Does professional liability policy assist my firm with a subpoena?

Does the professional liability policy assist my architecture/engineering form with a subpoena?

It depends on your firm’s insurance company on how they will respond to a subpoena request.

The professional liability policy may have coverage under a pre-claims assistance:

  • A written or verbal threat to make a claim
  • A subpoena for documents or testimony
  • Your awareness of an actual or alleged error, even though no claim has been made
  • When you feel sufficiently worried about a project that you believe a claim may result

The policy may also address a subpoena coverage specifically:

Subpoena Assistance Coverage

If, during the Policy Period, an Insured receives a subpoena for documents or testimony as a fact witness arising from a Professional Service which occurred on or after the Retroactive Date, and the Insured requests the Insurer’s assistance, then the Insurer will appoint an attorney to represent the Insured regarding the production of documents, to prepare the Insured for sworn testimony, and to represent the Insured at their deposition provided that:

-the subpoena arises out of a lawsuit or other legal proceeding to which the Insured is not a party and

the Insured has not been engaged to provide advice or testimony in connection with the lawsuit and the Insured has not been engaged to provide such advice or testimony in the past.

Regardless of the number of subpoenas received or the number of individuals receiving subpoenas, the maximum limit for this coverage is set forth on the Declarations. This amount will not be included in (and shall not reduce) the Limits of Liability.

This specific policy example has limits that are for the subpoena assistance and outside of the policy limits.

Regardless of the coverage in your firm’s policy, it is good to report a subpoena request to the claims department of your firms insurance company.

If you have any questions about subpoenas please call or email your Professional Underwriters agent for assistance.subpoena

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