As an attorney, your primary focus is your clients and their needs. Yet, with the realities of today’s world, most legal professionals will find themselves responding to an allegation of malpractice at some point in their careers. These claims, with and without merit, require investigation and defense.
OAMIC knows that merely thinking about a legal malpractice claim, much less being on the receiving end of one, can be an unnerving experience. Because of this, we’ve made the process of claims reporting as easy and painless as possible.
What You Need to Know
To utilize your insurance coverage, you must report a claim or incident in writing as soon as you become aware of it.
- A claim is a demand upon you for money damages relating to alleged damages as a result of your legal services. This would include, but is not limited to, the receipt of a summons and petition.
- An incident is any circumstance, act, error or omission that could be expected to be the basis of—or lead to—a claim or suit covered by your insurance policy. This includes any notice, advice and/or threat, written or verbal, that an entity intends to hold you responsible for an alleged error or omission.
As the insured, you need to report an incident regardless of the client’s knowledge or action in the matter and regardless of whether or not you believe it has merit.
Your OAMIC policy requires you to report any act or omission that might reasonably lead to a claim against you. OAMIC policyholders must report both actual and potential claims, whether they are meritorious or groundless.
This may include:
- Missed deadlines
- Default judgement entered against your client
- Threatening or complaining letter from client
- Filed bar grievance
You should report a claim or a potential claim to OAMIC as early as possible, for two reasons:
- Incidents that are reported early can frequently be repaired, and
- Late reporting may result in coverage problems under your policy.
The easiest way to initiate the claims reporting process is to visit our portal. Or, if you prefer, you can call our claims staff at 405-471-5380.
You will then be asked to complete a form and to provide a written narrative that summarizes the nature of your representation and the circumstances of the allegations. You might also be asked to meet with us or to provide a complete copy of the case file.
When a claim is reported to OAMIC, it is immediately reviewed to determine if the error can be corrected or the damage mitigated in any way.
An experienced team of professionals, including our in-house claims staff and outside counsel, work side-by-side with our insured attorneys. Many claims and incidents never become lawsuits. If they do, we will work closely with you and the defense attorney we choose to represent you. Your defense attorney and our claims staff are available to answer questions whenever you need them.
Learn About Your Claims-Made Policy
In the insurance world, there are two main types of policies — occurrence and claims-made. You’re likely to be most familiar with occurrence policies, as this is how your home and auto insurance work. Legal malpractice insurance is written as a claims-made policy and it’s a bit more complex.
Watch this video to learn about the differences of both policy types and to gain a full understanding of claims-made coverage.