The Broker’s Guide to Supplemental Applications for Lawyers’ Insurance
Lawyer’s professional liability (LPL) insurance can be an essential piece of armor for every attorney and law firm. It can help protect lawyers as they face a slew of financial risks that could arise from their professional services.
To offer your clients more comprehensive protection, learn about various supplemental policies and endorsements available for attorneys and law firms. As legal malpractice claims grow at a record pace, it could be more crucial than ever to ensure your clients have the coverage they may need to practice with confidence.
This handbook will give you an overview of the supplemental applications needed to assist an underwriter in assessing the law firm and to determine which coverage options may be eligible for your law firm client.
Guide to Supplemental Applications for Lawyers’ Insurance
Here are some tips for filing each type of supplemental insurance application. These additional coverages may help protect your client’s reputation, assets, and practice. You can find all of our application forms in the Broker Resources
section of our website.
This could help protect against claims that arise for work an attorney did before
joining their current firm. The attorney seeking this extension of coverage will be required to fill out a form to provide information on the firms for which they want coverage.
Law firms representing debtors or creditors in debt collection cases will need to reveal how much of their practice is devoted to that. They will also be required to communicate if their practice has violated any part of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and whether they collect debtors' payments before filing a lawsuit. Finally, a firm will need to disclose attorney to staff ratios to ensure alignment with the underwriting requirements.
Combined Area of Practice (for Policy Renewals)
This application will need to be filled out when a policy is up for renewal in order to update a law firm's risk profile. The law firm will be required to fill out (in percentage terms) this short supplement to confirm the current detail for certain areas of law they practice. Such information may include the average number of cases each attorney handles annually, if a certain transaction size has been realized, and details of other practice information.
When a law firm works with a corporation, they will need to provide background information on both the corporation and the law firm itself in the application tied to the work being performed.
Any law firm that practices entertainment law will need to fully complete an entertainment supplement to their professional liability insurance application. This will include providing information on representing celebrities, publishers/authors, artists, athletes, and other public figures.
Attorneys that handle environmental matters for the firm will need to provide information regarding how many years’ experience they have in environmental law. They must also list the certifications or degrees related to environmental science they’ve received. Each attorney will be required to list the percentage of time they devote to environmental practice.
The underwriter may require law firms that work with financial institutions – such as banks, credit unions, and lending companies – to add this supplement for consideration of terms or eligibility. In the application, it’s essential to specify whether the law firm had any financial dealings with the institution while it was a client.
Intellectual property matters handled by the law firm need to be addressed in this form. The application includes a breakdown of the firm’s intellectual property practice, which industries the law firm represents, and how many patent, trademark, or copyright cases the firm handles.
This form highlights the civil litigation area of practice in more depth. It breaks down the law firm's percentage of cases in product liability, medical malpractice, workers compensation, and other categories. If any, applicants will need to also provide details on class action matters in which their firm was involved in the past five years.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Law firms that handle mergers and acquisitions will need to provide the number of instances they have provided legal advice or services for privately or publicly traded companies. They will also need to disclose the post-closure values of their largest transactions for which they rendered legal services.
Law firms that provide legal services for natural resources clients will want to consider this supplement. That includes clients working in oil and gas, energy, and mining and minerals. Any involvement in business relationships outside of legal services or receiving royalties as compensation will need to be disclosed in the application.
A lawyer joining a law firm will need to complete this application to be added to the firm’s insurance policy. The lawyer will need to include their employment and insurance history and answer questions about their coverage preferences.
On the Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance application, if a firm answered “yes” to a question regarding whether an attorney at the firm has an equity interest in a client’s business venture, they will need to complete this form. It details the nature of the position held at the company and how much equity they have.
An attorney working part-time at the law firm will need to provide information explaining their reasoning for practicing on a part-time basis. They should also provide information on their outside businesses and how many hours they devote to each listed activity per week.
Law firms handling residential and commercial real estate transactions will need this supplemental application for lawyers’ insurance. On the “real estate questionnaire,” the firm will need to provide information on their five largest transactions. They will also be required to list the average number of transactions their firm handles in different real estate categories: mortgages, foreclosures, title searches/document preparation, and landlord/tenant disputes.
The securities supplemental application is for law firms with lawyers on staff who deal with regulations and financial investment laws.
Some attorneys handle tax matters at their law firm. In the “tax area of practice questionnaire,” these attorneys will need to provide information regarding their tax law experience and how often they take these types of cases.
How Do I Know What Supplemental Applications My Client Will Need for Adequate Coverage?
As an insurance broker, working with a provider covering the gamut of law practices is crucial to your success. Aon Attorneys Advantage makes understanding and selling professional liability insurance
easier for you.
Our team is available to help you and your clients every step of the way when obtaining new policies or renewing existing ones.
Get a professional liability insurance 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.