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Attorney asks:

Why did the attorney malpractice premium not go down at renewal?  I decided to switch to all criminal work which I know is a lower risk area of practice, but the renewal application only wants to know what was done in the past.  I told carrier that I changed areas of practice anyway.  I want a lower rate this year.


The Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance renewal application is meant to capture on a retrospective basis.  Attorney malpractice insurance is written on a claims made and reporting coverage form.  The renewal claims made malpractice policy not only covers acts that occur in the current year, but covered acts that occurred in the past.  If attorney malpractice insurance were written on an occurrence policy form, then changing the areas of practice in the current year would be more relevant.

Given the retrospective nature of the claims made malpractice coverage, rating the firm for what it has done in the past, not want it plans to do more accurately reflects the exposure.  Obviously it is frustrating to many an attorney that is expecting an immediate change in the premium.

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