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How to Make a Professional Liability Claim

Arnett & Arnett, PC  Nov. 3, 2022

Professional liability insurance, also sometimes called errors and omissions insurance, fills in where general liability insurance leaves off. General liability insurance will cover claims for those who suffer some sort of property damage or for customers or others injured on your premises. Professional liability insurance will cover claims for acts of negligence, or errors and omissions, in the performance of the services you provide. 

Professional liability insurance (PLI) is generally acquired by those in professions such as medicine, accounting, law, real estate, finance, architecture, engineering, and similar occupations. When a client makes a claim for non-delivery of services, missed deadlines, mistakes, errors, or other lapses in the standards of performance, then your professional liability insurance should cover your claim. 

Insurance companies, of course, are in the business of making money, so any claim you make will be questioned and challenged to keep the insurer’s payout as minimal as possible, even to deny the claim if possible. That’s where the help of a professional liability insurance attorney can prove invaluable. An experienced professional liability insurance attorney knows all the tactics and tricks employed by insurance companies and can press your claim toward fulfillment. 

If you are a professional who is involved in a claims dispute with your professional liability insurance carrier, or you have other issues or concerns with your coverage in or around Chandler, Arizona, contact us at Arnett & Arnett, PC. We have more than three decades of experience in dealing with insurance companies and can help you resolve whatever it is you’re facing with your insurer. 

We also proudly serve clients in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and throughout the state of Arizona. 

What Is Professional Liability Insurance? 

As its name implies, professional liability insurance is a policy for those who provide professional services and can face claims by clients and others regarding the services they provide. Professional liability insurance may come under different names. For doctors, it may be called malpractice insurance. For those in the real estate industry, it might be called errors and omissions insurance. 

The kind of coverage offered in professional liability insurance is not found in general or commercial liability insurance, nor in any in-home business policies or business owners’ policies. Those policies generally cover bodily and property damage claims. Professional liability insurance covers the policyholder for any mistakes, errors, omissions, or acts of negligence in providing their services. A typical PLI policy will cover: 

  • Mistakes, errors, and oversights in services provided 

  • Undelivered services 

  • Missed deadlines 

  • Negligence or failure to meet standards 

  • Breach of contract 

Filing a Claim 

If a client is making a claim for something you did or failed to do in providing your services, you need to act quickly. If the claim has reached the level of a lawsuit, you have 20 days to respond or the plaintiff can get a default judgment against you. Given this, it is essential to contact your professional liability insurance carrier immediately. Even if a lawsuit has not yet been filed, it could be on the horizon and arrive shortly after the initial claim is made. 

If you are unclear whether your policy covers the particular claim being made, you should check your certificate of liability insurance. Note, however, that the wording in your policy can make a huge difference. If your policy says it will cover a “negligent act, negligent error, or negligent omission,” this is more limiting than if it says it will cover any “negligent act, error, or omission.” On these fine points, your insurer can try to deny your claim. 

This is one of the many reasons you should enlist the services of an attorney experienced in dealing with professional liability insurance claims. Your insurer is dedicated to looking out for the bottom line, and some companies will even resort to bad faith tactics to deny or limit a legitimate claim being made. If you have never dealt with an insurance adjuster or claims person before, you might end up answering questions you shouldn’t or inadvertently saying something that can hurt your claim. 

Therefore, before contacting your insurer, run the facts and circumstances past an experienced attorney and let that person handle your claim from that point going forward. Your attorney will know how to deal with insurance company tactics and help you get the results you need and deserve. 

Skilled Professionals: Arnett & Arnett, P.C. 

At Arnett & Arnett, P.C., we have been dealing with insurance companies and their tactics for more than three decades. We can anticipate and counter actions taken by your insurer to limit or deny your claim. 

If you’re in a dispute with your professional liability insurance provider, or better yet, you need to make a claim and realize professional assistance is a plus, contact Arnett & Arnett, P.C. immediately for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Arizona from our office in Chandler.