Once you have made sure that all of the entities that should be covered are covered, you understanding the insuring agreement, and the policy exclusions, there is one more important step. You now know some of the What or in the case of the policy exclusions, what not; Where; and When; but you still need the Who and the rest of the What. So who in your law firm is covered by the lawyers professional liability insurance and for what acts. It is very important to look that the policy definition section. Key terms for this in the definition section are:
1. What does Insured mean
2. What does Named Insured mean
3. What constituents a Law Firm or Organization
4. What is a Predecessor Firm and what is not
5. What are the legal services covered
6. What is a Claim
7. What are considered Claims Expenses
8. What are considered or not considered Damages
9. What is considered a Disciplinary Issue or what is not
Notice that this blog does not attempt to define these terms for you. Many people have their own meaning for these terms, but if they are defined in the policy, it does not matter what you think you know. What matters is how these terms are defined in this policy. Remember, there is no standard Attorney Malpractice policy. Even though the terms used in one policy might be the same as what is used in another policy, the definitions of what that really means can be very different between policies.
Your agent, might state in good faith that what is covered in one policy is covered in another for a specific item, but only the law firm knows their practice and clients. A harmless term for one law firm may be cause coverage to be excluded for another firm.
The old axioms, “buyers beware” and “the devil is in the details” certainly applies to a professional liability insurance policy.