Professionals in any field should maintain appropriate insurance to cover themselves and their employees should anything go wrong in a business capacity. For many professionals, that insurance is called errors and omissions or professional liability insurance. For an attorney, that insurance is called legal malpractice insurance. We decided to research how lawyer malpractice insurance is handled in Kansas, and we will cover the following topics.
- 4 best lawyer malpractice insurance companies in Kansas
- What is lawyer malpractice insurance?
- Why do you need lawyer malpractice insurance?
- What are the lawyer malpractice insurance requirements in Kansas?
- Who needs lawyer malpractice insurance in Kansas?
- How much does lawyer malpractice insurance cost in Kansas?
4 best lawyer malpractice insurance companies in Kansas
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing several quotes
- Simply Business: Best for finding low-cost coverage
- Embroker: Best for new lawyers and new law firms
- Attorneys Advantage: Best for mid-sized law firms
With each of these companies, we requested a quote for a law firm based in Lawrence, Kansas, with two attorneys, an annual payroll of $450,000, and annual revenue of $1 million.
CoverWallet: Best for comparing several quotes
CoverWallet is an online insurance broker specializing in business insurance. If you purchase insurance through CoverWallet, they offer online tools for you to use to pay premiums or file claims. When you submit your information, CoverWallet typically provides quotes from multiple sources. However, sometimes, they are unable to return an online quote, and they request you call them or allow them to contact you.
Sometimes CoverWallet can’t return a quote online for various reasons. In such cases, they need to discuss your quote options on the phone.
- Quotes from several providers using one application
- Various coverage types are available
- Manage your policies with an online dashboard
- Coverages provided by a third party
- You might have to call to complete the quote
Simply Business: Best for finding low-cost coverage
Simply Business is another digital broker specializing in small business insurance. Their mission is to make buying a small business insurance policy simple and easy. They understand what small business owners care for: good coverage at the most affordable rates. And that’s what they focus on: finding low-cost coverage for their customers from more than 20+ carriers that they partner with.
Below is the quote we received from Simply Business for a small legal office with 3 lawyers in Lawrence, Kansas.
- Input information into one website to retrieve multiple quotes
- Optimize technology to find the right coverage at the most affordable rates
- Operates a resource library to help you understand business coverage needs
- A third party handles all policies
- Can’t file claims through Simply Business
Embroker: Best for new lawyers and new law offices
Embroker is an insurance platform designed for people who would rather focus on building their business than on buying insurance. Everything is done online, and they provide fully-digital quotes and coverage in just a few minutes. Once you purchase a policy with Embroker, they continue to monitor your coverages to make sure you have the right coverage as your business grows and changes. Embroker is a good choice for new startups.
- Variety of carriers and policies
- Offers health and employee benefits
- Data-driven recommendations
- No mobile app
- Very little information on the claims process
Attorneys Advantage: Best for mid-sized law firms
AON Attorneys Advantage provides a wide range of legal malpractice insurance coverage for both small and mid-sized law firms. They are a broker specializing in providing legal malpractice insurance for law firms. They offer coverage for both small and mid-sized firms.
- 50+ years of experience writing insurance policies
- Underwriter has an A rating from AM Best
- Coverages limited to small law firms
What is lawyer malpractice insurance?
Lawyer malpractice insurance is another name for professional liability insurance that is tailored to the legal profession. It’s one of the essential insurance policies an attorney should have. If mistakes or errors are made when working with a client, that client can claim negligence or malpractice against either the individual attorney or the law firm. These claims lead to additional time in court.
Why do you need lawyer malpractice insurance?
If a client claims negligence or malpractice against you, the insurance will help you cover the costs of your defense or a settlement with the client. These coverages help as long as the malpractice claim is from an accidental incident and not intentional due to maliciousness or an illegal act. An attorney is at risk of being sued for malpractice if the client thinks they handled a case inappropriately or negligently.
What are the lawyer malpractice insurance requirements in Kansas?
Each state has varying requirements regarding lawyer malpractice insurance. In Kansas, lawyers are not required to carry malpractice insurance. However, they are required to disclose whether or not they have insurance coverage.
Who needs lawyer malpractice insurance in Kansas?
A wide array of legal professionals in Kansas need this type of coverage, including:
- Bankruptcy referees
- Criminal law offices
- Corporate attorneys
- Counselors at law
- Estate lawyers and offices
- Law firms and offices
- Legal aid offices
- Patent solicitor’s offices
- Estate lawyers and law offices
- Family lawyers and practices
- One person practices
- Private practices
- Real estate lawyers and law offices
- Tax lawyers and law offices
- Pro bono lawyers
How much does lawyer malpractice insurance cost in Kansas?
The cost of lawyer malpractice insurance in Kansas varies based on several factors that we discuss below. Based on the quotes we obtained above for a law firm with 3 lawyers, the average cost of lawyer malpractice insurance in Kansas is $125 per month, or $1,500 per year.
Malpractice claims are complex, and no two lawyers or firms have the same risk, so it’s crucial to to shop around or work with a top broker like CoverWallet or Simply Business to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for your law firm.
Factors impacting lawyer malpractice insurance cost in Kansas
Several factors impact lawyer malpractice insurance cost. Below are some important ones:
- Your area of practice. What area of law is your specialty? Some areas of practice have a higher risk of malpractice claims, and premiums for those practicing in a higher risk category will experience higher premiums.
- Your firm’s size. As you add more lawyers to your firm, the malpractice premiums will increase, but it’s not an exponential increase. In fact, once your firm reaches a certain size, insurance companies could offer discounts based on the size.
- Step rating. This is a method used by insurers to determine malpractice premiums. The rates are based on how long an attorney has been with your firm. In the first year, premiums are lower, and they will increase as the attorney continues to practice. Usually, the rate is as high as it will go by the sixth year of practice.
- Continuous coverage. Typically, rates increase over the course of the first five years. Once a lawyer or firm has been with the same insurance company for five or six years or more, the insurance company will usually stop increasing the premium yearly because the firm has maintained continuous coverage and has matured.
- Your firm’s location. Each state has a minimum premium requirement per attorney that insurance companies assign. States will set individual rates based on areas of practice as well. Rates can change each year based on the claims filed in the state. The county you’re in can also affect your insurance rates.
- Amount of coverage. Choose a limit that is adequate for the size of your law firm. If you have a high policy limit, your premium will be higher. The cost to defend yourself and the cost of any settlements are combined underneath your policy’s limits. Typically, the maximum limit available is $10 million.
- Amount of deductible. Higher deductibles equal lower premiums. However, it will do you no good to have a high deductible if you can’t afford to pay that deductible.
- Risk management. If your firm has a risk management system in place, insurers will look favorably on that and likely lower premiums.
- Hours worked annually. If an attorney works less than 1,000 hours a year, they are considered part-time. Firms with part-time employees can often have lower premiums.
- Claims history. Frequent claims affect your premium, but severe claims are a more critical consideration when insurance premiums are assessed. If there are several claims against you, but none of them have been paid, then your premium shouldn’t change much. A large claim against you that has been paid can severely affect your premiums.
Lawyer malpractice insurance is a kind of professional liability insurance tailored specifically for attorneys. Kansas is one of several states that doesn’t require lawyers to have malpractice insurance. However, lawyers are required to disclose whether or not they carry the insurance. Like other insurance coverages, costs vary, and you should contact an insurance professional for questions regarding malpractice coverages.