In today’s increasingly litigious society, attorneys face an increasing risk of themselves being sued. In addition to facing lots of risks that are common to lots of different businesses, attorneys may also be sued over malpractice accusations. Attorney insurance policies help protect attorneys in Massachusetts from many of the risks they’re exposed to.
Attorney insurance policies are specialized commercial policies that have been tailored to meet attorneys’ unique insurance needs. Most attorney policies are package policies that contain several individuals coverages within them. Attorneys can usually customize the coverages that their particular policy provides to suit their specific situation.
The insurance protections contained within attorney policies can be broadly categorized into general business insurance coverages and attorney malpractice insurance coverages.
General business insurance coverages help protect attorneys from risks that their firm and many other businesses face. Some examples of general business coverages that an attorney policy may provide are:
Attorney malpractice insurance coverage is a form of errors and omissions insurance that’s written specifically for attorneys. Just as medical malpractice insurance helps protect doctors who make mistakes, this coverage can often help protect attorneys who make covered errors.
(As is the case with many insurance policies, the exact coverages contained within an attorney policy can vary. Attorneys should carefully review their policy’s coverages with an independent insurance agent so they fully understand the protections afforded by the policy.)
As a form of errors and omissions insurance, attorney malpractice insurance coverage generally protects against mistakes that attorneys make in their primary area of work.
In addition to this protection, many policies also offer coverage for incidental work that’s carried out by an attorney. Incidental activities that a policy’s attorney malpractice insurance coverage might cover include:
Of course, there are some activities that are excluded from an attorney policy’s coverages. Commonly excluded activities include:
The majority of attorney policies are “claims made” insurance policies. This means they normally only cover incidents that have been reported during their effective period. They might have retroactive dates or discovery periods that define when a covered incident could have occurred, but when a claim is filed also has a large impact on whether the claim is covered. To be covered, a claim usually must be filed while the policy’s still in effect.
Most attorneys who practice in Massachusetts should have an attorney policy. This includes both attorneys who are based in the state, as well as those who have offices in other states but are licensed in Massachusetts. Without a policy, attorneys are dangerously unprotected from the risks they face.
For help finding attorney insurance, attorneys in Massachusetts should contact a Feingold Companies independent insurance agent. Our independent agents will be able to help attorneys assess their risk exposure, select coverages to protect them and obtain quotes for attorney policies that offer those coverages.