Attorneys that are forming new practices, either for the 1st time as a new in practice attorney or coming from a larger firm often confront application questions that do not make sense. Malpractice Insurance Applications are retrospective questionnaires. So, for the attorney that has a new firm with no history, here are a couple things to remember when completing the initial attorney malpractice application:
1. Attorney Malpractice is written for the firm. Even if you are a solo attorney you are a firm of one. As such the application needs to be answered in that context.
2. As a new firm, often is it is difficult to know exactly that you will be doing in that 1st year. For the initial application estimate what you think you will be doing for the year. Even if it is not 100% correct, at next renewal the same questions will be asked again. At renewal the retrospective questions on the application will make sense. And no, you do not have to let us know if during that 1st policy year there are practice areas you end up doing that were not disclosed on the application. Assuming you answered the application based on your initial plan, plans change and that is expected.
3. The application questions that still need to be answered in a retrospective manner are the insurance history and claims history. If you have had continuous claims-made coverage up to this point, even if through a firm, make sure it is answered on the application. This will alert your agent that there may be claims-made coverage issues that need to be discussed. If you were a member/partner of a firm or if you personally have had past claims or disciplinary issues, you need to disclose these items.
As always if in doubt give L Squared a call. We will be happy to help you.
Contact Me Today
Lee Norcross, MBA, CPCU
Managing Director, CEO
(616) 940-1101 Ext. 7080