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 Westfield policy’s disciplinary coverage is ‘Duty to Defend’. Insurer’s wording for disciplinary coverage and reporting differs by carrier. The disciplinary reimbursement is not subject to the policy deductible.
I. INSURING AGREEMENTS
B. Disciplinary Proceeding Coverage
The Insurer shall pay, on behalf of the Insured, Defense Costs incurred in the investigation and defense of a Disciplinary Proceeding first made against an Insured and reported to the Insurer during the Policy Period or any applicable Extended Reporting Period.
F. Disciplinary Proceeding means an administrative or regulatory investigation or proceeding commenced by service of a grievance, demand letter, notice of charges, civil complaint, or similar document, regarding the Insured’s adherence to professional standards of conduct in the performance of Professional Services brought before a court, state licensing board, peer review committee, bar association, or other similar regulatory body.
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 that there are no 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