Joe Barnard, CPA

Malpractice Insurance Covers More Than You Realize

You may feel like your practice is at low risk of facing a lawsuit, so you don't need malpractice insurance. But a lawyers professional liability policy covers more than the cost of settling a lawsuit or paying a judgment—it provides you with assistance in a variety of difficult situations as well as helping you avoid malpractice claims altogether.

The Basics: Errors & Omissions Insurance Covers Lawsuits

Lawyers professional liability insurance, also known as errors & omissions insurance or “E&O insurance,” provides and pays for skilled defense counsel if you are sued for legal malpractice. This protects you from financial loss due to negligence, errors, or omissions made during the course of your practice. A basic legal liability insurance policy pays on your behalf the cost of defending and settling professional liability claims made against you. Many policies also reimburse you for the time and lost income you incur when you are assisting the insurance company and/or defense counsel in defending against a malpractice claim.

E&O Insurance Covers Other Professional Complaints

In addition to lawsuits, however, lawyers can face other types of legal actions that can be a drain on their time and resources. Filing a complaint with the bar or disciplinary board is a free, easy way for an unhappy client to register his discontent—and can be an expensive, difficult process for an attorney to respond to and defend against.

Did you know that your legal liability insurance policy may cover the cost of responding to disciplinary complaints, including providing skilled defense counsel? Don’t risk your professional license by representing yourself. Tender any complaints you receive to your E&O insurance carrier immediately.

Professional liability insurance policies also can include subpoena response assistance. If you are served with a subpoena, your legal malpractice insurance carrier can help you respond—by moving to quash, attempting to narrow the scope or more specifically define the requests, and compiling responsive documents and data as appropriate. This service alone can save you significant time and resources.

Another feature in many policies is coverage for settling conflict-of-interest claims. In today’s global culture and interconnected legal and business community, conflicts of interests arise constantly. Tendering these claims to your legal liability insurance carrier ensures that they are settled correctly and with finality so they don’t blossom into bigger problems.

Other Benefits Provided by Malpractice Insurers

The most efficient (and effective) way to handle malpractice claims and disciplinary complaints is to prevent them from ever arising!

In addition to insurance policies, a quality legal insurance provider also provides educational resources like sample forms, sample client engagement letters, advisory materials, continuing education (CLE) materials, practice guides, blog posts, and more to get you up-to-speed and keep you current on developing issues of case law, developing trends in lawyers malpractice claims, and practice tips for different practice areas. Many also offer referral services to connect you with experienced attorneys in a wide variety of different practice areas so you can consult with a seasoned practitioner for questions and guidance. All of this is free to policyholders.

Comprehensive legal professional liability insurance protects you across the board, giving you peace of mind and security. ProDefender's Texas-based team has more than 40 years of experience producing and underwriting lawyers professional liability insurance. For information about our comprehensive E&O insurance plans and other attorney services, call us today at (866) 434-8557 or email us at info@prodefender.com.

 

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