Monday, September 03, 2012

Agents need protection from malpractice: SingCapital

With the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) coming down hard on the industry, there is a growing need for real estate agents to protect themselves.


As estate agents look to renew their license this month, many will also be updating their professional indemnity insurance to help safeguard their rights.


“By taking up the right type of Real Estate Professional Indemnity Insurance coverage, it also takes care of the interest of your customers in the event of an act of negligence,” noted Alfred Chia, Chief Executive Officer of SingCapital.


The insurance covers all agents who must have a minimum S$100,000 sum insured, as stipulated under the Estate Agents Act.


“It is an offence to conduct business without valid professional indemnity insurance,” said Chia, adding that SingCapital’s portfolio risk-based programme is open to all licensed salespersons.


“However, additional underwriting will be required if the salesperson had disciplinary sanction by CEA or had previous negligence.”


The insurance scheme has been available since 2004, even before CEA was established. And while professional indemnity insurance was not compulsory at the time, many estate agents took up the scheme for added protection.


The scheme generally covers professional negligence and excludes cases of cheating and fraud.


However, to provide critical protection for salespersons, SingCapital has enhanced its service to include cover for alleged fraud, providing legal representation at CEA or statutory body inquiries into the real estate activities of both Key Executive Officers (KEOs) and salespersons, libel and slander coverage – up to policy limit, and access to dispute resolution plus legal advice.


Additionally, the programme includes worldwide personal liability (for individual policy) with the option for insuring overseas property marketing.


SingCapital offers two services, namely entity cover for the agency as well as individual cover.


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