When law firms are reviewing our lawyers professional liability (LPL) insurance policy, we are asked a myriad of questions concerning pricing and coverage. While these subjects are important, they can get very detailed and complicated, so it’s important to have a good understanding of the basics of your LPL policy to better understand who and what are covered, and how that is reflected in your premium.
Every policy we issue will always include the Named Insured List. A named insured is the person (or people) or entity (or entities) actually named in the policy. Every licensed attorney who is associated/affiliated with the firm will be listed as a named insured. The policy is issued to a law firm as a whole, and not individually to each lawyer. This is primarily due to the potential vicarious liability or partnership by estoppel created from the existence of a firm. It would be impossible to cover only some of the attorneys or to cover them under separate cover. So, whether there is one attorney or one hundred attorneys practicing at that firm, there will always just be one policy issued.
A policy covers the legal services of more than just the named insureds, however. All non-lawyer employees are automatically covered for work related to legal services provided (unless they are listed in the policy exclusion list). There is no premium charged for those not specifically named, as their work is viewed as assistance to the legal work provided by the lawyers in the firm and are ultimately their responsibility.
Those lawyers with an “of counsel” designation are typically treated as any other associated lawyer in the firm. If a firm holds this lawyer out as being part of the firm and doing work of the firm, both coverage and a premium will apply and the of counsel lawyer will be listed as a named insured.
Now that you know the basics of who is insured and how the policy is structured, we’ll return to pricing. Pricing for LPL policies is based on the named insureds. Each individual lawyer is subject to an annual step rate as well as other pricing factors. These factors are taken into consideration when your policy premium is quoted, so we customize your pricing to fit your firm. We have designed our policy specifically to meet the coverage needs of Oklahoma lawyers. As always, please contact us if you have any questions. We are here to help you.