What should I report?
To trigger your insurance coverage, you must report a claim or incident to us in writing as soon as you become aware of it. A claim is a demand you the insured receives for money or services including the service of suit. An incident is any circumstance, act, error or omission which reasonably could be expected to be the basis of or lead to a claim or suit covered by your insurance policy, including any notice, advice and/or threat – written or verbal – that any entity intends to hold you responsible for any alleged error or omission. This means you need to report an incident regardless of the client’s knowledge or action in the matter and regardless of whether or not you believe it has merit.
When should I report a claim or incident?
We ask you to report a claim or incident immediately for two reasons:
- A professional liability insurance policy is actually a claims made and reported policy. Under a claims made and reported policy, coverage is provided under the policy that is in effect at the time a claim is first made against you or you first discover any circumstance, act, error or omission. Failure to report a claim or incident during the policy period may result in lack of coverage. Remember, the claim must be made or incident must occur AND be reported during your policy period to affect coverage.
- A claim or incident that is reported early frequently can be “repaired.” Our claims staff will work with you to look for ways to reduce damages or mitigate a claim before it develops into a lawsuit.
How do I report a claim or an incident?
- Deliver to us immediately, WRITTEN notice of any incident, claim or suit, providing the fullest information possible, including the following:
The date or dates of the alleged incident or claim.
- A summary of the circumstances giving rise to the incident or claim and the injury or loss that has, or may result.
- The circumstance by which you first became aware of the incident or the claim.
*Immediately deliver to us all suit papers, including the summons and complaint.
What will happen after I report a claim or an incident?
After reviewing your written report, our claims staff will work with you to determine an appropriate course of action to resolve the claim or incident. Your knowledge of the client, the circumstances surrounding the representation and your knowledge of the substantive area of law will help us find an appropriate resolution.
What happens if a claim or an incident becomes a lawsuit?
Many claims and incidents never become lawsuits. If they do, we will work closely with you and the defense attorney chosen by us to represent you. You are always welcome to call your defense attorney or our claims staff any time you have questions.
What should I avoid doing when I have a claim?
In the interest of achieving the best resolution of your claim and protecting your coverage, we ask that you talk with us first. Please do not discuss the claim or incident with anyone other than Florida Lawyers claims staff or your defense attorney. Please avoid admitting an error unless the circumstances require disclosure to comply with the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. Under no circumstances should you attempt to settle or otherwise resolve a claim or suit without the knowledge and consent of our claims staff or your defense attorney.
Is there anything else I should know?
You purchased professional liability insurance to protect yourself, your clients and to give you peace of mind. With Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company you receive insurance coverage plus the services of a claims staff devoted to giving the best service possible to help defend your reputation. Florida Lawyers Mutual’s claims manager has been helping our policyholders since 1994. In fact, most of our staff have been here for many years, so you are assured of service from a team of experienced professionals who are happy to work with you directly. Please call us any time you have a question about an actual or potential claim.