For most lawyers, malpractice insurance coverage is something they need but hope to never use.
But JoAnn L. Hathaway, author of “Legal Malpractice Insurance in One Hour for Lawyers,” thinks lawyers should be well-informed about their coverage needs and protection.
In her book, Hathaway, Michigan State Bar practice management advisor, licensed insurance agent and registered professional liability underwriter, walks through how to choose deductibles, select the right coverage limit, choose an insurance carrier, learn about the claims process and protect your practice.
Although the 134-page manual is of obvious value to solo and small firm lawyers, Hathaway says it’s just as important for attorneys in large firms. Although large firms typically purchase and choose malpractice policy coverage options for the entire entity, coverage needs in a large firm, with its many departments and practice areas, represent a whole host of varying risks. Accordingly, she says it is imperative that all the firm’s lawyers and staff understand their obligations, risks and coverages under the policy and, if need be, work with the firm to ensure they obtain the coverage they need.
YourABA caught up with Hathaway to find out more about lawyers’ professional liability (LPL) needs.
One of the biggest mistakes is choosing based upon price alone. Pricing should be a factor, but trying to compare quotes from various carriers can be a daunting task, at best, and this is where an experienced insurance broker can help.
Among the factors that influence pricing are policy limits, retentions/deductibles, claims history, geographic location as well as others a carrier may view as either elevating or lowering your risk to them as an insured.
Lawyers can and should expect excellent customer service when shopping for