Standard of care

The expected level of professionalism and service in a specific field or industry.


What is the standard of care?

Standard of care refers to a professional’s duty to act competently and provide quality services. If you fall short of the standard of care, a client usually has the right to sue.

The general principle is based on a “reasonable person” benchmark — how an average person would act in certain situations. However, professionals are often held to a higher standard. For instance, medical and legal professionals are held to the standards of their respective fields, not just the average person.

Example of standard of care

Consider a construction company that’s been contracted to build a residential home. The standard of care requires the company to use the proper materials, adhere to architectural plans, follow safety protocols, and complete the project within the agreed timeline. If the company deviates from these standards, it could be considered a breach of their standard of care.

Liabilities connected with standard of care

If a business breaches its standard of care, it opens itself to significant legal liabilities. Clients can file lawsuits claiming damages due to the business’s negligence.

For example, if a court finds the construction company mentioned above liable, it can be held responsible for compensating the affected party for repairs or even a complete rebuild. A client could also hold it accountable for any injuries or accidents resulting from negligence.

Factors to consider when determining the standard of care for your business

To maintain a successful business, it’s essential to meet or exceed your industry’s standards and ensure customer satisfaction. Ask yourself:

  • Do you deliver services as promised?
  • Do you complete tasks on time?
  • Is your work accurate and reliable?
  • Are customers and vendors treated with respect?
  • Do industry peers respect you?

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Business insurance is divided into different policies. We offer seven types so it's easy to design the coverage that fits your business.
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