In the Paige Report, insurance agency expert witness David H. Paige writes on whether an insurance broker have a duty to give advice.
California court finds that insurance broker ordinarily has no duty to suggest that insured purchase additional insurance coverage.
A continuing issue that has reappeared for years is the question of whether an insurance broker has an obligation to speak out and suggest to an insured that he should be purchasing more or different insurance. The courts have split on this question in different jurisdictions. As a latest example, a California court found that the defendant insurance agent did not have a duty to volunteer that an insured should procure different or additional coverage. Instead, as is the trend in many jurisdictions, the court stated that a duty to advise on additional insurance only arises under very specific circumstances. In California, the court found an expanded duty to advise arises when only one of three conditions is first met: (1) when the agent misrepresents the nature, extent or scope of the coverage being offered or provided, (2) when there is a request or inquiry by the insured for a particular type or extent of coverage, or (3) when the agent assumes an additional duty by either express agreement or by holding himself out as having expertise in a given field of insurance being sought by the insured.