When starting a solo practice, it is important to minimize overhead expenses; however, you should consider appropriate insurance as a very necessary expense.
Malpractice (Professional Liability) Insurance
“Claims-made and reported” coverage is the most common type of coverage provided in professional liability insurance policies. The relevant date to determine coverage is when the claim is made and reported, not when the act or omission giving rise to the claim occurred. Most people are familiar with “occurrence” coverage from their auto or homeowners policy, in which coverage is determined based on the policy in effect on the date the event giving rise to the claim occurred.
With claims-made and reported coverage, the key date is the date the claim is first made against the insured or the date the insured first becomes aware of the facts or circumstances that might reasonably be expected to be the basis of a claim, NOT the date of the alleged error or omission by the insured.
Extended reporting (“Tail”) coverage may be obtained to cover claims first made and reported after the expiration or termination date of the policy. If you change malpractice carriers over the course of your career, it is essential that your new policy include coverage for all prior acts.
If you are a new attorney hanging your shingle for the first time or a seasoned lawyer who has built a practice with sizeable assets to protect you will want a policy that protects your practice. Take advantage of deep discounts of 65% offered if you have never had malpractice or if you are beginning a new policy without Prior Acts Coverage. If you have been practicing and have Prior Acts coverage to bring forward, confirm there is no GAP in coverage that could jeopardize your defense of a claim. Submit an application or contact an agent today in your county. Agents can help you choose limits appropriate with your clientele. Claims can be costly in terms of time and money.
Other Types of Insurance You May Need
• Workers’ compensation
Required by law if you have three or more employees. Premium is based on payroll. Provides medical benefits to employees injured while performing a job for you.
• Combined business package
This may be required by your lease, if leasing space. Agents can help you review a package that fits your needs.
• Business owner’s policy
This is n alternative to the combined business package.
• Small contents coverage and liability protection
• Business interruption
• Office equipment
• Hired and non-owned auto coverage
• Accounts receivable, valuable papers, charts and X-rays
• Employee dishonesty
• Personal Umbrella
• Health Insurance
Options for health insurance are for 2 or more members - attorney plus staff or staff attorney.
• Cyber Liability
Basic First Party Coverage is included on The Bar Plan malpractice policy at no additional charge! Additional Coverage and higher limits available upon request.
• Disability Income
No one plans to be disabled, but you can be out of work due to a broken leg or arm. Disability Income is there to protect you when incapacitated-either partially or totally! The younger you are the more affordable it is.
• Life Insurance
Policies are inexpensive for young lawyers, agents can help you choose between term life or a blend to obtain the best coverage for your dollars.
• Business Overhead Expense Insurance
For many small business owners, having Business Overhead Expense (BOE) Insurance can help ensure their business can continue to function should they become disabled and unable to work.