Zurich North America Introduces E&O Policy for In-House Lawyers

March 18, 2010

Zurich North America has introduced Employed Lawyers Select, a new errors and omissions (E&O) policy that gives in-house counsel coverage against negligence claims.

“Without negligence coverage, in-house attorneys could be uninsured against lawsuits arising from any erroneous legal services they might provide their employers,” said Marcia Munn, head of professional liability for Zurich North America Commercial’s Specialties business unit. “Yet only about 20 percent of Fortune 1000 companies purchase this coverage for their attorneys.”

The coverage is designed for companies of all sizes, from Fortune 1000 companies to smaller businesses, no matter how many lawyers they have on staff, according to Brad Gow, head of Zurich North America Commercial’s Specialties Errors & Omissions group. “As more companies bring work in-house, they are also increasing the exposure of their attorneys to lawsuits and financial loss,” he said.

Lori Bailey, regional underwriting manager for Zurich Integrated Products, said the standalone professional liability policy incorporates many of the features found in Zurich’s directors and officers policies, along with a number of new enhancements.

Highlights of the Employed Lawyers Select include:

  • A broad definition of “insured” that extends to contract and part-time employed lawyers, as well as those working under their supervision, such as paralegals, notaries and support staff
  • A flexible, extended reporting period of up to six years for the entity, and an option for individual insured person extended coverage
  • Broad coverage for moonlighting and pro bono work
  • A three-year look-back provision on insured v. insured exclusion
  • 80/20 cooperation clause
  • No sublimit for securities claims
  • Coverage for pro bono legal services for work with indigent individuals or non-profits often mandated by state bar associations or the company itself
  • Punitive damages coverage, subject to most favorable venue wording
  • Severability of the application
  • Professional services carvebacks to appropriate exclusions including employment practices, pollution and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Coverage for claims including any proceeding concerning compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
  • Coverage for personal injury claims including emotional distress

In addition to Zurich Specialties and Integrated Products, Employed Lawyers Select will also be offered by Zurich’s Financial Enterprises and Healthcare teams.

Source: Zurich North America

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