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Readers Rate Kaestner & Berry A Best Provider

Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly recently reported that Kaestner & Berry Professional Insurance Services is a “Best Malpractice Insurance Provider” in the state. This is the fourth year in a row for this honor and highlights the value Kaestner & Berry provides to our clients. This year we were also voted the “Best Surety Bond Provider” by the readers of Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly.

We are halfway through 2020. The changes we have seen so far to our world for this year have been historical! These changes highlight the continued value of Kaestner & Berry to our clients.

As an independent insurance agency, we focus on providing the best possible insurance, at an affordable cost, to the legal community. Kaestner & Berry is uniquely situated to help you navigate the changes impacting your business.

The other companies on the Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly “Best Provider” list typically only have one product to offer you. In effect, they have one arrow in their quiver to offer to their customer. As an independent agent, Kaestner & Berry has over a dozen arrows in our quiver! This flexibility allows us to match the best malpractice coverage, at the best price for our clients. It is this flexibility that is important to you in a time of unprecedented change.

Kaestner & Berry will save you on your insurance costs. Having the ability to shop your account allows you to have access to the best pricing in the marketplace.

Kaestner & Berry will save you time. You can spend countless hours trying to sort through the various policies and coverages offered by the many competing companies in our market. You can complete multiple applications for these different companies. Or, you can place your trust in the fact that Kaestner & Berry specializes in insurance coverage for law firms in Missouri, Kansas and Southern Illinois.

Thank you for the trust you place in Kaestner & Berry.

Are You Prepared For The Next Virus?

Are you prepared for the next virus? I am not talking about Coronavirus. I am talking about your business systems and cyber security.

Recent events have demonstrated how quickly things can change. Will your business be prepared if the next pandemic is not a medical virus but a computer virus?

Here is what to look for in a cyber policy:

  • Liability coverage. Coverage for privacy and security regulatory proceedings.
  • Breach response coverage. Coverage for notification costs to comply with state law. Credit monitoring costs. Data restoration. Computer and legal experts. Public relations assistance.
  • Cyber crime coverage. Coverage for computer fraud. Funds transfer fraud. Social engineering fraud.
  • Business loss coverage. This may be the most important coverage and is a coverage that many cyber policies do not include! This is coverage for system failures and business interruption.

At Kaestner & Berry the cyber underwriters that we work with provide comprehensive coverage that includes all of the coverages listed above. For a solo practitioner the cost can be as little as $450 for an annual policy. The pricing can vary based on your practice, revenues and selected limits of liability.

If you are interested in a separate cyber policy to protect your business, contact your representative at Kaestner & Berry.

Planning for Retirement

Planning for Retirement & Your Malpractice Policy

ERC “Tail” Coverage At No Cost To You

 

All Lawyer Professional Liability (LPL) policies are on a “Claims Made” format. Extended Reporting Coverage Endorsement, (ERC) also known as “TAIL” coverage is an important consideration if you are planning to retire in the near future. The endorsement will allow the policyholder to report a claim after the expiration of the policy.

Most LPL policies provide the ability of the retiring lawyer to purchase adequate “TAIL” coverage. Many LPL policies even offer Unlimited “TAIL” coverage at no additional premium!

For a solo practice, the ability to obtain “Free” “TAIL” coverage is an important consideration. However, in order to maximize this benefit, some planning is required.

In order to qualify for the “TAIL” coverage at no cost, there are certain restrictions built into the policy. A typical restriction is that the Company will require the insured lawyer to have been insured by the same Company for (3) consecutive years before the attorney qualifies for No Cost Tail. The length of time varies, so it is important that you review your policy. In addition, there may be other restrictions in your policy on your ability to qualify for this free benefit. For example, some policies require the attorney to be at least 55 years of age to qualify for No Cost Unlimited Tail Coverage. There is also a deadline after the expiration of the policy to request the No Cost Tail coverage.

The policy also typically requires that the attorney has “retired or otherwise ceased the private practice of law”. Some policies include strong language which voids the No Cost “TAIL” coverage if the attorney practices law again after obtaining the TAIL coverage endorsement.

For all law firms, but especially for a solo practice, it is important to plan for this benefit. You can save thousands of dollars!

Kaestner & Berry is always available to assist you with this planning. Always let us know if you are contemplating retirement or “ceasing the private practice of law”.

Cyber Warning

Cyber Warning

More than half of U.S. businesses report that they experienced a cyber attack in the past 12 months, compared to 38% the year before, according to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2019. The report shows an increasingly hostile operating environment for businesses where 27% of U.S. companies experienced four or more attacks in the last year.

The mean cost of U.S. cyber incidents was $119,000, according to Hiscox’s annual report, which surveyed nearly 5,400 professionals who are responsible for their company’s cyber security.

Businesses are facing more than just data breach claims. In 2018, over 20% of complaints involved fraudulent instruction, social engineering and extortion, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, while only 1% involved corporate data breach complaints.

Of the total losses reported, fraudulent instruction, social engineering and extortion accounted for 18.5% – $1.4 billion – of losses, while corporate data breaches made up only 1.6% – $118 million.

Any business using electronic devices, a computer or the internet is susceptible to ransomware attacks and fraudulent instruction threats. Businesses with an online presence through a website or social media can also be subject to multimedia wrongful acts claims. Kaestner & Berry offers a separate Cyber-Privacy Breach policy with broad coverage for your office security!

You Need A Dependable Carrier!

You Need A Dependable Carrier!

The financial strength rating of the carrier is a very important consideration in the selection of your malpractice carrier. For financial strength of an insurance company A.M. Best Company is considered by most to be the “gold standard. A.M. Best Company is a global credit rating agency serving the insurance industry. It is a source for an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s are also rating agencies equally respected in the market, although they issue ratings for a broader range of industries and do not focus solely on the insurance industry.

 

If your insurance carrier is not financially secure, it is the policy holder who is at risk of taking a financial blow on account of a claim that is not covered due to a carrier not being able to meet its obligations.

 

Kaestner & Berry reviews the A.M. Best ratings of all of the Lawyer Professional Liability insurers in the region. Call us if you have any questions about the financial strength of your malpractice insurance provider.