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

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, OAMIC can help you find the options...

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 there are a lot of other details that can...

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 or omissions arising out of your professional services...

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 issue will always include the Named Insured List. A named insured...

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 what is known as a relatively long-tail line of coverage....

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 Deductible If you think...

What’s in a Name: Professional Liability, Legal Malpractice, Professional Indemnity, and Errors and Omissions

As a lawyer, you probably know that it’s in your best interest to have insurance in place to cover the legal services you provide. When looking into your insurance options, or even in conversations with other lawyers or professionals, you may have come across these terms: professional liability (PL), errors and omissions (E&O), malpractice and even professional indemnity. Have you ever wondered which of these is right for you? If you aren’t sure what these terms mean, let alone...