A Look at Extended Reporting Period (“Tail”) Coverage & Reasons to Consider Our Program for Your Law Firm
Attorneys and law firms likely recognize the risks they face of becoming involved in a malpractice lawsuit during their tenures. However, you may not realize that these risk exposures continue even after your legal career concludes. This is where extended reporting period (ERP) coverage – also colloquially referred to as “tail” coverage – becomes important. This coverage is designed to help protect lawyers and firms against claims made by former clients relating to past work.
So, what precisely is ERP coverage? Should attorneys consider securing this type of coverage? Let’s dive in to answer these questions and demonstrate why our program at Aon Attorneys Advantage may be a fit for your practice and your law firm.
What is ERP coverage?
ERP coverage refers to an extension of a claims-made policy term that allows a policyholder to make a claim for events that happened while the policy existed but were reported after its termination. The term length for tail coverage can be unlimited or range between 1 to 5 years depending on the policy.
Most legal malpractice insurance are claims-made policies, which makes tail coverage an important consideration. To receive coverage from a claims-made policy, the policy must be active both when the covered event occurs and when the insured reports it to the insurer. The narrow applicability of claims-made policies can be a concern for insured firms and individuals when a policy terminates. Tail coverage is a policy feature that addresses this issue.
Subject to eligibility, ERP coverage is available for both individual attorneys and law firms. ERP coverage for an individual attorney is designed to protect a covered person from liability for their past actions. Individual ERP coverage is helpful for attorneys who cancel or do not renew their malpractice policy because they retire or otherwise leave the practice of law. This type of coverage may also help protect an attorney’s estate and family from malpractice claims that may arise after death. Attorneys practicing in wills, trust and estate law may be particularly susceptible to claims from past work and therefore may want to consider ERP coverage.
Additionally, ERP coverage may protect law firms against past malpractice involving attorneys, staff, contractors, and other parties included within the terms of a specific policy. Firms may want to consider ERP coverage in connection to the following events:
- Changes in partnership
- Death or disability of key members
- Other events where a firm ceases to operate
“I like to think of ERP coverage as a shield of sorts for attorneys and firms,” notes an underwriting colleague with Aon Attorneys Advantage. “It serves as an added layer of protection in case a claim from past work rears its head.”
For more information on the details of ERP coverage, check out our in-depth blog post
on the topic.
Should attorneys consider ERP coverage? If so, why?
Again, the answer is yes.
Attorneys and law firms should consider ERP coverage to decrease potential risk exposures from malpractice claims that stem from past conduct.
The reality is that, like any professional, attorneys run the risk of getting sued at any time, whether you are currently practicing or retired. When attorneys or law firms choose to forego obtaining ERP coverage, they are forfeiting the option to receive access to protection for work performed in the past, should a claim arise, subject to the policy’s terms. Even if you are no longer practicing, you likely want to protect the legal career you spent years building and dedicating your skills to.
Aon Attorneys Advantage ERP Coverage Program Highlights
So, now that you’ve learned a bit more about ERP coverage, turn to Aon Attorneys Advantage for your insurance needs – for ERP coverage and beyond. Here’s what we offer:
- A free non-practicing individual tail for attorneys who retire or stop private practice (subject to eligibility)
- Ability to receive unlimited tail following retirement for individual attorneys who have been with a previous carrier for three years and Aon Attorneys Advantage for one year (subject to eligibility)
- Specialized experience working small and solo firms with 1 to 25 attorneys
- One of the broadest professional liability coverage forms in the marketplace, with access to a suite of other insurance products (cyber liability, business owners’ policy, workers compensation)
- Trusted Aon brand, with 45 years of experience and more than 25,000 lawyers insured
Get in touch with us to learn more or get a quote today!
This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide individualized advice. All descriptions, summaries, or highlights of coverage are for general informational purposes only and do not amend, alter, or modify the actual terms or conditions of any insurance policy. Coverage is governed only by the terms and conditions of the relevant policy.