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The Times They Are a Changing

Lyrics from the Bob Dylan song:

“Come gather ‘round people, wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown, and accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone, if your time to you is worth savin’, and you better start swimmin’, or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’”

Yes, 2021 is ushering in a number of changes for all of us. If your practice is changing, here is a list of high risk areas of practice that may impact your malpractice insurance coverage.

  • Cannabis Representation – Nationwide the insurance and financial industries have not been able to reconcile an industry that is illegal at the federal level and legal in many states. As a result, pricing is high, if available, even for lawyers who are just giving advice to these businesses.
  • Plaintiff Class Action and Mass Tort work and to a lesser extent defense work in this area. Almost universally class action and mass tort are viewed as a high risk. Many underwriters will not write a firm doing this work.
  • Medical Malpractice Plaintiff Work – Traditionally, a high claim area of practice.
  • Collection Work
  • High Volume Estate Work – Claim statistics are showing an increase in severity in this area of the law.
  • High Value Family Law – Claim statistics are showing an increase in severity.
  • IP Work – Viewed as extremely high risk. Many underwriters will not provide terms for a firm doing this type of work.
  • Securities Work – High severity.

We are not suggesting that you not take on these representations for your clients, however, you should be aware that adding these areas of practice to the work performed at your firm will likely have an impact on your malpractice insurance costs.

If there are any questions, please contact your Kaestner & Berry representation for assistance.

At Kaestner & Berry we are independent agents who specialize in helping law firms meet the challenges of a changing world.

EPLI (Employment Practices Liability) Risk

Have you considered your risk for an EPLI claim? EPLI claims are on the rise. In 2017, there were 84,000 charges filed with the EEOC. The median judgement for employment law suits that went to trial in that year was $106,800.00. The mean award was $375,162. In 2017, there were 12,000 plus claims. Over $350,000,000 in employment related claims were paid that year.

Since 2017 a lot has happened. There are several different situations in the new post COVID-19 workplace, which can result in a potential EPLI claim.

  1. Employers who lay off employees and/or recall other employees may face discrimination claims.
  2. Employees transitioning back to work in the workplace may give rise to employment claims regarding accommodating disabilities and religious practices.
  3. COVID-19 relief bills provide two new causes of action for failure to provide paid sick and family leave, and retaliation after the use of paid sick and family leave.
  4. Vaccination requirements and incentives can give rise to disability and religious discrimination.

*Info from The Professional Liability Underwriter Society – “COVID-19 EPLI Update”

Kaestner & Berry is proud to introduce a “starter” EPLI policy from Safe Talent. The company has an A+ AM Best rating. It is designed for small to medium size law firms.

In most cases, the application consists of just 3 questions. The policy limits are $250,000. The deductible is $10,000. Pricing is based on the number of employees at the firm.

Number of EmployeesApproximate Total Cost
1 to 5$1,450
6 to 10$2,050
11 to 20$2,600
21 to 30$3,300

Contact your Kaestner & Berry representative for details.