Although a handful of states have requirements in place, surprisingly few Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) across the country carry liability insurance to protect clients from their own wrongdoing leaving investors as the only party left to bear the brunt of losses when things go sideways.
The professional liability insurance industry for Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) has been described by one in the industry as, “the Wild West.” There is immense uncertainty as to the number of independent RIAs who carry professional liability insurance as well as extreme variability within the specifics of the policies offered to RIAs. While there are some states that require RIAs to carry insurance, most states do not have mandates in place, and the federal government has yet to draft any laws on the matter.
At the forefront of requiring RIAs to maintain insurance coverage are Oregon and Oklahoma. In 2018, Oregon became the first state to pass legislation requiring RIAs registered with the state to carry professional liability insurance. The Oregon law requires RIAs to carry at least $1 million in coverage and to show proof of such coverage during the state’s licensing process. Similarly, in 2020, Oklahoma passed legislation requiring RIAs registered with the state to carry professional liability and cybersecurity insurance. Curiously, the Oklahoma law fails to indicate how much insurance coverage is required for RIAs. If you are an investor in Oregon, Oklahoma, or any other state, who believes you have lost money due to your RIA’s wrongdoing, you should consult with a Securities Law Firm like Malecki Law.