More than a few attorneys forget to take advantage of Disciplinary Coverage until it is too late. Attorney Malpractice Insurance policies that offer this coverage can be ‘Duty to Defend’ or ‘Reimbursement’. The QBE disciplinary coverage is ‘Duty to Defend’. Policy wording for disciplinary coverage and reporting differs by carrier. The disciplinary coverage is not subject to the policy deductible.
II. EXTENSIONS OF COVERAGE
A. At the request of an Insured, the Insurer shall defend a proceeding first brought during the Policy Period against such Insured by a bar association, licensing board, disciplinary board, peer review committee, or similar entity alleging professional misconduct or violation of the rules of professional conduct and reported to the Insurer pursuant to Section VII herein; provided that such proceeding arises from a Wrongful Act described in Subsections I.A and I.B herein. The Insurer’s obligation under this provision is subject to a limit of $30,000 for each proceeding and $100,000 in the aggregate per Policy Period for all Insureds for all Claim Expenses incurred by counsel selected by the Insurer, regardless of the number of such proceedings. In no event shall the Insurer be obligated under this provision to pay any amount other than Claim Expenses.
Not taking advantage of this policy coverage does not make sense. Firms have a fear that reporting disciplinary complaints can impact their attorney malpractice insurance premiums. While too many disciplinary reported complaints that do not result in an issue can cause problems. Not reporting issues that may lead to a proceeding may impact your malpractice insurance should the same issue turn into a malpractice claim at a later date. The other issue is that once a year you may need to attest on the renewal application about disciplinary issues.
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Lee Norcross, MBA, CPCU
California License # 0D87292
L Squared Insurance Agency, LLC ® DBA in California as
L2 L Squared Insurance Agency, License # 0L93416
Managing Director, CEO
(616) 940-1101 Ext. 7080