Attorneys continue to be confused with claims-made coverage. If the coverage is not in force at the time a claim is made there is no coverage. Some attorneys assume that claims-made coverage is like an occurrence policy in that if a covered act occurred during the time that coverage was inforce you can make claims at any time in the future. This is not true.
Recently an attorney called that had their coverage cancelled for nonpayment of Premium and wanted to report a disciplinary action. Unfortunately we had to tell the attorney that there was no coverage currently in force because the policy was cancelled for nonpayment of premium and as such there would be no coverage under the old policy.
With claims made coverage the four questions you need to answer to determine if there is coverage are:
1. Is Claims Made Malpractice coverage currently inforce?
2. What was the date that the covered act or error was alleged to have occurred?
3. What is the retroactive (prior acts) date on the current inforce policy?
4. What was the date that the Claim was Made?
If you cannot answer in the affirmative to the above 4 questions, barring an ERP(Tail or Extended Reporting Period Endorsement), generally there is no coverage.
This makes the Professional Liability Insurance coverage predictable to the insured and the insurer at the time a claim is made.