Professional Liability

Professional Liability  

OVERVIEW

It is prudent for every law office to purchase proper lawyer’s professional liability insurance coverage through a reliable provider.

 

As a busy professional, you don’t always have the time or the resources to research the insurance marketplace to compare all malpractice programs available today.

 

The HSBA has done the legwork for you so you don’t have to worry if you’ve made the right choice. After careful review of all the major insurance carriers writing in Hawaii, the Board of Governors chose to endorse Mercer Health & Benefits Administration LLC and Westport Insurance Corporation, a member of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.

 

This is the only lawyer’s professional liability insurance program endorsed by the Hawaii State Bar Association.

Professional Liability Insurance

Available coverages, credits and options may vary by state. All association members are eligible to apply. 

Tell Me More

ELIGIBILITY
All licensed attorneys practicing in the state of Hawaii are eligible to apply.

 

TYPE OF INSURANCE
Lawyer’s Professional Liability

 

DESIGNED FOR
Sole practitioners and law firms

 

INSURANCE COMPANY
Westport Insurance Corporation, a member of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.

 

POLICY FORM
Claims-made policy

 

LIMITS OF LIABILITY
Per Claim: $100,000 to $5 million
Aggregate: $300,000 to $5 million

 

DEDUCTIBLE
$1,000 to $100,000

 

CLAIMS EXPENSE

  • Defense Inside Limits Available
  • Additional Claims Expense Outside the Limit


OTHER COVERAGES AND BENEFITS

  • Prior Acts Coverage Available
  • Extended Reporting Period Coverage (60 days after termination of policy)
  • Optional Extended Reporting Coverages (12, 24, 36 month or unlimited)
  • Non-practicing Extended Reporting Coverages (12, 24, 36 month or unlimited)
  • Free risk management webinars with Hawaii CLE credits.
  • Defense income reimbursement: $500 per day, up to $15,000 per claim with no deductible.
  • Disciplinary proceeding defense: $20,000 per policy outside the limit of liability with no deductible.
  • Data breach protection: up to $10,000 per incident / $20,000 per policy with $1,000 deductible.


This disclosure is an outline of coverage and a summary of the policy. The policy should be consulted to determine terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations.

Contact Us

 Mailing Address
Mercer Health & Benefits Administration LLC
P.O. Box 31000
Honolulu, HI 96849-5411
 Phone
1-800-200-4089
 Hours
 M-F 8a-5p CT
 Fax
515-282-8324
 Email
HawaiiPL.service@mercer.com

FAQs

Answers about the plan, including eligibility, options, enrollment, customer service and more.

  • How much does it cost?

    The annual premium per attorney can vary widely depending on limits of liability, deductible, length of time in practice, claim history, areas of practice, and a number of other factors.

    Click the Apply Now button to obtain an approximate indication of premium, but bear in mind that premiums can vary substantially based on individual and firm practice characteristics that can only be evaluated with a completed and signed application. In addition, coverage is subject to underwriting standards and is not guaranteed. The fact that we provide an indication does not assure that a quotation will be offered.

  • Do I have to carry professional liability insurance?

    No, but it is highly recommended by the HSBA. Current statistics show that in any given year, a minimum of five to six insured lawyers out of every 100 in private practice will experience a malpractice claim. Statistically, this means a firm of 20 lawyers could be the recipient of a claim every year. Since the exposure to legal malpractice is greater now than ever before, it is a prudent part of law office management to establish meaningful loss prevention practices including the purchase of proper lawyers’ professional liability insurance coverage.

  • How much coverage do I need?

    There is no single way to answer this question. Under most policies, the "each claim" limit of liability defines the company's maximum total obligation for settlements, judgments and defense costs (including attorney fees) in connection with a single claim, so you should keep in mind that costs can consume a significant part of the limit.
     

    One common benchmark is to select an each-claim limit that would cover all or most of the firm's liability for a claim (plus the cost of defense) arising from a "typical" engagement, assuming the firm was found to be 100% responsible.

  • How do I compare insurance companies?

    Following are some key points of comparison:

    • Financial security
      Is the company admitted in Hawaii? Is the company rated by A.M. Best & Co., Standard & Poor's and/or Moody's? 
    • Experience
      How long and how successfully has the company written legal malpractice insurance? 
    • Long-term commitment
      Has the company demonstrated a commitment to this line of insurance through both good and bad times? 
    • Claim handling
      Does the company respond promptly, appoint qualified defense counsel when necessary, and actively pursue a fair and speedy resolution?


    The state Bar approved program is underwritten through Westport Insurance Corporation, a member of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has earned strong financial ratings, including “AA–” by Standard & Poor’s, “A1” by Moody’s and “A+” by A.M. Best. Wesport/Swiss Re's commitment to lawyers and their law firms is unparalleled.


    Policy Features include:

  • What deductible should I choose?

    That depends on how large a check you can write without seriously disrupting your finances, and how much you can save by choosing a larger deductible. Most insurance companies offer varied deductible options. Companies may set either a minimum or maximum deductible, depending on underwriting criteria. Increasing your deductible may lower your premium, but you should be realistic in weighing the value of minor premium savings compared to the additional risk you are assuming, since you will have to pay your deductible before the company begins to pay for costs.
     

    A good way to evaluate this tradeoff is to request a quote with deductible options above and below the deductible you are considering. Remember, also, to consider whether the deductible applies separately to each claim, or applies on an annual aggregate basis regardless of the number of claims in a policy year.

  • What exactly is meant by ‘professional liability insurance’?

    Professional Liability Insurance protects the named insured against claims arising from real or alleged errors or omissions (including negligence) in the course of their professional duties. Professional Liability claims may arise out of professional activities, such as failure to render professional services. Professional Liability Insurance only covers insured’s when they are acting as a professional. Professional Liability Insurance is also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O).

  • Can I pay the premiums in installments?

    The Lawyers’ Proliability Program offers a convenient, low-cost premium financing plan through AFCO. The plan requires a down payment of 10% of premium at the inception of coverage, with the balance payable in nine equal monthly installments beginning 30 days thereafter.