Excess coverage: Does the work of my present and former partners and associates, and that of employees in my current firm and any past firms, expose me to claims now and in the future?
The following are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself to help assess whether or not you should secure additional insurance coverage limits.
When reviewing these questions and assessing your exposure, remember to factor in both potential defence costs and interest payments, as well as actual damages. Depending on how long it takes to discover an error and resolve the claim, and the impact of costs, the value of the claim could be inflated by 50 to 100 per cent, or more.
Does the work of my present and former partners and associates, and that of employees in my current firm and any past firms, expose me to claims now and in the future?
- How well informed am or was I about their practices, procedures and communications – including
file in-take procedures, documenting retainers, reviewing opinions, docket control and diary systems,
completeness of documentation, and file retention and storage?
- Do or did they practise in areas such as litigation, corporate, commercial, real estate, tax, securities, or patents and trademarks, that can easily create exposures well above my insurance limits?
- If they are or have been involved in more claims-prone areas of practice, has the work been focused either in the hands of a few with the right expertise, or with others under the appropriate supervision and guidance?
- Are there any non-traditional or other exposures to consider? Consider non-traditional law practices or client arrangements, and the activities of non-lawyer employees, or Multi-Discipline Practice exposures.
- Where are my former partners and associates now and what insurance coverage, if any, do they have? You may find that you are exposed to claims for their past services, particularly where they do not maintain adequate insurance coverage today. Are their existing limits likely to have been eroded by claims already reported?
- Do I know what limitation periods are likely to apply to these various types of claims? Is the clock
continuing to run? Would I be in a position to defend these and other claims should they arise?
For more information on the LAWPRO Excess Insurance program, contact LAWPRO Customer Service at (416) 598-5899 or 1-800-410-1013 and request a no-obligation premium estimate for your firm. After reviewing the premium estimate you can now apply on-line at the secure section of our website (MY LAWPRO at www.lawpro.ca).
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