A “Checklist” to Help You Decide About Attorney Malpractice Insurance
You’re skilled at detangling legal entanglements, right? Have you considered the potential for your own and why the good of your practice could depend on your attorney malpractice coverage?
Flying solo (perhaps) but never “alone”
Start up costs for your legal career are somewhat equal in scope to those of any business. Personal liability is always lurking in the shadows.
Even if you’re an experienced or seasoned legal professional the risk exists. It’s best that you cover your bases…and yourself.
opens in a new windowFive to six percent of all attorneys face malpracticeannually, according to AmericanBar.org. Your fees for malpractice litigation will normally exceed your malpractice insurance costs.
Attorney malpractice insurance providers have-your-back. There’s help available so you can avoid the industry product overwhelm.
The “Checks-and-Balances” of Deciding to Acquire Malpractice Insurance Coverage as a Legal Professional
”Check” your state’s requirements
Some states might not require you to have attorney malpractice insurance. This makes it easy to put-off or avoid seeking a policy.
Required or not, you have options that can make your decision easier. It’s for your protection, regardless of your state, to explore your insurance solutions.
Why put your legal career at risk? State your intentions and give yourself a timeline for acquiring coverage…starting now!
”Check” your disclosure requirements
Again, choosing to insure your legal practice remains an option for many. That said, disclosure laws receive a lot of lobbying energy.
For example, California, Colorado, and Washington require attorneys to disclose to their clients if they have malpractice insurance. And some states require you, as an attorney, to have your client sign a statement indicating their awareness about your choice to not be covered.
Time is approaching when state law will require coverage. Now’s a good time to do so.
”Check” your “back”
It’s easy to feel that you’re equipped to handle any and every legal battle. That is until it’s YOUR legal battle!
Facing a malpractice suit can put you in a position to make sure someone has-your-back. If so, it’s important to confirm that your malpractice coverage will include outside legal fees.
Your policy will be “inside the limit” (legal costs come out of your overall coverage) or “outside the limit” (legal defense if paid on top of the policy). Ask about the “outside” coverage to be safe and cost-effective.
”Check” your premiums
Loyalty and safety record give you leverage with insurance coverage. For example, if you stay with an auto insurance provider and are accident free your premiums will most often stay or go down.
Keep in mind that attorney malpractice insurance is different. A longer relationship with malpractice coverage will incur higher premiums.
This makes it necessary to…
”Check” over your shoulder
Auto insurance covers incidents after you purchase coverage. Legal malpractice insurance covers what is called “prior acts.”
If your malpractice coverage was in place at the time (even if different than what you’re considering now) you’re covered during that period. This increases your urgency to obtain malpractice coverage sooner rather than later.
”Check” before you sign
As an attorney, you’re accustomed to thoroughly reading everything prior to signing, true? Your malpractice policy coverage requires the same due diligence.
Policies differ in their coverage and premium amounts. Lower cost doesn’t mean value coverage.
Be as diligent on behalf of your legal interests as you would be on behalf of your client’s. You’ve worked hard to get where you are…protect yourself.
That’s good legal advice. Wouldn’t you agree?
opens in a new windowContact usabout attorney malpractice insurance protection for your legal firm, your clients, and yourself.