Attorney Malpractice Insurance is not like homeowners, auto, or business insurance. You need a seasoned agent that is trained and experienced in legal malpractice insurance and “claims-made” insurance. Here are a few of the reasons:
1. Most of the Malpractice insurers are not companies that people know. Few advertise. Even if they are household names, it is likely that it is a subsidiary that is selling the insurance. An experienced Malpractice Agent will know who the insurers are and which insurers are appropriate for your specific law practice.
2. Legal Malpractice is sold on a “claims-made” policy form. Many agents are not familiar with the ins and outs of a “claims-made” policy form. Mistakes made with “claims-made” coverage are common with agents that do not understand the importance of continuous “claims-made” coverage. This may sound simple, but when attorneys join law firms, leave law firms or form law firms, all of these present different issues with properly maintaining “claims-made” insurance coverage. You do not want to be working with an agent that is addressing these issues for the first and only time.
3. None of the Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance Policy forms are standard. Even though the intent of all legal malpractice insurers is to provide coverage for an attorney’s law practice, not every policy is suited for every law firm. Policy definitions and exclusions differ from one insurer to another. What might be covered by one attorney malpractice policy may be excluded in another. An experience agent that deals with these policies daily should be aware of the differences.
4. Attorney Malpractice premiums can differ by 2 or 3 times depending on the insurer and the appetite that the insurer has for different types of law firms. An experience agent should know which carriers are most competitive for your law firm.
5. In addition to the admitted insurers that sell attorney malpractice. Legal malpractice insurance is also sold by Risk Retention Groups (RRG), Risk Purchasing Groups (RPG) and Surplus Lines (non-Admitted) Insurers. It is important that your insurance agent understands the differences between these entities and provides the proper guidance as to any additional exposure that some entities may have by their very nature.
6. Insurers generally try to do the right thing for their insureds. But this is not always the case. An experience agent can sometimes intercede with the insurer’s underwriting and claims departments when the insurer is not doing the right thing for an insured. Had an occasion just recently, where a malpractice insurer without proper notice to the insured reduced coverages on one of their insureds. Even though the insured was a lawyer, the attorney did not realize that they were entitled to proper notice. With a coverage extension (serving as proper notice) the insured was able to secure adequate limits, maintaining their continuous “claims-made” coverage.
7. If trouble strikes and the preferred malpractice insurer will no longer offer coverage, an experience malpractice insurance agent, will have access to non-standard malpractice insurers that specialize in distressed firms. It is very important that the agent guide the insured to provide the most appropriate nonstandard coverage, explaining the differences between what the insured has and what they will not have in the future.
As a nationwide insurance agency, since 2002, L Squared Insurance Agency has provided attorney malpractice insurance to thousands of law firms. Because L Squared specializes in attorney malpractice insurance its agents continue their training in legal malpractice insurance beyond what is required for an insurance license. With access to leading legal malpractice insurers on an exclusive and non-exclusive basis, L Squared can provide proper insurance solutions for your law firm.