White Paper

3 Reasons Why a Custom-Crafted LPL (Lawyers Professional Liability) Policy Might be Right for Your Law Firm

The American Bar Association says that four out of five lawyers will get sued for malpractice at some point in their career.

Adequate protection against lawsuits is critical to ensure the financial security, success and longevity of the firm. Once a firm or an attorney is sued, much less time will be spent on developing new business and enhancing client relationships.

Lawyers Professional Liability (LPL) is not a simple insurance policy. Coverages can be complex and need to be understood to avoid errors in coverage. For example, a cheaper policy might seem like a bargain, until you discover that the policy does not provide “prior acts coverage”. Or, more common, the definitions of “professional services” and “claims” in the policy might be very narrowly defined and create coverage gaps.

Custom-crafted LPL policies offer firms the opportunity to find the right coverage, whatever the size, focus or geographic location of the firm. Here are three good reasons to consider switching to a custom-crafted LPL policy.

The account is actually underwritten

Not all law firms are alike. That’s why a custom-crafted policy can provide a real benefit to law firms. The LPL is actually underwritten. Instead of becoming a transactional buying process, the underwriter goes beyond an application, looking at the experience of the firm’s attorneys, specifics about the practice itself, and includes an analysis of the firm’s actual risks. This is done via phone calls, discussions and in-person meetings. This provides exactly what the law firm needs, no more and no less.

Innovation is the norm, providing better coverage

There’s room for creativity and innovation in a custom-crafted LPL. Many insurers don’t want to insure firms that specialize in certain areas of practice such as collections, plaintiff firms, real estate, securities, elder law and governmental and municipal firms.   It’s basically because they don’t have the expertise and knowledge to understand the value these specialty practices offer to the public. They see only risk. Looking at these practice areas with a different lens allows the underwriter to delve more deeply into the specific risk exposures the firm faces, determining where the pitfalls lie and examining how to create a policy that protects and mitigates the risks facing the firm.

Access to risk management and loss control

Claims analysis is another big benefit to a custom-crafted policy. By analyzing the claims history of the firm, some policies can be designed to help the firm mitigate the risk exposures they face through risk management and loss control services. These can include email alerts on timely legal developments and access to comprehensive resources and forms libraries.


Ethos Specialty’s Lawyers Professional Insurance group works with specialty LPL producers who understand the product and have the ability to market the coverage. To learn more, visit the website or speak directly to one of the professionals listed below:

Todd E. Cusano, Esq., Senior Vice President, 860-280-6011, [email protected]

Scott Vroman, Vice President, 415-265-3960, [email protected]

Katherine Norris, Underwriter, 860-888-2514, [email protected]

Peter Clough, Vice President, 331-229-2201, [email protected]

Heather Ottoson, Assistant Vice President, 860-734-3398, [email protected]


Source: 1] ”Ways to avoid legal malpractice, as claims rise industry-wide,” Around the ABA, December, 2016

[2] Lore, Michelle. “Malpractice Made Easy,” Small Firm Soapbox, August 9, 2016

Ethos Specialty Insurance Services (Ethos Specialty) is a world class US Managing General Underwriter (MGU) platform with exceptional leadership and underwriting talent. We are part of Ascot Group, a Bermudan-domiciled global specialist in insurance and reinsurance. Ethos Specialty provides underwriting talent focused on niche, specialized insurance products where human capital, product innovation and unparalleled underwriting expertise are critical.

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.


That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.


Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]lrp.com