Can my architecture/engineering firm have a choice of counsel on Professional Liability?
This is a great question and an matter that needs to be address prior to purchasing your firms Professional Liability policy.
Many architecture and engineering firms have an attorney they already work with for contracts and other business matters. If your firm has an attorney you are comfortable working with and would like to work with them in the event of a claim, it may be possible. Some insurance companies will allow your firms attorney to work on a claims case. But it is recommended that your firm get approval, prior to purchasing your Professional Liability policy, for the attorney you would like to work with.
If you would like to work with an attorney of your choice the insurance company may ask for that law firms contact information and hourly rates. It will then be determined if the insurance company approves the attorney. The reason they ask for the rates of the law firm is that they have negotiated rates with law firms already in place. If your firms attorney is higher they may not approve but if your attorney is willing to work with the insurance company it may work out.
If you don’t have an attorney that’s okay too, the law firms that the insurance companies work with are familiar with the architecture and engineering firms and construction defect claims. The insurance companies put many resources towards finding quality attorney’s and want to make sure your firms claim is handled professionally.
Attorneys are an important piece of the claims process. Check with your insurance company, prior to binding coverage, if you are interested in having your own attorney for claims. If you have questions please call or email your Professional Underwriter agent.