Plaintiffs often allege “professional negligence” in claims against brokers, insurance agents, financial planners, architects and others.  The question of who can be sued for “professional negligence” is not decided merely by an allegation.  Judd v Madison Advisory Servs., Inc.
2018 NY Slip Op 32298(U)  September 6, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 152895/2017  Judge: Frank P. Nervo explains:

“The third cause of action for professional negligence is dismissed. Plaintiffs completely fail to address this claim. A claim for professional negligence requires the plaintiff to allege that the defendant departed from the accepted standards of practice in the profession, and that departure proximately caused injury to the plaintiff (see D.D. Hamilton Textiles v Estate of Mate; 269 AD2d 214, 215 [ 1st Dept 2000]). Defendants are not professionals as required for a claim for professional malpractice (see Chase Scientific Research v NIA Group, 96 NY2d 20, 28 [2001]; Starr v Fuoco Group LLP, 137 AD3d 634, 634 [1st Dept 2016]; Leather v United States Trust Co. of N. Y, 279 AD2d 311, 312 [ 1st Dept 2001]). According to the Court of Appeals in Chase Scientific Research v NIA Group, a professional is one who has extensive formal training, is licensed and regulated, must follow a code of conduct imposing standards greater than those in the marketplace, and there are disciplinary actions for violations (96 NY2d at 28). “While [insurance] agents and brokers must be licensed, they are not required to engage in extensive specialized education arid training” (id. at 30). Similarly, financial planners are not professionals under the malpractice law (Starr v Fuoco Group LLP, 137 AD3d at 634 [a financial advisor is not a “professional”]; Leather v US: Trust Co. of N. Y., 279 AD2d at 312 [same]). “