Where Do You Go When You Need Insurance?

I’ve written before that I am opposed to mandating the purchase of professional liability insurance.  I’m also not sold on the idea that brand new lawyers must have professional liability insurance. But I know I’m in the minority. The majority of new lawyers want to buy insurance immediately as it gives them peace of mind.  However, it can be an extremely difficult challenge to find the right insurance company, the right coverage, and the right price.

One of Solo Practice University’s missions is to find the best products and services solos actually need and at a price they can afford.  The marketplace is flooded with products and services for solos and it is very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.  SPU does all the heavy lifting.  That’s why we are very pleased to introduce one of our newest sponsors – ALPS (Attorneys Liability Protection Society).

Earlier this year we were contacted by ALPS. They expressed genuine interest in becoming an SPU sponsor*. I’d say it took a good nine months of back and forth before I was satisfied they offered an overall good value for solos/small firms. Once we established they are really offering a very good product, we then negotiated extra benefits for SPU students.  So, let me tell you about ALPS.

First, all this company does is professional liability insurance for lawyers. They actually were formed in direct response to the mid-1980s insurance crisis which directly impacted the legal community because it made liability insurance either unaffordable or simply unavailable to attorneys. (I’m also partial to products and services created to resolve a specific problem versus larger companies that offer similar products and services as an afterthought to their main products, whatever they may be).

ALPS currently insures more than 12,500 attorneys across the country. On top of that, they are endorsed by more bar associations than any other professional liability insurance company. An added (and important) bonus – they are technologically advanced. This is critical today for the solo who needs to be able to run their practices from their computers. They are also direct underwriters – not brokers. Combined, these two factors impact efficiency and overall costs.

Currently, ALPS is registered in thirty-four states and expanding to more states in 2013. Please be sure to contact them and find out if they offer their products in your jurisdiction.  ALPS is not in California, so If you are in California, be sure to check out, LMIC (Lawyer’s Mutual Insurance Company),  who operates exclusively in California and is also a proud sponsor of Solo Practice University.

ALPS also understands the value of education in helping to avoid malpractice claims.  Not only do they provide ongoing education to their insured but they also recognize Solo Practice University provides an important educational service.  That is why ALPS is offering their education credit discount on their liability policies to all lawyers who enroll in Solo Practice University.

We can’t say enough good things about ALPS.  They are a company with a mission and their mission benefits solo/small firm lawyers.

*Solo Practice University does not accept affiliate commissions.  Any benefit we would have received under such a program is passed on to our students.


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3 comments on “Where Do You Go When You Need Insurance?

  • Susan, I am insured by ALPS and I have attended several of their seminars which are on point for today’s legal community and very informative. Good choice.

  • On the issue of whether a newly-minted solo should get PLI right away: Keep in mind that some insurers won’t insure you – or will charge you a ridiculous rate – if you have a gap in coverage. One more thing to consider when making that decision.

  • We can quibble about premium payment details and such (Oregon’s PLF payment plan is horrible for new private practice attorneys, as even the 40% discounted premium is brutal, and they charge a LAN-shark-worthy $100 fee PER installment if you break it into quarterly payments), but the underlying mandatory professional liability insurance program is sound.

    Young, assetless lawyers with licenses but no plf are a real threat to the public.

    If you’re going to bar entry to the profession by requiring licenses and then enforce UPL laws, the tradeoff is an obligation on the part of the bar to ensure that any lawyer benefitting from the guild system created thereby carries enough insurance to make most malpractice claims recoverable.

    We make every driver carry insurance, and the average new driver is a better driver than the average new lawyer is a lawyer.

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