Law firms are hired for the legal expertise that their attorneys have, and attorneys are expected to apply their expertise correctly to clients’ situations. If a mistake is made in an attorney’s work, the attorney or firm might be sued for any harm or damages incurred by the affected party. Legal malpractice insurance helps firms in Massachusetts protect their businesses and attorneys from many potential lawsuits that are filed over covered work-related errors.
Legal malpractice insurance policies are highly specialized professional liability policies, and firms should work with a specialized insurance agent when looking for this type of coverage. A specialized agent will be familiar with the nuances that are unique to insuring law firms, and they’ll be able to assist with attorney insurance policies as well as other solutions.
The vast majority of attorneys and law firms in Massachusetts should carry an attorney insurance policy. This includes both attorneys who work for themselves in a small firm and those who are employed by the state’s largest firms, although how a policy is procured in these situations is sometimes different.
Attorneys who do consulting or other legal work on their own normally have to purchase an attorney insurance or other attorney insurance policy themselves. Those who work for a firm as employees of the firm are frequently covered by the firm’s policy whenever they’re doing work for the firm’s clients. (A firms policy may not extend to charitable work or side jobs.)
Attorney insurance policies usually are underwritten as package policies, meaning they combine several coverages together. Combined, these coverages protect against a range of potential risks. Depending on a particular policy’s terms and conditions, it might offer protection when an attorney is serving as a:
As much as these policies do cover, there are some things that they commonly exclude. Broadly speaking, most attorney policies won’t cover:
Coverage for fiduciary services rendered under ERISA, injuries inflicted on others and damage to others’ property can usually be purchased through other policies. As is true with most insurance policies, the exact protections offered by a specific attorney policy can vary.
Attorney policies (and many other errors and omissions policies) are often drafted as “claims made” insurance policies. A claims made policy normally covers incidents that are reported during the policy’s effective period, although this can be altered by retroactive dates and discovery periods.
A knowledgeable agent can help firms and attorneys understand exactly how a claims made policy will treat potential claims based on that policy’s particular language.
For help insuring a law firm in Massachusetts, contact the independent insurance agents at The Feingold Companies. Our agents have worked with many firms throughout the state, and they have the expertise necessary to help you find solid legal malpractice insurance. Since we’re an independent agency, you can trust our agents to show you the best available options irrespective of what insurance company is offering them.