The Ballots Are In…
For the third year in a row the readers of Missouri Lawyers Weekly have voted Kaestner & Berry as a “Best Malpractice Insurance Provider”. We are honored to be the ONLY independent agency to receive this recognition.
As an independent agency we are different from the large companies.
- We do not take a cookie cutter approach. We work with over a dozen carriers in order to provide the best pricing and coverage to our customers.
- We are dedicated to lawyers. All of our clients are lawyers. We do not dabble in other areas of insurance.
- We are dedicated to lawyers in the Heartland of America.
Thank you for your continued trust in Kaestner & Berry Professional Insurance Services, LLC.
Best wishes for your Independence Day holiday!
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Conflicts arising from Social Media and Technology Usage
The attorney-client relationship does not have to involve a face-to-face meeting or a signed engagement letter. An attorney-client relationship could be inadvertently formed if a client “reasonably relies” on what they believe to be the attorney’s legal advice through social media. It is possible that a short blog, tweet or other social media comment could expose a firm to liability or conflict a law firm out of a big case.
Risk Management Tips:
- Do not post anything on social media that could be viewed as providing legal advice. This includes avoiding providing one-on-one advice, soliciting more information, or expressing legal opinions online.
- Develop strong disclaimers to make it clear that no legal advice is being provided by the social media post and that no attorney-client relationship is formed.
AM Best is the premiere rating service for insurance companies in the United States. AM Best has been reviewing and analyzing the financial stability of insurance companies since 1899. Through good and bad economic times, the American public has relied on AM Best to access the financial strength of insurance companies.
Before purchasing insurance, make sure that the company that insures you has the financial stability to pay claims in the future. Legal malpractice claims can take years to resolve. An AM Best rating of “Excellence” provides the consumer with assurance that the carrier has sufficient financial resources both now and in the future to pay claims.
Insurance professionals worldwide depend upon an AM Best Financial Strength Rating to assess the creditworthiness of an insurance company. Contact Kaestner & Berry if you have any questions regarding the financial strength of your carrier.
Missouri claim statistics from the Department of Insurance highlight an increase in risks to practicing lawyers.
According to Department of Insurance statistics, the average payout on a successful claim increased from $145,046 to $204,581. In addition, the average “loss adjustment expense” also increased to an average of $61,252. (The “loss adjustment expense” is the costs to an insurance company to defend an attorney in a claim.)
Certain Area of Practices (AOP) are more at risk for a claim. As a result, it will come as no surprise that insurance companies charge higher rates for these AOP’s. Plaintiff Litigation work has, without exception, been the highest risk AOP to result in a claim. A few years ago, with the economic downturn known as the “Great Recession”, claims in the Real Estate AOP rose dramatically. We are also hearing from underwriters that claim severity is a particular issue for attorneys who practice in the Estate, Trust area of law.
If you practice in these areas of law, you are paying a higher rate for your Lawyer’s Malpractice Insurance. You also may be experiencing a slight increase in your premium.
At Kaestner & Berry we work with over a dozen of malpractice carriers. This allows us to provide you with the best available pricing for your malpractice insurance needs.
Kaestner & Berry is again nominated as one of the top 3 Best Malpractice Insurance Providers by Missouri Lawyers Weekly magazine. We would appreciate your vote in helping us reach #1. You can place your vote online, no later than May 9th, by clicking the following link. https://molawyersmedia.com/reader-rankings-2019/ . Then select Firm Management Services and scroll down until you see Malpractice Insurance Provider and just simply click on the “Vote” button next to Kaestner & Berry. We appreciate your vote and look forward to continuing to provide great service to you and your firm.
Cyber Liability Coverage
Is your business at risk for cyber threats? Law firms are uniquely exposed to cyber risks. For law firms, a cyber incident can lead to a loss of business, reputational damages, regulatory penalties and client lawsuits.
Kaestner & Berry offers a stand-alone cyber risk policy from SafeLaw. The SafeLaw policy provides the following protection:
Confidentiality, Privacy, Media Liability – Third party legal liability protection for:
- Failure to prevent disclosure of personally identifiable information;
- Failure to prevent transmission of hacker attacks, viruses, or denial of service attacks;
- Copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and defamation arising from the firm’s electronic publishing.
Data Breach Response Expense – First-party coverage for the firm’s expenses following a data breach including access to a panel of data breach responses experts such as I.T. forensics, legal advisers, public relations, victim notification, call center support, credit monitoring, and identity theft remediation.
Electronic Data Restoration Expense – First-party coverage for the firm’s expenses to recreate or restore data, software, or firmware that is corrupted or damaged by a hacker attack, virus, denial of service attack, or administrative errors.
Business Income Loss – First-party coverage for the firm’s lost income and extra expense incurred due to computer system disruption caused by a hacker attach, virus, denial of service attack, or administrative errors.
Cyber Extortion and Ransomware – First-party coverage for the firm’s expenses to mitigate or terminate cyber extortion or ransomware threats.
Cyber Crime (Fraud) – First and third-party coverage for fraudulent funds transfers from the firm’s bank or securities accounts for a client’s bank or securities accounts for which the firm is an authorized custodian due to social engineering or fraudulent use of the firm’s computer system.
Most legal malpractice policies now provide some cyber risk protection. However, most of these malpractice policies offers only limited cyber protection. In order to avoid surprises consider a separate SafeLaw cyber policy. For a quote, please contact Kaestner & Berry for a no obligation quote.