Nobody in a client service profession–or for that matter, any profession–likes turning away new or existing sources of business. Businesses have to be profitable to survive, and reducing costs can only increase profits to a certain extent. The prospect of additional revenue coming through the door is very compelling, particularly during trying economic times. But when it comes to avoiding E&O claims, perhaps the most effective strategy is to avoid certain clients–the “problem clients”–altogether.

The problem client can take many forms and likes to invade all professional services industries. It doesn’t matter to him if you are an insurance broker, lawyer, property manager or hair stylist. If allowed, he will find a way to dominate your time, give you countless headaches and provide relatively little income when compared with the hassle of dealing with her. He also will be the first one to sue you when–not if–something goes wrong or is not to his satisfaction. As an insurance agent, there are certain ways you can spot the problem client.

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