If you have been contemplating purchasing malpractice insurance, you should consider working with a professional malpractice insurance attorney. These policies protect attorneys against liability that can result in a lawsuit. Depending on your state, malpractice insurance is available from a wide variety of insurers, which may be useful in your particular situation.
Requirements of a professional malpractice insurance attorney
If you are an attorney, you should be aware of the requirements for professional malpractice insurance. In most cases, an attorney must carry malpractice insurance to protect their client from losses resulting from legal malpractice. Many malpractice claims stem from the lack of communication between the attorney and the client. As a result, it is very important for attorneys and law firms to regularly communicate with their clients. These communications should be documented and kept in the client file.
The requirements vary by state. In Washington, the state bar requires attorneys to carry professional liability insurance. In addition to protecting their own finances, carrying liability insurance helps to create trust with prospective clients. The required amount of coverage depends on the attorney’s assets, dollar amounts at stake, and the cost of defending against a claim.
In some states, such as California, malpractice insurance is mandatory for attorneys. If your attorney doesn’t carry malpractice insurance, you have the right to complain to the state’s attorney regulatory body. Alternatively, you can write to your state Bar to demand that all attorneys carry malpractice insurance.
Cost of legal malpractice insurance
There are a number of factors that determine the cost of legal malpractice insurance. The policy’s deductibles and coverage limits play a significant role. A high deductible can reduce a premium by as much as 30%. A $1,000 deductible is an excellent starting point. A $2,500 deductible is even better. A $10,000 deductible is also recommended for sole practitioners.
The size of the law firm also plays a big role in the premium. The more lawyers you have in your firm, the higher your legal malpractice insurance premium will be. Also, the type of law you practice, as well as the area of specialization, will affect the cost of your policy. So, if you run a small firm, you may want to consider buying legal malpractice insurance from a specialist insurance agency.
Premiums for legal malpractice insurance vary according to the size of the law firm and the number of attorneys. A lawyer’s premium will be lower in the first year of practice but will increase as time goes on. As a law firm grows, it should consider taking advantage of discounts offered by insurers.
Requirements to purchase unlimited reporting period
If you are planning to retire and leave the practice of law, you need to be aware of the requirements of the insurance carrier. Whether the insurer offers an unlimited reporting period or not is important, because the insurer may not cover past acts. Also, it is crucial to ensure that your policy covers claims that arise after your retirement date.
You should choose an insurer that offers unlimited reporting periods. In this way, you can be protected even if you stop practicing law. Many insurance companies offer unlimited reporting periods. Unlimited reporting periods allow the policyholder to file claims in the event that a malpractice claim arises after retirement.
The insurer must give the insured 30 days to purchase this optional coverage. Otherwise, if the insured terminates the policy, he or she has 60 days from the effective date of coverage termination to file a claim. Additionally, insurers must give the insured written notice that he or she has the option to purchase an unlimited reporting period.
Limits of Coverage
Professional malpractice insurance attorney policies have varying limits of coverage. Some policies include a deductible and others don’t. In most cases, the policy limits will be higher than the actual legal fees. The insurer may also limit the amount of coverage if a claim is worth more than the policy limits.
The limits of coverage for professional malpractice insurance vary based on the size of the firm. Small firms will generally have lower limits than larger firms. For a solo practitioner, the limit may be as low as $1M, while a four-lawyer firm will probably have a limit of $3M or more. A 10-lawyer firm is likely to carry limits between $5M and $6M. For firms with higher headcount and higher risk exposure, higher limits may be necessary.
Attorneys should choose policies with high limits. Inadequate policy limits can limit their ability to fight a case on the merits and minimize their clients’ recovery.