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What is legal malpractice insurance?

Legal malpractice insurance is one of the most important areas of liability coverage a law firm or practicing attorney should purchase. Any mistakes or errors made when working with a client can lead to claims of malpractice or negligence against an individual or firm, leading to additional litigation. The costs of defense or a settlement are covered under a malpractice policy, so long as the incident was accidental and not caused by malicious or illegal intent. Malpractice liability insurance is not required in all states, but there are 26 states where attorneys are required to disclose non-coverage to their clients.

Synonyms for legal malpractice insurance
When you see the following term, it is synonymous with the definition of legal malpractice coverage. This term can be used interchangeably.

  • Lawyers professional liability insurance: Professional liability insurance is commonly associated with coverages addressing errors and omissions. These are the accidental mistakes that create undue damage to a client’s case or cause some type of loss.


Learn more about legal malpractice insurance

When do I need to be aware of legal malpractice insurance?

For attorneys, malpractice coverage takes care of the financial burden for defense against claims of errors when practicing law. It could be failing to file paperwork by a deadline, not doing enough research, lack of knowledge concerning the law, or refusing to communicate with a client. Any action or decision you or your firm takes that causes a loss or expense to the client could be subject to a malpractice claim.

What is important to know about legal malpractice insurance?

Each policy is written differently, though a majority of them cover exposures to claims dealing with a specific area of legal practice. A policy will cover both a firm and any individual lawyers working within the firm. There are some other important items you should know about legal malpractice insurance:

  • A history without prior claims leads to a policy that is less expensive than those who have had legal action taken in the past.
  • Areas with higher risks have higher premiums.
  • Legal malpractice excludes coverage in areas of fraud, criminal activity, bodily injury, or fiduciary duties.