Lawyers professional liability (LPL) insurance policies differ in the coverage provided. Each policy must be carefully examined to determine what is not covered as well as what is covered. Most LPL will contain Exclusions that the policy will not apply to the enumerated causes. Typically, LPL policies will NOT apply to:
- Criminal, dishonest or fraudulent acts or failure to act;
- Willful, intentional or malicious acts or failure to act;
- Punitive or exemplary damages;
- Allegations of discrimination or sexual harassment;
- Acts, errors or omissions as an officer, director, trustee, or employee of a business enterprise or charitable organization or of a pension, welfare, profit sharing, mutual, investment fund or trust.
- An insured’s act, error or omission as an elected public official or as an employee of a governmental body, subdivision or agency.
If a claim is made involving Exclusions, there is no coverage for the excluded actions and defense may be provided under reservation of rights. In doing so, the insurance company reserves its rights to accept or reject coverage for such matters, and nothing done in defending, investigating, or negotiating any resolution of the claim should be construed as a waiver of the company’s rights to accept or reject coverage for such claims. The insured is usually informed of the right, at her/his own expense, to retain independent counsel to advise concerning these issues.
If you have questions about LPL policy coverage, you may contact Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Company. Gretchen Mote, J.D., Director of Loss Prevention, or any of OBLIC’s Underwriters will be happy to answer your questions.