What Kinds of Incidents Are Covered by Attorney Insurance?
Attorney insurance policies usually are underwritten as package policies, meaning they combine several coverages together. Combined, these coverages protect against a range of potential risks. Depending on a particular policy’s terms and conditions, it might offer protection when an attorney is serving as a:
- Trustee or executor
- Notary public
- Title Agent
- Director, officer or member of a professional organization
As much as these policies do cover, there are some things that they commonly exclude. Broadly speaking, most attorney policies won’t cover:
- Providing legal services to a company that’s owned by an insured attorney
- Providing fiduciary services under ERISA
- Inflicting bodily harm on other people while working
- Inflicting property damage on others’ property while working
- Claims filed by two or more attorneys who are part of the same firm
- Any malicious, dishonest, fraudulent or criminal acts
Coverage for fiduciary services rendered under ERISA, injuries inflicted on others and damage to others’ property can usually be purchased through other policies. As is true with most insurance policies, the exact protections offered by a specific attorney policy can vary.
What is a “Claims Made” Insurance Policy?
Attorney policies (and many other errors and omissions policies) are often drafted as “claims made” insurance policies. A claims made policy normally covers incidents that are reported during the policy’s effective period, although this can be altered by retroactive dates and discovery periods.
A knowledgeable agent can help firms and attorneys understand exactly how a claims made policy will treat potential claims based on that policy’s particular language.