The practice of law in Georgia, like any other kind of business, has its rewarding moments and downsides. One potential downside is the possibility that a dissatisfied customer will sue you for professional negligence.
Even if the client does not have a valid claim, a legal malpractice action’s reputational and financial costs can still be significant. To protect themselves from the potential consequences of this risk, attorneys and law firms in Georgia typically purchase lawyer malpractice insurance.
In this article, we will answer some of your most pressing questions regarding the policy, starting with the best 5 providers in Georgia.
- 5 best lawyer malpractice insurance companies in Georgia
- What is lawyers malpractice insurance?
- What does lawyer malpractice insurance cover in Georgia?
- How much does lawyer malpractice insurance cost in Georgia?
- What factors affect the cost of lawyers malpractice insurance cost in Georgia?
- How to get cheap lawyers malpractice insurance in Georgia?
- Is lawyers malpractice insurance required in Georgia?
5 best lawyer malpractice insurance companies in Georgia
We research more than 20 companies offering lawyers malpractice insurance in Georgia and here are our recommendations of the top 5 providers:
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing quotes
- Simply Business: Best for finding low cost lawyers malpractice insurance in Georgia
- Travelers: Best for customer satisfaction
- AON Attorneys Advantage: Best for affordable policies
- biBERK: Best for a great complete digital experience
CoverWallet: Best for comparing quotes
CoverWallet is a digital broker that provides coverage for lawyers and other small businesses in the US. CoverWallet provides you with access to various online tools that you can use to pay your premiums or submit claims if you purchase insurance through them. CoverWallet will typically provide several quotes from different carriers they work with after submitting your information. This makes it easy and convenient to compare several quotes in one place.
However, there are times when they cannot provide a quote via the website, so they will ask you to call them or permit them to contact you.
If you are interested in obtaining several quotes in one place to compare and select the best and the cheapest one for your law office, you should give it a try.
Simply Business: Best for finding low cost lawyers malpractice insurance in Georgia
Simply Business is another online broker, like CoverWallet. The company specializes in providing insurance for small businesses. Their goal is to streamline and simplify purchasing insurance for all small businesses. They have a good understanding of what is important to owners of small businesses, which is coverage at rates that are as low as possible. They help you find the most affordable coverage from more than 20+ carriers that they work with. In building their partnership carriers, they are focused on finding carriers that provide the cheapest coverage for the small businesses that they work with, including small law offices.
They may not be able to provide quotes online since many carriers that they work with do not have capabilities of providing quotes online, but if you are most interested in finding the cheapest coverage for your law firms, you should consider working with them.
Below is an quote they provide online for small law firm with 2 full-time attorney located in Atlanta, GA. As you can see, they can provide one quote online only, but you should work with them if you are interested in finding the cheapest coverage.
Travelers: Best for customer satisfaction
Travellers designed their policies to protect legal professionals from emerging exposures and can help protect your firm from negligence, errors, and omissions. You can also customize this policy to suit your specific needs.
Travelers also provide a broad array of risk management resources to help proactively mitigate legal liability exposures, including a risk management helpline that provides up to a one-hour consultation with a premier professional liability defense firm. This helpline provides confidential, knowledgeable, and expert risk management resources.
Sadly, Travellers does not provide online quotes. To get quotes, you have to go through their agents. You can get a list of available agents around you on their website using your zip code.
AON Attorneys Advantage: Best for affordable policies
AON’s Attorneys Advantage Professional Liability Insurance Program provides affordable professional liability insurance to law firms with one to 25 attorneys.
Attorneys Advantage can quote and cover your firm whether it faces standard or non-standard risks due to specialization or claim history.
The firm’s online platform generates malpractice insurance quotes in minutes, and you can get simple quotes for legal malpractice or a broader one for business coverage.
Since Attorneys Advantage is an AON subsidiary, their quote matches CoverWallet’s. However, you can expect superior coverage, responsive claims processing, and expert support to reduce risks and lower insurance costs.
biBERK: Best for a great digital experience
Biberk approaches liability insurance from the perspective of small businesses. In addition to professional liability insurance, they offer a number of other coverages for law firms in Georgia. Policies are available nationwide and can be obtained in approximately ten minutes. Enter the required personal information and respond to a few questions. That is all that is required to obtain a quote.
The following quote for a law firm in Georgia was gotten from biBERK.
After buying a policy from biBERK, you can also manage your policy completely online through their customer portal. biBERK specializes in providing a completely digital experience for their customers.
What is lawyers malpractice insurance?
Attorneys expect to have a sufficient level of legal knowledge and will correctly apply that knowledge when clients hire them. Should they make a mistake, they run the risk of being sued for any damage or harm that may have been caused due to their oversight.
Attorneys with legal malpractice insurance can better defend themselves against covered lawsuits that accuse them of acting negligently. Insurance against legal malpractice is a subset of professional liability insurance that is tailored specifically to the needs of attorneys and other legal professionals.
In most cases, it shields attorneys from legal action brought by clients who claim their work is substandard or that they made mistakes. Most of the time, a policy will pay both the legal fees and any settlements associated with a covered suit (up to the policy’s limits, of course).
What does lawyer malpractice insurance cover in Georgia?
In general, attorney malpractice insurance policies offer protection against errors and omissions resulting from the primary area of practice of the insured lawyer under the policy.
Many policies also protect incidental activities that a lawyer might be called upon to perform. For instance, a lawyer serving as an executor or trustee, acting as a notary public, serving as a member, director, or officer of a professional organization, or working as a title agent.
Examples of activities covered by these policies include:
- Misleading advice
- Claims that the information was not presented accurately
- Contravention of the contract or failure to provide professional services
- Data breach and unauthorized access to it
- Errors that result in legal action and financial losses
- Negligence or harm caused by advice or service
- Potentially competing interests
- Unlawful methods used in business.
The vast majority of malpractice insurance policies for attorneys do not cover a variety of other wrongdoings. In most cases, these include the following:
- Legal services are provided to a different company owned or controlled by the insured lawyer.
- Claims filed between two lawyers who work for the same law firm;
- Acts of dishonesty, malice, criminality, or fraud;
- Services rendered as a fiduciary in accordance with the ERISA Act;
- Property damage or bodily injury caused by the insured lawyer.
Coverage for services rendered as a fiduciary, as well as bodily injury or property damage caused by a lawyer, is often available through other insurance policies. Because the precise protections afforded by a given policy can vary from one plan to another, legal professionals should carefully review the terms and conditions of their coverage plan to determine the scope of the coverage they enjoy.
How much does lawyer malpractice insurance cost in Georgia?
The average cost of lawyer malpractice insurance in Georgia is $145 per month. Most attorneys should expect to pay from $75 to $520 per month depending on several factors that we discussed below.
Keep in min that these are just the averages. Your rates will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with a broker such as CoverWallet or Simply Business to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for your law firm.
Learn more at how much does legal malpractice insurance cost?
What factors affect the cost of lawyers malpractice insurance cost in Georgia?
Annual premiums for a malpractice insurance policy vary. The cost of an annual premium will depend on several factors that define the risk profile. These factors may differ from one insurer to another, but the main ones are as follows:
Size of company
The size of your law practice is one factor that heightens your risk profile for malpractice coverage.
Generally, large firms pay less in insurance premium per insured than small or solo practices. Some providers even offer steep premium reductions for firms with many attorneys.
The more experience a lawyer or law firm has, the cheaper their insurance. So, a recent Bar admittee will pay more when compared to an attorney with decades of experience.
Background of the attorney
The attorney’s history regarding disciplinary actions and malpractice is essential in risk assessment. It’s not enough to have several years of experience; insurers will also want to see how the record of the lawyer in those years. Lawyers with bad records tend to attract higher insurance premiums.
Another important factor is the scope of your practice area. Lawyers in practice areas with higher rates of malpractice claims or greater exposure result in higher premium costs for malpractice insurance. For instance, personal injury, securities, and real-estate lawyers may expect higher premiums as these fields are considered “high-risk” areas.
Costs are impacted both by the level of coverage and the deductible chosen. In addition, the terms that have been negotiated, such as coverage of defense costs, can significantly impact the price.
How to get cheap lawyers malpractice insurance in Georgia?
There are discounts available for lawyer malpractice insurance even though there are a variety of factors that determine the fee. If you are looking for some ways to cut costs, the following may be helpful:
Check for the best prices
You should consider checking various insurance providers to get the best price and value for your money. This is because premiums vary from one insurance provider to the next. Even after you get a suitable policy, continue to search for better deals. Do not wait until your current policy has expired or is close to expiring before beginning your search for a new one.
There are numerous voluntary and state bar associations in Georgia, and membership in these associations can earn you discounts on your malpractice insurance premiums.
Ask for discounts
Some insurers may be willing to negotiate prices or offer discounts. For instance, some insurers provide price reductions to newly licensed attorneys and are willing to negotiate unique price reductions for sole proprietors or small practices.
Is lawyers malpractice insurance required in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, legal malpractice insurance is not compulsory. That means you can practice law legally without this insurance policy.
However, practicing without this policy may be risky. This is because even the best lawyers have bad days in court. Should you have a claim where your client believes you did a terrible job, you may not have enough money to pay for the damages.
Besides, this policy is not just to pay for damages. The policy can cover the expenses associated with court cases if clients sue you. So, if there was a false accusation, the policy pays for your representation in court so you can face you don’t have to leave your work.
What are “claims made” legal malpractice policies?
Most insurance policies for legal malpractice are written as “claims made” policies. This is also true for most other types of errors and omissions insurance. In most cases, insurance policies that cover claims only pay out for reported incidents when the policy is in effect.
The act of filing a claim is the primary trigger for coverage; however, this must be done within the timeframe specified by the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. They may have retroactive dates and discovery periods that further define what incidents are covered, but the act of filing a claim is the primary trigger for coverage.
Who needs lawyer malpractice insurance in Georgia?
Having attorney malpractice insurance in Georgia is something that may be beneficial to anyone who practices law. An attorney malpractice policy should be seriously considered by lawyers who run their law firms in Georgia.
Even lawyers who larger firms employ may wish to have their very own policy. This is important since the policy of their employer might protect them while they are working for the employer; however, it is highly unlikely that the policy will provide coverage for any consulting or pro bono work that is performed outside of the employer.
If a lawyer has another job or does pro bono legal work on the side, having their attorney malpractice policy can help protect them from any potential lawsuits that may be filed against them.