Friday, August 26, 2011

Employed Lawyers - Questions Answered

Mecklenburg County Courthouse, Charlotte NC

Several questions have been asked as a result of the recent post regarding Employed Lawyers. Please note the following...

1. Q: If my attorney prospect has their own practice and works part time as an employed attorney for a corporation (or non-profit), won't the malpractice coverage for the attorney's firm include coverage for work they do for others?
A: No. "Work for others" could loosely be what we call their work for their own clients, or possibly as an "of counsel" for another firm. But while "work for others" is a concept, it's not common language in a lawyer's malpractice policy. In a situation like this start by looking at the definitions of Named Insured and Insured, and check the lawyer's policy for any endorsements that might name a third party. It's unlikely the wording will include a third party, like the attorney's part time employer in this case, as an insured or named insured.

And for those of you thinking what if the situation is reversed, i.e. the attorney is full time in practice and part time working for another entity. The response is the same - the intent of the attorney's private practice policy is not to pick up work they do as an employee for a separate and independent third party employer.

2. Q: What if the attorney is working for a company that has their own professional liability coverage - wouldn't that E&O policy cover the attorney? E&O is E&O, isn't it?
A: No again. If as an example an Engineering firm hires an attorney full time, the E&O policy for the engineering firm will be specifically worded to cover the engineering exposures. There may also be wording on some E&O policies that not only provide a definition of professional services, but they may also have an exclusion for other professional services. The other practical consideration is that many of the companies that write various E&O classes do not write lawyers malpractice, so they wouldn't want to add the attorney's exposure.
Also, even if a carrier writes both attorneys and other E&O, the policy wordings for both are very different, so adding wording for one type of operation to wording for another is never the preferred way to write a policy.

The only proper way to do this to get correct coverage for your client(s) and avoid an E&O exposure for you is to provide the appropriate policy(ies). If you have a risk with an employed lawyer, find an employed lawyer policy for them.

Other questions? Call or email and I'll be happy to answer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Lawyer's Professional Product

Courthouse, Clearwater Florida

We're pleased to share the news that we've added another product to assist our customers in serving their customers.

One of our A.M. Best rated A+ carrier has added coverage for Employed Lawyers. Qualified attorneys can work for entities small or large, public or private, for-profit companies or non profit organizations.

This policy is designed to provide malpractice coverage for corporate counsel (in-house attorneys). Typically these attorneys rely on their employer for coverage, and unfortunately the employer doesn't always consider the exposure until they've been hit with suit papers.

In addition to the protection provided by putting coverage in place, employers with such coverage will likely have an advantage in recruiting corporate counsel over other employers without this important coverage.

Key Coverage Features:
Broad definition of wrongful act including actual or alleged negligence in rendering or failure to render legal services or personal injury committed by an insured
Pro bono and moonlighting services covered with no prior approval required
Insured includes attorneys and staff, spouse or domestic partner
Attorneys added during the policy period are covered with no prior approval required

Limits to $5 Million

Premiums as low as $1000

Contact us for more information or an application.

Remember, we have great markets for hard to place firms as well.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuscano Offering Free E&O CE Classes in PA

I've developed a CE class on various Errors and Omissions topics that's approved for two hours of CE in PA. The course is designed to help active licensed agency staff, especially those working on sales, service or marketing of accounts, to navigate through the nuances of E&O risks. There's enough info to help someone who's not usually working on these classes to understand the basics, and there's also plenty of information to help those working on E&O exposures on a regular basis.

This might be of interest to you if:

1. your local association is looking for a new CE class to offer, either for a monthly meeting or for your annual Insurance Day

2. you and a few local agencies/friendly competitors want to join forces and have the CE class offered at one of your office locations

3. you have another idea and want to run it past us!

Topics include:

  • Basic concepts (definitions and examples of "claims made", "prior acts" and "retroactive date", "ERP", etc)
  • Pros and cons including comparison of key differences between occurrence and claims made and how to handle risks moving from one form to the other
  • Additional concepts (including claims expense outside the limit, first dollar defense, "Hammer Clause", slit retro or split limit endorsements, "career coverage")
  • Additional insured, waiver of subrogation, hold harmless and certificates of insurance - what you can expect from a carrier providing professional liability
  • Key elements to help increase your chances of writing business

Tuscano will foot the bill, so all you or your staff have to do is attend. It's been presented a few times in Greensburg and now we're ready to take it on the road. For additional information or to talk about booking this course, contact Tim Hoelle or Emily Casino at Tuscano. 800-442-8063