Any attorney worth his or her salt will tell you that in order to adequately protect your career as an attorney you need Professional Liability Lawyers insurance. You’re probably not going to hear about the increasing number of civil lawsuits that attorneys get entangled in because these types of incidents just aren’t newsworthy, but the risk of financial and professional ruin for many is a stark reality. The best protection available is some form of professional liability coverage.
As an attorney, you face the possibility of a malpractice lawsuit arising from any number of issues, including errors and omissions, failure to meet your client expectations, and – this happens more often than you might think – attempts by clients to recoup financial losses.
Even when unfounded, as can often be the case, a defense or settlement of a lawsuit will generally cause a great amount of distraction to you and your firm. This can have a major impact, as it is likely to reduce billable time, expose personal assets to risk, and will often create financial hardship.
Determining exactly how much coverage is needed
Professional liability coverage often comes with two liability limits (split limits). The per-claim limit is the maximum coverage you will have for any single claim in the policy period. The aggregate limit is the maximum coverage you’ll have for all claims covered in the policy period.
Litigation is expensive. Some policies can include a claims expense allowance, which is in addition to the liability limits. “Claims expense” means fees charged by any attorney designated by the malpractice carrier to represent you in a claim and all other fees, costs and expenses resulting from the investigation, adjustment, defense, repair and appeal of a claim, if incurred by the malpractice carrier.
Insurance needs differ for everyone, and this includes attorneys. You’re going to need to consider things like professional liability limits, deductibles, extra claim expenses, privacy breach coverage, prior acts coverage, perhaps even directors and officers coverage, where this may apply.
No one wants to risk their practice and their reputation because of an error or mistake that lands them in the middle of a lawsuit. Professional Liability Lawyers coverage will quite possibly be the best investment your firm will ever make.