Understanding Attorney Malpractice Insurance Policy Declaration Page

Understanding Attorney Malpractice Insurance Policy Declaration Page is important.

Written by Kyla Nielsen

Understand the Declaration page of your Malpractice Insurance can be a challenging task. This article will help break down one very significant part of your policy listed on the declaration page of your Attorney Malpractice Insurance policy, your limits.

If you look at your Declaration page you will see there are two different limits of liability listed, Each Claim and Aggregate. The differences between these two limits are very significant.

Let’s start with the Each Claim limit. This limit may appear differently on different policies; some might call it “Per Claim” or “Per Occurrence” or another variation. Regardless of the title, they all pertain to the same limit. This limit indicates how much your Malpractice Insurance policy will pay per individual claim. For example, if your “each claim” limit is $500,000.00 and you have a claim come in the most your policy will pay for that particular claim is $500,000.00.

Your Aggregate limit is the total amount that your policy will pay out in the policy period. For example, if you have a million-dollar aggregate limit and you have four claims during your policy period that total a million dollars and you get a fifth claim your policy would not pay for that claim because you have already reached your aggregate limit.

It is important to assess the type of law you practice and understand the risk that it entails. There are some areas of law that are inherently higher risk, in these cases, as well as if you are a larger law firm, carrying higher limits on your Malpractice Insurance policy is a good idea.

Understanding the key parts of your policy is extremely important but can be a bit confusing. To review, each claim limit is the amount your policy will pay on one single claim in the policy period. The Aggregate limit is the total your policy will pay on all claims in the policy period.

At NPIS we not only make sure you have the right legal malpractice insurance we make sure you understand your coverage. Have questions about your policy give us a call. We will help you even if you are not our client.

Our business is protecting your business!

Why You Need Employment Practice Liability Insurance

What will you do if you get sued by an employee? At Nielsen Professional Insurance, Inc., we recommend that all businesses have coverage to protect themselves against any claims from employees alleging discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, failure to promote, or other employment-related issues. While most large companies have substantial Employment Practices Liability Insurance coverage to protect themselves from an employment lawsuit, many small or new businesses don’t – and they are often the companies most vulnerable to an employment claim. Most of these businesses don’t have a legal department to defend them or in many cases even an employee handbook to detail the policies and procedures that are used for hiring, terminating and promoting employees. This leaves them open to potential lawsuits.

What Does Employment Practice Liability Insurance Provide?

First and foremost, Employment Practices Liability Insurance gives you peace of mind. As soon as you decide to hire employees, you need coverage. This is because new employees pose an extremely high liability risk that begins the moment you interview them. If you choose not to hire an applicant, that individual could allege discrimination based on factors including age, sex, race, or disability. And if you do hire that person, but then later fire them, he or she may decide to claim wrongful termination. Even if the claim is groundless, you are left with legal fees and the stress of battling them in court – unless you have Employment Practices Liability Insurance.

This insurance provides coverage for you and your company against all claims made by current, former, or potential employees. Claims you are protected from include those alleging discrimination, and they also cover claims of wrongful termination, harassment, and other employment issues, including breach of contract and even failure to get a promotion.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance simply makes sense for employers in both small and medium-sized businesses. Nielsen Professional Insurance, Inc. is a family-owned and operated company that offers you over 25 years of experience in helping clients choose just the right coverage to provide them with the peace of mind they need to succeed in their line of business. To get started, just call us at (877) 856-9231 or submit your information online for a customized quote today.

Minimize Business Insurance Costs Without Cutting Corners

business insurance planning cost cutting

Cutting costs is important for businesses in today’s economy, but no one wants to save by putting themselves at risk. At Nielsen Professional Insurance, Inc., we take the time realistically assess your needs, so that we can recommend the best, most affordable business insurance for your particular company. And we offer you these suggestions to save you money – without cutting any corners.

Tips To Minimize Your Business Insurance Costs

1. Raise Your Deductible

This may just be the easiest way to lower your business insurance cost. Choosing a higher deductible means you’ll pay less in premiums – but make sure that the deductible you choose is an amount that you are able to pay if the need ever arises.

2. Cut Out Unnecessary Coverage

Not all companies are the same, and there is no one-size-fits-all business insurance policy. An estate planning company like Elville and Associates will not need the same coverage as a business coach like Jump Stone International.  Make sure that you carefully consider exactly what coverages you do – and don’t – need. Get an estimate for the individual coverages that are necessary, and if you are considering a package deal, make sure it’s actually going to save you money.

3. Consider an Insurance Package

If you do need multiple types of insurance coverage like a pest control company does, a Business Owner Policy may be less expensive than buying individual policies. By packaging your liability and property insurance together, you often pay less in total.

3. Check for Overlap

Remember when everyone thought they had to pay for rental car insurance? Then, automobile insurance companies started including it as part of their regular coverage – and now you don’t need. Of course, some people pay anyway – often because they fail to read the fine print on their own auto policy. Make sure you read each of your insurance policies’ coverage terms carefully to check for any duplication or overlap of benefits that can be eliminated.

5. Reduce Your Risk

The higher your risk, the more you pay for coverage. Talk with your agent about what you can do to prevent losses. You may be able to reduce your risk with simple steps such as a disaster preparation plan, theft-prevention program, human resources training, or added workplace safety measures. Less risk means your insurer may reduce your rates.

6. Get a Free Quote

A quote lets you can see what your business insurance will cost with a company before you buy. Finding an agent who knows about the different markets, the various carriers and even the underwriters enables them to find the best coverage for your business at the best price.

Nielsen Professional Insurance, Inc. offers business insurance from many of the strongest insurance and asset management organizations in the world. To find out how we can help you minimize your business insurance costs, call us at (877) 856-9231 or submit your information online today.

A Middleman is Best When Shopping for Insurance

As Insurance Brokers representing many clients for over 20 years we know what is important to clients. We hear over and over again from our clients that they want the best deal when purchasing any insurance. They want the application process to be easy and they want an insurance quote quickly. They want someone knowledgeable to make sure they get the right insurance coverage and someone who can answer their questions. This boils down to cost, easy, speed and peace of mind are what matters most. When you consider the things that matter most when shopping for insurance a Broker does a better job at satisfying clients than purchasing insurance from a captive agent. 

Is an Insurance Broker better than going to a captive agent or buying direct when considering cost?

Yes, absolutely because an Insurance Broker is loyal to you, not the insurance company. We shop all the companies we have access to, finding you the best coverage for the best price.  Experience with the markets and expertise in understanding your business and the coverage you need can save you a lot of money. We shop for you then explain the difference in the policies so you get the best coverage at the best price from someone who is licensed and trained.

Does using an Insurance Broker make it easier?

Yes, an Insurance Broker works for you marketing your business to multiple carriers with minimum applications. Instead of having to fill out an application for each separate carrier you want a quote from a Broker minimizes this filling out applications for you or using Broker only universal applications. They compare all the quotes and present them to you explaining the differences and giving invaluable advice on coverage differences. This is much easier than applying to different carriers and then having to compare the coverage’s yourself.

Of course, using an Insurance Broker can be much faster than going to several different captive agents. A Broker quickly and efficiently markets your business to the right carriers for the correct coverage. An Insurance Broker can normally present you with several quotes from A-rated carriers in a couple of days. Using a broker takes a fraction of the time, saving you from researching, filling out multiple applications and reviewing quotes.

There is no doubt that using an Insurance broker to shop for your Insurance provides peace of mind. An Insurance Broker like you is a professional at their job. We have been educated, trained and licensed in order to sell insurance. Our obligation is to you our client and we take care to make sure your business is protected as much as possible at the best price. We are there to answer your question regarding your coverage.  At the end of the day, we are liable to you if you do not have the coverage you thought you had. Which is why we make sure you understand your coverage. Each year we will review your insurance needs and re-quote to make sure you are getting the best deal.

When it comes to buying Insurance for your business whether it is Liability Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance or Business Property Insurance an Insurance Broker can save you time and money and provide you with both an easier application process and the confidence that you have the right insurance to protect your business.

Legal Malpractice 101: What You Need to Know

Legal Malpractice


Legal Malpractice Insurance is Sound Risk Management

Ask any attorney about legal malpractice insurance and they will all agree it is a cornerstone of a sound risk management strategy. Most also acknowledge that at some point in the course of their career, they will encounter a claim or two. Mistakes and misunderstandings are a part of life. Malpractice allegation can costs thousands of dollars in defense costs that could put significant financial strain on a lawyer or firm.

What does legal malpractice insurance cover?

According to the ABA, legal malpractice is defined as any act which is negligent or wrongfully executed by an attorney who causes monetary damages to his/her client. Basic legal malpractice insurance policies are designed to provide coverage for claims that arise from “wrongful acts” committed in the rendering of legal services in your capacity as a lawyer.

Malpractice or professional liability insurance protects an attorney against a client’s claims of malpractice and pay the client if the attorney is found guilty of malpractice. Insurance depends on the field of law and position of the attorney seeking coverage, and may fully or partially cover liability and may explicitly list exclusions to coverage. Each firm needs to decide what options are most important to them in mitigating their risk.

When deciding on the appropriate legal malpractice insurance policy, here are some important considerations:

  • Prior Acts – This is the date after which losses may occur and be covered under the policy. Ideally, the prior acts date should be the initial date the law firm was formed.
  • Limit of Liability – The maximum amount the insurance company will pay for the coverage. Typically, limits are expressed as “per claim” and “aggregate”. Appropriate limit will need to be weighed against cost.
  • Deductible – The deductible is how much the firm will pay “out-of-pocket” in the event of a loss. Insurance carriers will vary in terms of the deductible allowed and the type of deductible options available. In some cases insurance carriers will offer a zero deductible option.
  • Claim Expenses – Usually claim expenses (e.g., reasonable fees, costs, and expenses charged by attorneys retained or approved by the insured for a claim brought against an insured) are included within the limit of liability. Some carriers will offer an option to provide claim expense payments in addition to the limit of liability with a maximum that is usually equal to the per claim limit of liability.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right legal malpractice policy is one of the most important decisions you can make in developing your risk management strategy. Nielsen Professional Insurance Services will be with you every step of the way to determine the best coverage for your particular needs. Fill out our Request A Quote form now or call us toll-free at (877) 856-9231 for more information on our services.

Beware of Cheapest Attorney Malpractice Insurance

“Cheapest Attorney Malpractice Insurance” Isn’t the Best Way to Shop

Cheapest Attorney Malpractice InsuranceSearching the Internet for the cheapest attorney malpractice insurance can be a potential pitfall. Yes, malpractice insurance is a necessary evil, but you don’t want to make the mistake of getting the wrong coverage because of price or not having any coverage at all.

Even if you are a highly experienced and successful attorney, eventually there will be a client who is dissatisfied and will want to sue you. It’s an unfortunate fact of life for a practicing attorney. Allegations of malpractice can cost an attorney and their law firm tens of thousands of dollars to defend. Proper malpractice insurance coverage can act as a financial buffer for you and your firm.

Comparison shopping is a must if you are looking for the best coverage for the best possible price. Rather than going directly to an insurance company where you’ll get one price, we recommend speaking to a professional malpractice insurance broker (like Nielsen Professional Insurance Services) who will work with top insurance companies and provide you with the proper coverage for your practice and situation AND the best price for that coverage.

Just like a health insurance policy or a homeowners policy, the first question an attorney needs to ask about attorney malpractice insurance is whether or not it provides adequate coverage. Only then should you look at the price. If a health insurance policy only covered, say, communicable disease, but not traumatic injury, the price is pretty much irrelevant, isn’t it?

Shopping Malpractice Insurance Is Important

There is no one insurer that is “always cheapest.” Depending on your coverage needs, one insurer might be cheaper than another for Lawyer A, but more expensive for Lawyer B and that can change from year to year as insurers decide to move out of certain markets.

A good malpractice insurance broker will have a decent idea of which insurers will best fit a given attorney, but even the best broker can’t know for sure until a quote comes back. That’s why the policy needs to be shopped around at least every year or so.

Some coverage options are more important than others (deductible amount for example), and each attorney and firm must decide what options are the most critical to protect themselves.

We recommend that you have a discussion with your broker every year and make sure of two things: 1) That you have adequate malpractice insurance coverage (adequate, not the cheapest attorney malpractice insurance). This can change from year to year as you take on different types of cases, cases with a higher monetary value or simply if you have more personal assets that you want to protect. A professional malpractice insurance broker can help with this, but it’s also up to you to decide what level of malpractice insurance makes allows you to sleep well at night.

2) That you are getting the best price for your malpractice insurance coverage. It’s primarily the broker’s job to shop around for the best malpractice insurance coverage and your broker should do this for you annually.

Why Nielsen Professional Insurance Services?

Here at Nielsen Professional Insurance Services, we have solid relationships with many malpractice insurance carriers (not because they carry the cheapest attorney malpractice insurance) which allows us to offer you and your firm the most comprehensive and affordable professional liability coverage in the unfortunate case of a malpractice lawsuit.

The insurance carriers we utilize provide the best coverage at competitive premiums. We have the expertise and the years of experience to make this a simple process for you. We assist you every step of the way – from quote to policy comparisons – and get you back to work knowing that you have the right coverage at a competitive premium that you can live with.

That’s not where our service ends, of course. Our client is you, not the insurance carrier. We give you professional and personal service throughout the year, alerting and counseling you if and when changes occur and assisting you and your firm should a malpractice claim arise.

The Bottom Line

Don’t make the potentially major financial mistake of buying a policy that came up when searching for the cheapest attorney malpractice insurance plan. Fill out our Request A Quote form now or call us toll-free at (877) 856-9231 for more information on our services.