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Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance
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Understanding Claims Made Legal Malpractice Insurance

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We often find that even lawyers who've been at it for a long time are confused about how claims made insurance policies work. It is essential, however, for the health of your practice to understand …

We often find that even lawyers who've been at it for a long time are confused about how claims made insurance policies work. It is essential, however, for the health of your practice to understand your claims made policy and how retroactive dates work.

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  • 1. UNDERSTANDING“CLAIMS MADE”LIABILITY INSURANCEWhat every attorney needs to know
  • 2. Key Terms Claims Made OccurrenceCoverage Retroactive DateNielsen & Geenty www.CaliforniaLegalInsurance.com
  • 3. Claims Made vs. OccurrenceExamplesMost auto or homeownersinsurance is “occurrence”coverage, so the policy coversyou when you have an accidentduring the policy period.Legal Liability is almost always“claims made” coverage, so youare covered for past acts wherethe claim for damages happensduring the policy period,regardless of when the act itselfhappened.Occurence: Covers event thatoccurs during policyperiodClaims Made: Covers past workwhere claim is madeduring policy period.Nielsen & Geenty www.CaliforniaLegalInsurance.com
  • 4. Retroactive Date DefinitionRetroactive Date, n. How far back yourcoverage extends. Goes back to the original retroactive date onyour original policy if you maintain continuouscoverage. Can reset if you let coverage lapse. May be expensive, sometimes impossible, tore-establish original retroactive date if itresets.Nielsen & Geenty www.CaliforniaLegalInsurance.com
  • 5. Retroactive Date Example Policy Date: 1 January to 31 December 2013. Retroactive Date: 2 March 1991 (when youbought your original policy). Scenario 1: Claim made on 2 March 2013 allegingerror made on contract from 13 April 2002.Covered! Scenario 2: Claim made on 2 March 2013 allegingerror on contract from 3 February 1991. Notcovered!Nielsen & Geenty www.CaliforniaLegalInsurance.com
  • 6. Avoid these mistakes to make sure you don’t find yourselfwithout coverage.Making Sure You’re CoveredNielsen & Geenty www.CaliforniaLegalInsurance.com
  • 7. Notifying Your CarrierA claims made policy requires you to notify yourcarrier of a claim “as soon as practicable” When in doubt, notify. Fear of a premiumhike prevents some people from notifying theircarrier until it’s too late. You could be deniedcoverage for this. Be prompt. If you wait and it turns out thatyou knew of a possible claim, but didn’tmention it at the time of policy renewal, it maynot be covered by your current policy.Nielsen & Geenty www.CaliforniaLegalInsurance.com
  • 8. What Constitutes a Claim? No need to notify: A clientcalls and says, “I’m a littledisappointed by the outcome,but I guess that’s life.” Best to notify: A client callsand says, “If you had filed themotion on time, I wouldn’t be inthis situation. You’ll be hearingfrom my lawyer.” Judgment Call: A client calls andsays, “It’s your fault we lost. If youhad handled my case correctly, I’dbe retired to the tropics right now!”Nielsen & Geenty www.CaliforniaLegalInsurance.com
  • 9. Who Decides?Ultimately, the courtdecides. If the claimantsays you were notified onApril 2 and the courtagrees, your carrier canargue that you did notnotify in a timely mannerand you could beuncovered!Nielsen & Geenty www.CaliforniaLegalInsurance.com
  • 10. FIND OUT MORE AThttp://californialegalinsurance.comNielsen & Geenty InsuranceServices, Cedar Ridge, CA.

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