal injury lawyer traffic offenses BAC Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer auto accidents Arlington Heights injury attorney breach of contract financial advisors Arlington Heights Attorney criminal defense anesthesia errors estate planning lawyer Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Deer Park personal injury lawyer insurance claim dispute attorney liability claims Illinois registered agent IRS Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys taxes income distribution deducation blood alcohol content unfunded trust Barrington civil litigation attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Attorney Ken Apicella Illinois injury lawyer ken apicella car collision probate lawyer Illinois wills and trusts TBI Palatine employment attorney Crystal Lake tax lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyers car crash injuries car crash startup company Schaumburg elder law lawyer Illinois employment attorneys Inverness insurance attorney pregnant women estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, traffic tickets Illinois business law atorneys small business workers compensation Colin Gilbert insurance agents personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys estate attorney Illinois insurance dispute lawyers investment property Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Landlord Tenant Ordinance Illinois collections attorney advance healthcare directive Schaumburg insurance lawyers DUI motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois employment laws special needs trust Inverness injury lawyer motorcycle accident Family Medical Leave Act Crystal Lake traffic attorney child safety Schaumburg corporate attorney wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace unpaid overtime insurance claim delay Illinois boating accident lawyer Des Plaines injury law firm Schaumburg employment law attorneys Illinois small business probate Des Plaines claims law firm Long Grove estate planning wrongful termination living trust Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Palatine punch death Barrington personal injury lawyer Illinois business lawyer icy parking lots fiduciary rule delay Buffalo Grove corporate attorney employees spinal cord injuries Illinois probate lawyer Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer life insurance lawyer digital assets brain injury Illinois estate planning Illinois tax attorney suspended license denial of life insurance irrevocable trust Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer whistleblower protections Inverness personal injury attorney life insurance Barrington drug crime attorney GM ignition switches marijuana crimes attorney Arlington Heights accident attorney Illinois jet ski accident lawyer pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Illinois driving without license Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer car accident lawyers Schaumburg employment attorney disability benefits Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Buffalo Grove law firm drug crimes lawyer federal regulations for LLCs Illinois employment law firm marijuana employee misclassification Schaumburg probate attorney Inverness accident lawyer Palatine drug lawyer Illinois personal injury attorney Illinois insurance disputes commercial real estate premises liability unpaid assessment Palatine employment lawyer Illinois defective products attorney Illinois workplace discrimination attorney breathalyzer test Thanksgiving speeding bike accident automated cars Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Liquor Control Act Colin H. Gilbert Illinois red light cameras boating accidents Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Mount Prospect elder law attorney Policy Cancellation Barrington boating accident attorney Barrington attorney criminal insurance adjusters trauma after an accident Palatine criminal defense lawyer rumble strips Rolling Meadows criminal attorney defective products Illinois elder law attorney power of attorney for healthcare Illinois rollover accident lawyers real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer employment lawyer landlord tenant law insurance claim Schaumburg personal injury lawyer owner responsibility traffic deaths Arlington Heights traffic attorney Crystal Lake car accident lawyer digital evidence medical research civil litigation loss of consortium wage theft Schaumburg personal injury attorney Illinois employment law Illinois pedestrian accident attorney food poisoning Des Plaines civil attorney truck collisions Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer college kids Deer Park criminal attorney Kenilworth estate planning attorney Chicago traffic lawyer clemency Crystal Lake pet attorney estate plan Arlington Heights trucking lawyer filing a medical malpractice claim texting and driving criminal record trusts liability insurance claim denials Rolling Meadows Des Plaines tax law firm Illinois job attorney Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Arlington Heights TBI attorney construction accidents Illinois medical malpractice case Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Barrington litigation attorney Palatine traffic accidents estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers insurance claims Illinois mortgages Chicago attorney hands free device medical marijuana Illinois will lawyer car accident lawyer jet ski accidents preventable medical errors Deer Park real estate law firm probate fees insurance claim dispute trustee Crystal Lake employment attorney pet bites Schaumburg criminal law attorney IRELA Schaumburg car accident attorney murder charges Arlington Heights insurance attorney operating agreements unauthorized overtime Buffalo Grove injury lawyer traffic crimes Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer underage DUI foreclosed rental property new real estate form Barrington injury attorney home inspection lawyer Des Plaines criminal attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney real estate contract personal injury accidents Illinois traffic attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer dynasty trusts Illinois estate planning attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys commercial leases pedestrian accident Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Crystal Lake injury attorney insurance claim denial Chicago corporate attorney DUI attorney estate planning for college students drunk driving statistics paid sick leave Deer Park traffic lawyer surgical mistakes agent car accidents probate process insurance dispute attorney back injuries PTSD pet law defective products lawyer employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Buffalo Grove employment lawyer spinal cord injury Palatine construction attorney deadly crashes Illinois traffic accident lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic law firm dram shop law employee discrimination Schaumburg real estate lawyer social media after death residential real estate real estate zoning Schaumburg Attorney liens Illinois insurance claim attorney elder law wills sole proprietorship rollover accidents probate claims DMV no contest clauses living trust benefits probate claims process Illinois workers compensation attorney employee rights license revocation Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer distracted driving accidents meal breaks Illinois medical malpractice attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer Des Plaines real estate attorney Crystal Lake law firm blended families