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Lawyers Insurance Quotes

Even lawyers get sued... with increasing regularity and for increasingly large amounts. They're sued by disgruntled clients, other attorneys, state regulatory agencies, corporate shareholders, third parties, and are sometimes named in class action suits.

Lawyers' Insurance is a specific variation of Errors & Omissions (or Professional Liability) Insurance designed specifically for law practitioners. Check out the Errors and Omissions Insurance product description for further background information.

This type of insurance, sometimes called "Legal Malpractice Insurance," protects the assets of law firms and individual lawyers from claims of wrongful acts (errors, omissions, or negligence) that result from the performance of their professional duties.

Policies cover financial losses and expenses (including legal fees) that result from a claim. Some policies also protect against slander, libel, and breach of contract. As with other types of professional liability insurance, you're generally protected from all lawsuits, even frivolous ones.

What Lawyers Insurance Is Not

Lawyers' Insurance isn't the same as Commercial General Liability, Employment Practices Liability Insurance, or Directors' and Officers' Insurance. It's a very specific form of insurance that covers any losses that might result to others from the exercise of professional judgment.

It doesn't usually cover damages from intentional or dishonest conduct, or non-financial losses. Most policies do not cover punitive damages arising from a professional liability claim.

Who Needs Lawyers Insurance?

Some states require it, but Lawyers' Insurance is strongly recommended for all individual law practitioners and all sizes of law firms, as well as for corporate attorneys.

Lawyers who practice in high-liability areas like personal injury, finance, and intellectual property are especially likely to be sued. Even so, lawyers in lower-liability areas like criminal defense and estate planning will still want the protection offered by professional liability coverage. Nothing evaporates a personal fortune quite so fast as uninsured litigation.

Things To Think About

Policies are customized for specific types of practices. The cost will depend on the size and type of practice under consideration. Previous loss experience, staff turnover, financial results, and operating characteristics can also affect the rate. It pays to shop around! Quite often, small, specialized insurance firms can provide better coverage (at a better rate) than a "one size fits all" policy from a larger company.

Other items to consider:

  • Could your personal assets be jeopardized if your employer's professional liability coverage is insufficient?
  • Does the policy cover pro-bono and moonlighting work?
  • What about paralegals, clerical staff, independent contractors, counsels, and retired (or semi-retired) partners?
  • Does the policy allow for choice of counsel, or is representation dictated by the insurance company?
  • Most policies are issued on a claims-made basis, meaning you're only covered if the claim is made during the time the policy is in force, regardless of when the purported error, omission, or act of negligence occurred.

Relevant e-Insure Journal Content

  Filing Liability Claims: A Reality Check
  Professional Liability Insurance in Associations
  Claims-Made vs. Occurence Policies
  Standard Industrial Classification
  Insurance 101: What Is It, And Why Should I Care?
  Insurance Considerations for the Small Business
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