One of the problems that non-insurance people face is that they can read into a policy coverages that are not there. For the people who top sheet their policy they can often end up with the wrong impression as to the true coverage. It is important not to assume by the title what perils are covered. “Personal Injury” is a good example.
While most attorney malpractice policies cover “Personal Injury”, this is not the same as “Bodily Injury”. “Bodily Injury” is generally excluded. Attorney malpractice policies tightly define what is considered “Personal Injury”. As an example, the currently AXIS policy defines “Personal Injury” as:
“Personal injury means
a. false arrest, humiliation, detention or imprisonment, wrongful entry, eviction or other invasion of private occupancy, abusive litigation (criminal or civil), abuse of process, or malicious prosecution;
b. a publication or utterance of a libel or slander or other defamatory or disparaging material; or
c. a publication or utterance in violation of an individual's right of privacy.”
And the AXIS policy later goes on to exclude and define “Bodily Injury and Property Damage”.
Care needs to be taken not to confuse the general liability coverage perils in a Business Owner Policy as covering similar perils of a Lawyers Professional Liability Coverage. The policy coverages are complementary with little to no duplication. Attorneys need both.
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Lee Norcross, MBA, CPCU
Managing Director, CEO
(616) 940-1101 Ext. 7080