Insurers 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
· Entertainment/Sports especially with money management
· Environmental Law
· Intellectual Property
· International Law
· Class Action/Mass Tort
· Medical Malpractice
· Real Estate
· 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.