Posted on: July 19, 2018 by Huntersure LLC.
When an attorney starts out with a solo practice there’s plenty to consider such as area of practice and what kind of cases they’ll take on. The most important consideration should be proper coverage to protect against malpractice lawsuits. However, attorney professional liability insurance, while an important component of any new or solo legal professional, often gets put on the backburner for a solo practitioner, often as a result of financial concerns. Obtaining insurance coverage helps lawyers rest easier when a missed deadline happens or omission takes place, as these things can happen.
New lawyers will quickly understand the possibility of having a malpractice claim laid against them and the fallout that could come from that. There’s typically a lack of understanding by legal professionals of how liability insurance can protect them, not knowing what should be protected and what should be considered when crafting a coverage plan. Let’s see what a new lawyer should be looking at when it comes to this kind of insurance, and what you should be advising your clients on.
There are in fact some areas of practice that pose higher risk than others. These can include transactions involving securities, intellectual property, trusts and estates, plaintiff’s personal injury cases, and more. When it comes to intellectual property, for instance, most insurance carriers take into account the percentage of time devoted to the patent work as well as level of experience and risk management procedures in place.
Insurance agents should get to know their clients on a more personal scale, knowing exactly what they’re looking to practice. This can help agents craft the best policy from the start. Every lawyer will have specific needs when it comes to their coverage as it is dependent upon a number of cases and types of cases they’ll handle. Everything from damages to defense costs could shift the liability policy needed by a solo lawyer.
Another consideration to keep in mind is determining the limit in terms of wanting to cover per claim limits for a given policy period for multiple claims. There may be a $1 million/$1 million limit for one attorney, while another has $1 million/$3 million. What this means is there’s protection for $1 million and another $1 million is in the aggregate, respectively.
Attorneys should also know that almost all malpractice policies deplete, meaning fees and costs for defense are paid from the limit available for the claim. Low limits may not even cover what’s needed in some cases, say a $100,000 policy.
Agents should make sure to stress the importance of proper coverage limits to protect against heftier malpractice claims. This will give peace of mind to lawyers looking to establish themselves as solo attorneys.
Huntersure LLC is a full-service Managing General Agency that has provided insurance program administration for professional liability products to our partners across the United States since 2007. We aim to provide exceptional, creative, and personalized insurance solutions to all members of the business world. Whether you need Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance or any other professional coverage, give us a call at 646-751-3030 to learn more about the professional liability products and protection we offer.