The professional liability market is predicted to harden a bit in 2020, particularly in areas like independent agents and brokers (IAB) and lawyers professional liability (LPL) insurance, due to skyrocketing claims.
IAB is seeing a plethora of claims from problematic areas like commercial auto/long-haul trucking and extreme weather, while LPL’s challenges include wills & trusts and family law—areas where things are more personal.
Why the uptick? In both IAB and LPL, many claimants say their coverage wasn’t adequate, they weren’t offered the coverage and so forth—and believe it or not, claims like this are surprisingly easy to avoid.
So how can retailers protect themselves from professional liability claims? Risk management is vital. Little things mean a lot: getting proper sign-offs, correctly adding endorsements when asked by an insured, and having checks and balances are all key. Basically, anything we can control as professionals—because try as we might, we can’t control the larger items.
We’re already seeing rate increases across the board in response to increased claims, and it will continue this way throughout 2020. At some point, though, it’ll need to level off. While some claims can’t be avoided—we can’t underwrite against freak accidents—putting better risk management into play and making sure you have proper documentation are two small steps to protecting yourself.