Attorneys have to make decisions each day of their professional lives. Selecting legal malpractice insurance is certainly one of the most important decisions you will make. A law firm should do significant research before choosing which insurer to go with for their lawyers' malpractice insurance. At Paragon Underwriters, we have put together some helpful tips to consider before making that selection.
Look at the Forest for the Trees
Remember to look at the big picture rather than starting out by being overly specific with the details. Evaluate what the insurer is offering as well as that company’s financial stability and credit rating according to AM Best. Also, think about the agent’s past experience and reputation. Ideally, you'll want to stay with this insurer for a long time so consider this a long-term commitment and make sure you feel comfortable with both the agent and the insurer.
As the famous football coach, Vince Lombardi, said, "Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect." Look into how long the insurer has been in business and what type of experience they've had. Just because an insurer has been around forever doesn't tell you enough about their success, culture or how they treat their clients. Before signing anything, you'll want to know if the insurer has specialized knowledge of lawyers’ professional liability insurance. You’ll also want to know if they are new to offering professional liability insurance or if they have a well-established book and proven track record.
There are a lot of insurance agents out there. There are, however, very few who truly specialize in legal malpractice insurance. This highly specialized field has certain nuances that make it easy to miss key factors. Firms like Paragon Underwriters have been specializing in professional liability insurance for attorneys for nearly 60 years and have made this our niche. We know this part of the insurance industry better than most other firms, especially a general insurance agent who does mostly home, auto and business insurance – that agent may do one of these policies in his entire career, we do them all day every day and insure nearly 1,000 law firms in Michigan.
The Financial Stability Factor
Will you be able to rest assured that you're covered? After all, you have a lot at stake with your law firm. It's more than simply a financial decision to make. Your reputation as an attorney and your firm's reputation is on the line. You need to be positive that the malpractice insurer has the ability to continue to pay claims into the future.
We're in a Commitment Here
With claims-made coverage business, there's an easy entry to market for new malpractice insurers. Therefore, many new insurers target specific markets to collect as much premium as possible, but they won't be around when the claims come in. You want to ensure there's a commitment on the part of the insurer to stick around when the worst happens and you need the claims to be paid.
What's the Insurer's Reasoning
Finally, make sure to research the insurer's claims philosophy. What type of consideration do they put forward to determine whether to pay a claim? Will they be the type of insurer to fight for every dollar or will they be willing to settle without a struggle?
At Paragon Underwriters, we want to see you succeed. We sincerely care about our clients and help steer them toward smart, financially prudent decision making. We believe the relationship between the insurance agent and the law firm is a very important factor in determining the best coverage and the best insurer to use. We will provide additional insight as to which insurer best fits your needs. These decisions take time and we believe in calculated decision making. We will begin to work with you early on in the process and ensure the insurer is the right choice for your firm. That's why we're here... to serve you and to always have your best interests in mind. Call us today to start the process and we guarantee you'll be happy with the experience.