The risks inherent to the practice of law vary dramatically as between commercial litigation, securities, real estate, tax and estate planning, employment law, corporate formations, intellectual property, environmental, bankruptcy, etc.
It is paramount that firms work with a broker that understands those important differences and how your firm’s size and unique mix of practice areas impact your lawyers professional liability (“LPL”) coverage:
- Insurers’ appetites vary dramatically for different types of firms, and the willingness to offer competitive terms to firms with “severity-prone” practices is often dependent upon a firm’s ability to articulate how it manages its unique risk profile.
- Coverage terms and conditions that may be appropriate for a workers’ compensation practice may be wholly inadequate for a firm providing tax opinions.
- Limit selection is often mistakenly based on benchmarking data that speaks only to firm size. IMA’s LPL team believes the nature of services provided, and the amounts at issue in a complex representation, should be factors in the selection of limits, deductibles or retentions.
IMA’s LPL team includes former practicing attorneys who work collaboratively with law firm clients to develop an underwriting submission — often more than just an application — that will create competition among insurers to earn the business.
Lawyers Professional Liability Services
A FOCUSED PLACEMENT STRATEGY
We develop a placement strategy that is aligned with and prioritizes the clients’ goals, which often include the following points of emphasis in selecting the right insurer partners:
- Financial strength and tenure in the lawyers professional liability market
- Breadth of coverage terms and the willingness to manuscript customized wording to meet unique coverage needs
- Reputation for insured-friendly claims-handling
- Willingness to permit firms to select defense counsel, and control their own defense.
Our relationships and credibility with the senior decision-makers at all leading LPL liability markets in the US and the UK ensures that our clients get the benefit of the best possible terms.
COORDINATION WITH CYBER COVERAGE
Law firms have become an increasingly common target of network security breaches. Understanding that a cyber event could easily trigger coverage under either or both a firm’s privacy and/or lawyers professional liability policies, we work closely with our in-house cyber risk team of experts to align such coverage to avoid disputes between insurers and ambiguities regarding issues such as which deductible should apply.
Once the right options are agreed upon, our technical documentation processes ensure that policies are accurate, regulatory and compliance matters (state regulations, surplus lines taxes, etc.) are properly addressed, and financing options are made available where suggested.
UNWAVERING CLAIMS ADVOCACY
Arguably our most important role is to serve as our clients’ claims advocate, ensuring that claims are properly handled, disputes are efficiently resolved and payments are made timely. We understand how allegations within a demand letter or lawsuit might implicate coverage issues and assist our clients in avoiding disputes with their insurers. Effective claims advocacy begins with our having negotiated broad coverage on the front end. But when a client faces liability exposure and potential damage to its reputation, IMA brings specialization, perseverance, dedication, and the ability to engage senior claims executives with the authority to do the right thing. With those characteristics, we strive to achieve favorable claims resolutions for our clients.
YOUR RISK MANAGEMENT RESOURCE
Post-placement, we stand ready to assist on a litany of potential risk management issues, from assistance with due diligence incidental to M&A or lateral-hire opportunities (and the “prior acts” issues they bring), facilitating in-house CLE presentations, providing access to benchmarking and loss prevention data, and so on.