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Legal Malpractice Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Legal Malpractice Insurance?

Clients hire attorneys for their legal expertise, and attorneys are expected to apply this expertise correctly to clients’ situations. Should an attorney make an error in their work that negatively impacts one of their clients, they might be held liable for any resulting damages or costs. Legal malpractice insurance policies help protect Massachusetts attorneys from certain covered risks that are related to errors they might make while working.

Legal malpractice insurance is a specialized type of professional liability insurance that’s specifically intended for attorneys and their firms. Because this is such a specialized coverage, attorneys should consult a knowledgeable insurance agent when looking for a policy. Someone who’s familiar with the nuances of these policies will be able to make sure that a chosen one adequately meets an attorney’s risk mitigation needs.

Is Your Business Protected?

Who in Massachusetts Needs an Attorney Policy?

Most attorneys and law firms in Massachusetts ought to carry an attorney policy. Not having a policy in place leaves a firm exposed to risk, and this is generally the most appropriate form of professional liability coverage for attorneys.

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What Sorts of Incidents Does Attorney Insurance Cover?

The precise incidents that an attorney insurance policy covers are determined by that policy’s language. In most policies, several coverages come together to create a web of protection for an attorney’s work.  

Most policies will cover routine legal work that’s done for clients, and some policies also extend protection to certain additional roles that an attorney might assume. Depending on its terms, a policy might also cover times when an attorney serves as a(n):

  • Executor
  • Trustee
  • Title agent
  • Notary public
  • Director (of a professional organization)
  • Officer (of a professional organization)

Of course, there are some situations that attorney policies normally don’t cover. While there may be a few exceptions, many policies exclude scenarios when an attorney:

  • Performs legal work for a company they own
  • Serves as a fiduciary under ERISA
  • Inflicts bodily harm on others during the course of work
  • Files a claim against a fellow attorney in their firm
  • Acts dishonestly, fraudulently, maliciously or criminally

Coverage for some of these scenarios might be available through other types of insurance policies. An agent who’s familiar with attorney policies can likely recommend some other policies that are complementary.

What Does “Claims Made” Mean in Insurance Policies?

The vast majority of attorney insurance policies are written as “claims made” policies. This generally means that part of the basis for determining whether an incident is covered is when the claim is filed. This is in contrast to “occurrence” policies that base coverage partly on when the incident occurred.

How Much Do Attorney Insurance Policies Cost?

Attorney insurance policies’ premiums are calculated using many different factors, and rates for individual policies vary as a result. Most policies are affordably priced for law firms, though, and the premiums are almost certainly lower than what a firm could end up paying if it faces a major professional liability lawsuit. Even defending a firm in a case that eventually goes in the firm’s favor can be expensive (as many attorneys know).

Individual firms can find out how much an attorney policy that meets their needs would cost by talking with an independent insurance agent. Since independent agents aren’t connected with any one insurer, they can compare quotes from multiple insurance companies. This makes it easy to find out what each one would charge given a firm’s details.

How Can Massachusetts Attorneys Get Legal Malpractice Insurance?

For help finding legal malpractice insurance, contact the independent Massachusetts insurance agents at Roger Butler Insurance. Whether you have basic or advanced needs, our agents have the expertise to help you find you legal malpractice policy that’s right for your firm’s situation. With our help, you can be confident that you’re well protected if someone makes a mistake.

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