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“Overall, many of the more common issues were explored in previous articles. That is not to say, however, that these are complete solutions. I have long been of the belief that extended reporting provisions, when invoked, are an incomplete solution for long-term protection. That is because one is taking a limit of liability and stretching it across at least one year and sometimes six years or more. The limits, thus, are never refreshed. So, if there are any claims during the extended reporting term, policy limits are being eroded. This could mean that policy limits could be extinguished by claim frequency, and the benefit of runoff would be lost when that happens before the term had even run out.”
“There are inherent dangers when a company is acquired, not only for the selling company, but for the acquiring company. It is not uncommon for the buyer to require the seller purchase several years of extended reporting coverage. This is because the buyer, when either acquiring the assets or the stock transaction, wants no exposure to any known or unknow liabilities created by activities before the acquisition. We’ve all seen companies get acquired, with the seller invoking whatever extended reporting coverage they can acquire, sometimes at a significant price. But that is not the only problem, and this is where the approach and analysis become important. Asking the right questions is thus necessary to provide the appropriate financial protection to those involved, with the avoidance of any error and omission claim that might be made against the broker, despite whether they are simply following an “order take” standard or not.”
Many agents would love to acquire an agency’s book of business and get hundreds or thousands of clients at once with support staff to take care of those clients. But when someone comes to us with an offer to sell there’s usually something that we don’t know about the agency and the transaction. This article will make you aware of why agents sell their businesses so you can analyze your potential and risks.