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Risky BusinessInsurers look at 2 things when setting rates; frequency & severity of claims. 

There is some caution with producing a list as different time periods and different jurisdictions can change these practice areas.  For example, up until 2009, residential real estate and title agency coverage was considered a preferred area of practice.   Even though the losses from the financial meltdown have passed; real estate is still considered a much riskier area of practice.  Estate and trust work is another example an area of practice that was a preferred risk that is now considered much riskier.

Given these caveats here are my risky business practice areas:

·         Anti-Trust/trade Regulation

·         Banking/financial Institutions

·         Mergers & Acquisitions

·         Collections

·         Entertainment/Sports especially with money management

·         Environmental Law

·         Intellectual Property

·         International Law

·         Class Action/Mass Tort

·         Medical Malpractice

·         Real Estate

·         Securities

·         Tax Opinions

·         Estate & Trust work

Some of the above areas are only written by a few insurers.  Many are only written by surplus lines insurers.  Having a concentration of any of the above practice areas will likely be a referral to the home office for pricing and law firms that do the above types of work will likely be paying more than your average firm.

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