I believe the most important one going into the summer is the flux and dangers now to be found in the lawyer's professional liability market.
Five or more carriers have stopped writing lawyer's professional liability insurance in California. Put another way, five significant books of lawyer's professional liability insurance have lost carriers recently. The good news is there is still plenty of capacity in the insurance world since investors get such a low rate of return from banks these days. So there are new players to replace the withdrawing markets. However there is also reason for serious concern by California lawyers that are not insured by an established, financially strong carrier. Every time I see a changing of the guard so to speak, I see many lawyers left hung out to dry. Lawyers with recent claims experience are usually not taken in by the new carriers in the market. Of course, the established carriers don't want to take those risks either so they are forced into terribly expensive coverage from the non-admitted markets. The same problem happens to attorneys practicing in high exposure areas of law. The new carriers will try to shy away from the complex plaintiff litigators and the real estate attorneys and any other practices that don't fit right in their little boxes.
If you are insured by CNA you don't need to be concerned about my above comments. However, I would really appreciate it if you can share my concerns with all your colleagues by passing this newsletter along to them. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Dan McKenna, JD, RPLU