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Issues in Professional E&O Insurance Coverage

Fri Nov 15th, 2019 on     Insurance Law,    

Experienced Insurance Litigation Lawyer in Miami, FL

If you’ve been sued for professional malpractice and are presumably covered by a professional errors & omissions (E&O) insurance plan, then you may be surprised to discover that — in the wake of the aforementioned third-party lawsuit — your insurer is engaged in various attempts to avoid having to payout for your liabilities, and to avoid having to possibly defend you in the underlying action.  This can put you in a rather vulnerable position, as the financial ramifications could put a serious damper on your continued professional success, and a loss in the malpractice suit could have long-term consequences for your reputation in your particular industry.

It’s critical that you consult a qualified attorney for guidance on how to proceed, so that you can secure that which you are entitled to.  Contact an experienced Miami insurance litigation lawyer here at Ver Ploeg & Marino, P.A., who can help you take action against the insurance company and compel them to follow-through on their obligations under the E&O policy.

As you explore the possibility of litigation, it’s worth exploring some of the more common issues faced by policyholders in E&O insurance disputes.  Identifying the issues will enable you and your attorney to develop a solid strategic plan at an early stage.

Claim Timing and Reporting Conditions

Most E&O policies require that the covered third-party malpractice claim be made during the policy period itself (and some require additional procedural conditions, such as serving notice to the insurer during the policy period).  Though some E&O policies allow for a claim that was brought prior to the start date of the policy to be covered — in other words, a retroactive coverage provision — this is an uncommon provision.

Exclusions for Intentional and Illegal Acts

E&O policies generally do not cover intentional and/or illegal acts.  For example, if you are an orthopedic surgeon and you intentionally harm your patient with a surgical tool, then that act will almost certainly be excluded from coverage.  In fact, strict E&O policies do not provide coverage for anything rising above negligence — reckless behavior (i.e., getting intoxicated while on the job) will not be covered by the policy.

Bodily Harm and Property Damage Exclusions

Some policies only payout for professional malpractice that causes a particular sort of harm, such as bodily injury or property damage.  Even if the insurer does not cover a particular damage category, however, they may still be obligated to defend you in the underlying suit if at least one of the allegations fall under the coverage umbrella.

Contact VPM for Comprehensive Legal Assistance

Here at Ver Ploeg & Marino, P.A., our attorneys have decades of experience working with professional policyholders who find themselves embroiled in a dispute with their insurance provider (following a third-party claim based on alleged malpractice, or some other form of professional misconduct).

We understand the unique difficulties faced by policyholders in such scenarios, and how frustrating it can be to have your professional livelihood and reputation at stake — we are a fundamentally client-centric firm and work closely with clients at an early stage to ensure that we have all the information we need to advocate aggressively on their behalf.  It’s important to us that we provide the best possible legal representation.  Merely adequate is insufficient.

Ready to speak to an experienced Miami insurance litigation lawyer at VPM?  Contact us to request a consultation.

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