When essential information is not provided, the quoting agent assumes. Remember it is not just the quoted premium. Coverages do matter. No one wants a quote with the wrong insurance coverages. The attorney malpractice application is essential for underwriting and quoting a law firm but the declarations page with the policy endorsements provides the rest of the story.
When you switch claims-made policies it not only changes your coverage for new acts, but also past acts. With claims-made insurance the policy that is inforce at the time a claim is made is the policy that you will settle with. Attorney insurance malpractice is claims-made coverage. There are no standard policies for attorney malpractice insurance. Every malpractice insurer has different policy 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 the agent and/or the underwriter makes assumptions that impact coverage quoted.
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 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 coverage for that entity
4. Predecessor firm endorsements
5. Additional named insured and insured endorsements
6. Claims exclusion endorsements
7. Knowledge date endorsements
8. 1st dollar defense or loss only deductible endorsements
9. Claims expenses outside the limits endorsements
10. Aggregate deductible endorsements
11. Public official endorsements that either include or exclude coverage
12. Specific areas of practice endorsements that either include or exclude specific areas of practice
13. Suits for fees exclusions endorsements
14. Controlling interest endorsements
15. Title Agency endorsement
16. Manuscript endorsements
When a claim is made is the wrong time to find out about a missing coverage or a policy exclusion. No one wants a coverage gap.
Contact Me Today
Lee Norcross, MBA, CPCU
Managing Director, CEO
(616) 940-1101 Ext. 7080