Insurance for Attorneys and Law Offices
Lawyers and attorneys are legal professionals, entrusted by a client for advice in handling legal matters, drafting contracts and other legal documents, and representing him or her in a legal action. Lawyers and attorneys are held to a high degree of professional knowledge and skill. They must pass the state bar exam in the state in which they wish to be licensed and employed.
Many businesses employ lawyers as staff attorneys in various capacities. These may include the drafting or approval of contracts, product descriptions, and similar materials. Staff attorneys may also be involved in negotiations with unions or government regulators, or may function as lobbyists.
Recommended Insurance Programs for Attorneys
Minimum recommended coverage:
• General Liability
• Professional Liability (Malpractice Insurance)
• Property Insurance
• Hired and Non-Owned Auto (full commercial auto if vehicles owned)
• Employee Dishonesty Bond
• Business Income with Extra Expense
• Workers’ Compensation
Other coverages to consider for Law Firms:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Auto Liability, Building, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Employment Practices Liability (EPLI), Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage.
Common Risks and Needs Associated with Attorneys
General Liability Insurance
GL exposure is often minimal for law offices since most operations are conducted on premises and most of the client contact is electronic or by mail. If clients visit the premises, they should be kept in waiting areas and designated conference areas so they cannot view or overhear conversations regarding other clients’ confidential information. To prevent slips, trips, and falls, all areas accessible to clients must be well maintained with floor covering in good condition. Procedures must be in place in case mediations or conferences become emotional or violent. Off-premises exposures arise from meetings at the customer’s home or business premises, as well as from court appearances.
Professional liability Insurance
Professional liability exposure, also known as legal malpractice and errors and omissions insurance, is extensive. Risk factors to review include the services the applicant provides, the firm’s credentials and experience, and the ratio of professional versus clerical employees. Failure to conduct thorough background checks to verify credentials and education poses a significant risk. Business liability risks increase if clerical workers are allowed to carry out tasks that only the professionals should handle, or if error checking procedures are ignored, or are inadequate. Very serious losses may result from failure to document decisions and actions or to secure client approval.
Property exposure is generally limited to that of an office, although there may be some incidental storage or an area for meetings. Hazards arise from the storage of reference materials and customers’ records, which significantly adds to a fire load. Fire sources include electrical wiring, wear, and overheating of equipment.
Automobile exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned coverage. If vehicles are owned and provided to employees, there should be clear procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members and a full commercial policy should be purchased. The age, training, experience, and records of each driver, as well as age, condition, and maintenance of the vehicles, are all important items to consider.
Commercial Crime Policy
The risk of crime typically comes from employee dishonesty, which can be serious as lawyers and their staff possess unique access to customers’ property and personal information, including bank accounts. Methods and procedures must be in place to prevent employees from gaining access to and taking customers’ property. Potential for theft, directly or by means of identity theft, is great. Risks increase without proper background checks, along with monitoring procedures and securing of all records to prevent unauthorized access.
Inland Marine Coverage
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable, computers, and valuable papers and records. The law library in most law offices is extensive and best insured by use of the valuable papers and records coverage. The library should be inventoried, with that information stored off site. Wills, deeds and other customers’ papers are typically originals and are difficult to recreate. A morale hazard may be indicated if the insured does not keep valuable papers and disks in fireproof file cabinets to protect them from smoke, water and fire. Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards. Duplicates should be kept off site to allow for restoration.
Workers’ compensation exposure is generally limited to that of an office. Computer-related concerns include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations. Some firms have significant off-site work for client visits, court appearances and similar activities.
Business Liability Quotes for Lawyers
General Liability Shop.com offers affordable liability insurance quotes for Attorneys throughout the U.S. Our Law Office programs include all lines of business insurance, as well as our Target programs for business owners policies (BOP). Contact one of our business insurance Specialists today at (800) 900-8657, or start a quote online now.
Our Top Carrier Solutions for Attorneys
Attorney Liability Insurance Classification Codes
Commercial insurance companies use various liability classification systems in order to classify and rate coverage premiums for Lawyers. Here are the most common business insurance classification for Attorneys:
Business Liability Category: Service Business
SIC Business Insurance Codes:
• 8111- Legal Services
• 9222- Legal Counsel and Prosecution
NAICS Liability Classifications:
• 541110- Law Office or Legal Firm
• 922130- Legal Counsel and Prosecution
• 541120- Notary Office
• 541199- All Other Legal Services
Business ISO General Liability:
• Code: 66122- Lawyers Offices
Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:
• 8820- Attorneys- All Employees