It’s great to have professional liability insurance that covers your day-to-day work, and if you’re settled at a firm that provides coverage, you may feel like you’re safe and protected.
Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policies cover professionals, including lawyers, for their losses or liabilities if they make a mistake or commit malpractice. Although it can be uncomfortable to think about needing this kind of protection, E&O insurance is a vital part of your overall professional plan.
Starting your own firm is a big step in your legal career. With all the start-up costs and decisions, there may be an impulse to defer purchases that you consider non-essential. Professional liability insurance shouldn't be one of those.
Lawyers can expect to face at least one professional complaint during their careers. When it happens to you, keep your cool. The fact is that vast majority of professional complaints are dismissed.
In hiring you as their attorney, your clients put a great deal of trust in you. They may trust you to protect their assets, their safety, their civil rights, or their liberty. As a result, you have a great responsibility to each of them.
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.