Lawyer Malpractice Insurance
Malpractice Insurance is also known as E&O Insurance, Errors & Omissions, or even Professional Liability is a special type of liability insurance policy for professional advice or services given to clients. This type of professional liability insurance coverage protects your business from the cost of defending against these types of claims and really is a good buy for any law firm.
This Malpractice Insurance policy should not be confused with a Commercial General Liability policy, which would not insure your law firm for these kinds of insurance claims. You need to make sure you do buy one of each.
Malpractice Insurance can be required by law depending on the state you do business in, or there may be other rules which make you disclose if you do not carry it. Even if you are not required to carry it, you should make sure to purchase it to protect your business from losses.
How does Malpractice Insurance Work?
Malpractice Insurance is written on a “claims made” policy. What is a “claims made” policy? This is a policy that protects you if the claim is made within the policy period up to the retroactive date. The retroactive date is the date you first purchased your Malpractice Insurance policy.
Do make sure, if you switch insurance carriers, you inform the agent of your retroactive date as if you don’t get it there is a big difference in the quote.
In a Malpractice Insurance Policy, the first year you purchase coverage is the best price you will ever get for your firm. You will notice your insurance will steadily increase annually after that as you are covered from that retroactive date. So, twenty years from now your policy at that point would cover from the original date.
Once you decide to retire you can then purchase a tail policy. A tail policy would then cover you from the original retroactive date until the date that you decided to close your business.
A Malpractice Insurance policy is also a warranty policy, where the application you fill out is attached to the policy and any answers that were false can cause coverage issues in the event of a claim.
Other Law Firm Insurance Coverage’s
When it comes to coverage’s a lawyer can purchase, the Malpractice Insurance is the most important part of your insurance needs, but that does not mean there is not additional types of insurance for law firms.
The next most important coverage after Malpractice Insurance is a Business Owners Package, also known as a BOP, which would include both General Liability as well as property coverage. The General Liability policy covers accidents resulting from your premises or operations; the main areas of coverage are…
- Bodily Injury and Property Damage
- Products and Completed Operations
- Personal and Advertising Injury.
Then you would have property coverage within the Business Owners Package for your office and the building if owned. This would cover most risks, including theft, but typically does not include Flood, Earthquake, or Wind & Hail (if you live in an area at risk for Hurricanes).
Typically the Business Owners Package can also include Hired and Non Owned auto coverage, which protects your business if you hire a vehicle to perform a task or you have a staff member use their personal vehicle to do so.
After the Malpractice Insurance and the Business Owners Package you have Workers Compensation. If you have employees you should carry this coverage and, depending on the state in which you reside, you may be required to depending on the number of employees. Being that law offices are typically clerical work, you will find this is a coverage that is well worth the cost.
When it comes to your Law Firm, the insurance coverage’s that are available are well worth the cost. The Malpractice Insurance should be a necessity and you need to make sure not only do you have it, but that you understand the limits and the deductibles.
Contact us for all your law firms insurance needs.