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Attorney Question:

“Why do you need the declarations page & policy endorsements to provide a malpractice quote?”

Response:

Attorney insurance malpractice is claims made coverage.  There are no standard policies for lawyers professional liability insurance.  Every malpractice carrier has different policies declarations pages and endorsements. 

The malpractice declarations page provides basic information such as effective and expiration dates, limits, deductible(s), possibly retroactive/prior acts dates and a listing of the policy endorsements.  Without this basic information being check by the agent and the underwriter it is possible that an error could occur that might change coverages unexpectedly.

Of equal importance are the policy endorsements.  The attorney malpractice policy is modified by these endorsements and without an understanding of the endorsements, policy coverage gaps can occur.  Malpractice agents and underwriters are particularly interested in the following:

1.       Prior Acts/Retroactive date endorsements for individual attorneys or the firm.

2.       Split retroactive dates for policy limits

3.       Specific entity endorsements that either exclude a specific entity or provide additional limit coverage for that entity

4.       Predecessor firm endorsements

5.       Additional named insured endorsements

6.       Additional insured endorsements

7.       Claims exclusion endorsements

8.       Knowledge date endorsements

9.       1st dollar defense or loss only deductible endorsements

10.   Claims expenses outside the limits endorsements

11.   Aggregate deductible endorsements

12.   Public official endorsements that either include or exclude coverage

13.   Specific areas of practice endorsements that either include or exclude specific areas of practice

14.   Suits for fees exclusions endorsements

15.   Controlling interest endorsements

16.   Title Agency endorsement

17.   Manuscript endorsements

These endorsements types as the above are not an all-inclusive list.  But by not reviewing or providing to the malpractice agent or underwriter the above information can lead to unexpected coverage issues.  Not something a firm wants to find out at claim time.

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