Office Sharing and Avoiding the Risk of a Malpractice Claim

With the combined expense of actual office space, staff and equipment, many lawyers choose to enter into an office sharing arrangement as an economical way to hang out their shingle. Although there may be initial cost-saving benefits, there are disadvantages to sharing offices with other professionals, such as increased exposure to bar grievances or malpractice claims, disqualification motions, and imputed knowledge of confidential communications. The primary issues are avoiding misleading the public into thinking the shared office is a partnership...

Nuts and Bolts: Understanding the Parts of Your Policy

Insurance is what we do. We live and breathe it, so we understand it. However, like lawyers talking to nonlawyers, sometimes it’s easy to forget not everyone knows the terms and phrases associated with our industry. To be sure you understand your policy, we’ve broken down its parts as well as some of the most common insurance terminology for which we receive questions. As always, if you have questions about your policy, your coverage or anything we can help with,...

How the Number of Attorneys Affects Premiums

I get questions from time to time along the lines of “Why is my insurance twice as much just because I now have two lawyers at the firm instead of one?” I promise this won’t be a primer on insurance, but to really answer that question, we have to back up and look at the basis to which rates are applied in order to determine your premium. This is formally referred to as the “exposure basis.” Different exposure basis that...

PHIL’S CORNER: Prior Acts – the 2nd Trigger of Coverage

We have made an effort to make sure policyholders have an understanding of a claims-made policy, on which professional liability is written. The easiest means to do so is to focus on the major differentiations from an occurrence-based policy. What is known as the “first trigger” of coverage in a claims-made form is that a policy must be in effect when the claim is first reported. This makes continuity of coverage critical. If coverage lapses, is discontinued at renewal or...

How LPL Works When You Leave Your Firm

How LPL Works When You Leave Your Firm When a lawyer leaves a firm we insure, we typically get questions about what to do with regard to the lawyers professional liability insurance (LPL). For the firm they’re leaving, it can be as simple as completing the supplemental application to remove the lawyer from the existing policy. For the lawyer leaving, however, it can be a little more complicated. Whether you’re changing firms, starting your own firm or getting ready for retirement,...

One Less Thing to Worry About When Opening Your Practice

One Less Thing to Worry About When Opening Your Practice The thought of opening your own practice is thrilling – the prospect of being your own boss and building something all your own is no doubt one of the most exciting endeavors in any profession. However, it can be a little scary too, knowing you’re entirely responsible for every aspect of your livelihood. Ensuring you’ve filed all the proper forms and secured adequate office space can be daunting enough, but...

Don’t Risk It: Why Even Good Lawyers Need Insurance

Don't Risk It: Why Even Good Lawyers Need Insurance As an attorney, you work hard to provide your clients with the best services and advice possible. However, a client who experiences negative outcomes after using your services could present a risk for you. Lawyers professional liability (LPL) insurance is designed to protect you when this happens. Without LPL insurance in place, you could be personally vulnerable if a claim is brought against you. This type of insurance covers acts, errors...

Who Is Covered by Your LPL and How Does That Affect Pricing?

Who Is Covered by Your LPL and How Does That Affect Pricing? When law firms are reviewing our lawyers professional liability (LPL) insurance policy, we are asked a myriad of questions concerning pricing and coverage. While these subjects are important, they can get very detailed and complicated, so it’s important to have a good understanding of the basics of your LPL policy to better understand who and what are covered, and how that is reflected in your premium. Every policy we...

PHIL’S CORNER: Impact of COVID-19 on LPL Claims – If Any

PHIL’S CORNER: Impact of COVID-19 on LPL Claims – If Any Phil's Corner is a special column from OAMIC's President & CEO Phil Fraim that is sent in our e-newsletter each month. So far in 2020, claims in our office have been improved both in the number of new matters and the average size of those matters. Is this a false sense of security, the calm before the storm? It is way too early in the game to make predictions on...

Factors in LPL Pricing

Factors in LPL Pricing A common question from prospective insureds is how much does coverage cost? That is a tough one for which to craft an answer. As you might imagine, some of it depends upon the limit and, to a lesser degree, the deductible. There are also other factors that have an impact, even if in a smaller way. We previously discussed adequate or appropriate limits for the firm, so here we’ll examine factors that influence rating below. Limits and...