Attorneys wear many hats. Attorney malpractice insurance provides coverage for most hats but not all. A malpractice insurer’s definition(s) of professional services may cause coverage issues for attorneys that perform certain client services. If the services are provided using a license other than a law license, it is a good bet that it is not covered. When looking for the appropriate insurer, check the professional services definition against the services that your law firm provides.
FLMIC (Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company) defines Professional Services as:
15. "Professional Services" means services performed by an Insured on behalf of the Named Insured: (a) in a lawyerclient relationship; (b) as a notary public; (c) as a personal representative, conservator, receiver, guardian, or trustee; (d) as an arbitrator, mediator, referee, special master, or hearing officer; (e) as a title agent.
“Professional Services" does not mean or include any matters pertaining or related to an Insured lawyer's charges for services or expenses.
3. Any Claim made against any business enterprise not named in the Declarations:
a. Owned in whole or in part by an Insured; or
b. Which is controlled, operated or managed in whole or in part by an Insured, individually, or in a fiduciary capacity; including the ownership, maintenance or use of any property.
4. Any Claim arising out of an Insured's non-professional services, or capacity as:
a. An officer, director, committee member, advisory board member, partner, trustee, or employee on behalf of or in the business of a charitable organization, pension, welfare, profit sharing, mutual or investment fund or trust, or business enterprise of any other description that is not expressly named in the Declarations.
b. A public official or employee of a governmental body, subdivision or agency.
c. A fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and its amendments or any regulation or order issued relating to that Act except if an Insured is deemed to be a fiduciary solely by reason of legal advice given with respect to any employee benefit plan.
5. Any Claim arising out of an act, error or omission by an Insured in rendering investment advice.
9. Any Claim arising out of Professional Services by an Insured pertaining to the collection or enforcement of any debt, obligation or other property owned, in whole or in part, by an Insured.
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This blog is an excerpt from the policy. The complete policy along with applicable endorsements could impact the information provided above.
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Lee Norcross, MBA, CPCU, CPIA
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