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What Does Legal Malpractice Insurance Cover?

April 24, 2018

Legal Malpractice Insurance Protexure Insurance Agency Inc

Legal Malpractice Insurance helps a lawyer to economically manage professional liability risk by helping to pay for costs related to the defense of a claim as well as legal damages that may be assessed against you. Additionally, policies may pay for some intervention to help avoid the cost of a full-blown claim or lawsuit.

Specifically, your legal malpractice insurance policy will contribute to the payment of defense costs and indemnity payments incurred to resolve claims filed against you or your firm alleging acts, errors, or omissions made in the course of providing legal services under the auspices of the named insured entity.

Lots of factors go into determining whether a particular claim is covered under a particular policy. We’ll take a look at several of these factors over the course of our next number of blog posts.


Let’s start by examining the meaning of the phrase “legal services” as it relates to legal malpractice insurance:


To be covered, a claim needn’t be an actual lawsuit, or even necessarily brought by a contracted client. But, the activity at issue must fall under the policy’s definition of “legal services.”

While the definition of “legal services” will vary slightly from carrier to carrier, there are some general understandings that apply to almost all policies and carriers, including policies offered by Protexure Insurance Agency, Inc.

In particular, “legal services” consist of services usually and customarily considered to be those performed by lawyers on behalf of clients. These would include litigation work, criminal defense, business transactions and real estate contracts representation, personal trusteeships and guardianships, estate executorships, and other advice about the law and legal liability. Additionally, almost all carriers include acting as a mediator, arbitrator, or notary under the definition, as well as title agent and escrow when such services are provided as part of a larger representation. Coverage is not affected by how or whether you have been paid: claims arising out of pro bono services are subject to the same coverage as any paid work. (But, usually, services provided to immediate family members or their businesses, are not.)

Beware, though, that other services you perform, even if provided to a paying client of your firm, may fall outside of the definition of covered legal services, depending upon the particular circumstances under which they occur. These could include things like acting as a real estate broker or financial planner/investment advisor for a company or individual separate from developing a comprehensive estate plan, for instance; or providing general accounting or bookkeeping or tax-filing services, especially if you hold other professional designations or certifications beyond being a licensed lawyer. Further, serving as a board member for a company or non-profit organization is usually not considered to be “legal services” for purposes of legal malpractice insurance policies, even though serving as general counsel most likely would be. Therefore, if you regularly wear any of these other hats, it is important to consider purchasing additional legal malpractice insurance policies to help manage the risks arising from such multi-faceted work.



Protexure Lawyers /// Professional Liability Made Easy

“I found the Protexure representatives to be extremely professional, knowledgeable, and courteous. They found similar coverage for me for a substantial amount less than I had been paying. I have been pleased with Protexure’s service and would recommend it highly.”

- David M. Lipschutz, Esquire

Receiving a quote from Protexure Lawyers is made super easy by the quick response time of their team. The renewal process is different from what I have ever seen, they offer a mostly filled out application which made the process even easier for me!

- Eric Schwab - Woodbridge, NJ

It was a pleasure working with you, - you gave me the most competitive price, quick turn around and good follow-up.

- Howard S. Kavenow

My account representative was very helpful in assisting me to complete my application. He made me feel like my questions and my business were a priority to him.

- Kim Davis

When faced with a substantial increase from our existing malpractice carrier, we received the name Protexure Lawyers from a referral. On contact, they were not only very prompt in processing our application, but also responded to several coverage questions we had. So far, the service has been excellent.

- Law Office of Shriver, O'Neill & Thompson

Mr. Dixon contacted me many months ago and I told him I renew my policy in September and that it would be helpful to contact me in July or August of this year. He did that; he was very patient with me and assisted me with the application process. He was extremely prompt in replying to my inquiries. I had been with the same company for many years so I was reluctant to leave them. He made the transition quite simple. I am fortunate that he was the salesman who contacted me.

- Robert Lewin

Thanks. You guys got my business because (a) your price was great, and (b) you were responsive and on top of things (a number of insurers surprisingly were not).

- Scott Maxwell

I first came in contact with Ryan on a cold call. Usually I am dismissive of these types of calls, but Ryan was brief and to the point - no hard sell or over promising. In the end, I received a less expensive policy than others I researched. I guess not all cold calls are a bad thing.

- Steve Hunter

Ryan offered to compare my current insurance with what he and his company could offer. I took him up on this, and gave him my pertinent information. I did my own research, and discovered that his quote was lower and the carrier had an A rating. I contacted my existing agent to see if she could match the quote. I had been her customer for a number of years and thought that was fair. She was unable to match Ryan's offer.

- Steve Hunter

I discussed some minor differences in the policies with my account representative, and throughout the process, he was easy to reach and called me back promptly. I value this a great deal. In the end, it was clear to me that I would receive a less expensive policy than I currently have, with the same coverage and excellent customer service.

- Steve Hunter

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