Insurance 101: Professional Liability Policies and Prior Knowledge

American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation

PUBLISHED ON: May 5, 2016

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Professional liability policies—also known as errors and omissions (E&O) or malpractice policies—provide medical practitioners, lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects, and other professionals and their firms with a defense and, if necessary, indemnification for claims arising out of purportedly negligent acts, errors or omissions in the performance of professional services. Coverage is typically written for a term of one year on a “claims-made” or “claims made and reported” basis, with the policies covering claims made (or both made and reported to the insurance company, depending on policy language) during the policy term or any extended reporting period.