Larry Harb, of IT Risk Managers, Okemos, Mich., says that while slips and falls of auction attendees are the most common type of auction-related claims he sees, he believes privacy could be the biggest exposure for Auctioneers.
“If you scan drivers’ licenses and take credit cards, you now have personally identifiable information on all these people,” he says. “And if you lose that — maybe lose a laptop — you have to notify all those people, by law.”
“Most states say you have to provide victim’s assistance, which can be $194 a person. And if you do the math, that could easily put 97 percent of Auctioneers out of business.”
The potential losses are covered under privacy and loss of personal and private information insurance, a type of coverage Harb says most Auctioneers don’t think about.
He’s also noticed that insurance providers are growing increasingly concerned about insuring auction professionals who sell firearms.
“It is an extremely hot topic right now,” Harb says, adding that the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., intensified the scrutiny.
“If you are the insurance company, and someone gets hurt with a firearm bought illegally from an Auctioneer you insure, the Auctioneer is going to get nailed with it. And the insurance company becomes the deep pockets.”