Purchasing Legal Malpractice Insurance is a wise business decision.
Professional Liability Insurance for Lawyers is often the backbone to protecting your law practice from unwanted claims, bar grievances and other disciplinary actions. It provides protection for defense costs and settlement payments arising from negligence, errors and omissions in the performance of professional legal services.
The legal malpractice policies available in today’s commercial market vary greatly and insurance companies are willing to negotiate specific terms and conditions that can address the unique risks faced by the law firm. Hirsch Insurance Brokerage has the necessary experience to help advocate for your law firm so you are receiving the very best coverage possible.
Hirsch will review and analyze your current lawyers’ professional liability policy. You should pay special attention to the following policy provisions in a Legal Malpractice insurance policy:
PUNITIVE AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES COVERAGE
Most lawyers’ professional liability policies exclude coverage for punitive and exemplary damages, however some policies do not have a regular policy exclusion for punitive or exemplary damages where insurable by law.
INNOCENT PARTNER PROTECTION
Criminal, dishonest, fraudulent and malicious acts by a lawyer are excluded from coverage by all policies. But some policies preserve coverage for any innocent lawyers under the policy who neither participated or acquiesced in such acts, nor remained passive after having learned of such acts. The innocent partner clause, which makes clear that the conduct or knowledge of any one partner will not impair or impact the coverage of any other partner.
DEDUCTIBLES – PER CLAIM V. AGGREGATE
With a “per claim” deductible, the insured is charged a new deductible for each and every claim during a policy year. Unless otherwise endorsed, often we can secure policies have an “aggregate” deductible whereby the insured never pays more than one deductible per policy year regardless of the number of claims.
A “hammer clause” may limit the insured’s coverage if the insurance company wants to settle and the insured does not. If an insured refuses to consent to settle, a “hammer clause” allows the insurance company to limit the coverage to only the amount for which the claim could have been settled. In effect, the coverage for the claim is reduced to the settlement demand. Some policies provide for a peer review process to assess whether settlement is appropriate in the event of a disagreement between the parties.
DISCIPLINARY (GRIEVANCE) DEFENSE COVERAGE
Disciplinary coverage is an additional coverage found on most admitted and some non-admitted Lawyers’ Professional Liability Insurance policies. Disciplinary coverage is a defense only coverage; it will not provide coverage for any fines or sanctions that are levied against the attorney or firm. Disciplinary coverage normally is not considered damages which means it will not reduce your liability limits on your Lawyers Professional Liability Policy. It is also generally not subject to the policy deductible.
DEFENSE OF CLAIMS
You want to know how your insurance company will treat you if you have a claim. Some insurance companies choose defense counsel without any input from the insured. Some policies specifically provide that Insurer will consult with the insured before hiring counsel, unless there is an emergency. Many insurance companies have non-lawyer adjusters, often based outside of Insured’s geographic territory. Knowing the state laws are important consideration.
LOSS OF EARNINGS
The time away from the office defending a malpractice claim means a loss of revenue to the attorney. Some policies will provide Insured with $500 or more for each day they are out of the office for trial, mediation, arbitration or deposition in defending a claim under the policy
“Please see specific policy and endorsement for exact terms, conditions and exclusions. Each insurance company has its own policy language. We encourage you to seek advice prior to securing any insurance.”
Why choose Hirsch Insurance Brokerage?
Trust. For over a decade now, Hirsch Insurance Brokerage has been working with solo practitioners and law firms providing the very best in knowledge and service in legal malpractice insurance to our clients. Our number one goal is to provide your law practice with the very best legal malpractice coverage options at affordable premiums. As one of the leading providers of professional liability insurance for lawyers, we have built quality relationships with the leading legal malpractice carriers in the country. We put your insurance needs above our commissions.
We’ve made the process easy. Regardless of law firm size or areas of practice, Hirsch Insurance Brokerage shops your law firm’s application to multiple legal malpractice carriers to provide you with a selection of premiums and coverage options. However, we are not “paper pushers;” we use our industry knowledge and underwriter relationships to advocate on your firm’s behalf and help you make the best informed decisions for your law practice.
We provide exceptional service. Our staff of experienced legal malpractice professionals are knowledgeable and service oriented. We work with managing partners, firm administrators and office managers to simplify the insurance process. At Hirsch, we believe in creating long lasting relationships built on trust. We have a humble, no pressure approach to sales. We enjoy what we do and are always grateful for our clients.
Hirsch Insurance Brokerage is an independently owned boutique brokerage that specializes in providing lawyers’ professional liability insurance and related products on a national basis. Our executives have a wealth of experience working in professional liability. You will speak directly with someone who is experienced in professional liability insurance and will work with you to obtain the best options for your firm’s specific needs.