If you’re already covered by legal malpractice insurance, you’re on the right track. Having professional liability insurance in place from the very beginning of your legal practice provides valuable protection for your reputation, your livelihood, and your assets.
There are two ways to get coverage for claims that arise outside your policy period: tail coverage and retroactive (or prior acts) coverage.
Legal malpractice insurers calculate your premiums based on several factors, including the length of time you’ve been in practice, the area(s) of law you practice, your risk management practices, and your history of claims.
Let’s face it: no one enjoys reading insurance policies. The fact is, however, that skipping this important step in protecting your legal practice and personal assets can have disastrous consequences. Be sure you understand the terms of any professional liability policy before you purchase it. If you’ve already purchased errors and omissions insurance and aren’t completely clear on its terms, take the time now to look over your policy, and consider whether it’s really giving you the protection you need.
As an attorney, you should always be alert to the possibility of being sued—even when you haven’t made a mistake. Each year, a substantial proportion of attorneys face malpractice claims, and the average lawyer faces three such claims throughout a legal career.
Legal professional liability insurance rates can be baffling to many attorneys. However, there are a few key variables that influence what kind of rate you can get for any given policy.
As a practicing attorney, you understand the importance of ensuring that you’re serving your clients as effectively as possible. Despite your best efforts, the odds are you’ll face a malpractice claim at some point. A substantial percentage of attorneys are the subject to professional liability claims each year, and the average attorney faces three such claims throughout a legal career.
When you file a claim with your malpractice insurance company, it is standard practice for your insurer to send a “reservation of rights” letter to protect its right to deny coverage if your claim isn’t covered by your policy. It’s understandable that this can sometimes cause a bit of panic. It’s important to understand, however, that receiving this letter does not mean that your insurer is denying coverage.
When is the last time you read through your professional liability insurance policy? Do you really understand what’s covered and what isn’t? As is often said, the worst time to read your policy is when you have a claim.
If you have professional liability insurance for your legal practice, you’re off to a great start. But once it’s in place, should you “set it and forget it?” Or do you need to shop the coverage on every renewal?