Raffi Kodikian Announces Professional Liability Changes to Every Lawyer Should Watch For In The Months Ahead

Raffi Kodikian

October 10, 2021

Raffi Kodikian Announces Professional Liability Changes to Every Lawyer

Raffi Kodikian examines recent changes to malpractice coverage every attorney should know in 2021.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, July 29, 2021 – Things are always changing in the business world. After a challenging 2020, Raffi Kodikian identifies key changes to professional liability coverage attorneys should expect to see in the months and year ahead.

As Senior Vice President at Founders Professional, Raffi Kodikian has extensive expertise in professional liability insurance. He currently serves as Senior Vice President at Founders Professional.

Kodikians recent insights include comments on upcoming changes he expects to see in the insurance industry, specifically those that will soon impact professional liability. 

“It’s a turbulent market right now,” said Kodikian. “Stakes are high and claims have increased. This is resulting in dramatic pricing increases. For many lawyers, the conditions and terms of their coverage are changing.”

Because of these changes, Raffi Kodikian recommends that every legal professional consult their broker to ensure they still have adequate liability coverage, as well as to understand any differences that might take place when renewing their policies. 

“Specifically, we are seeing carriers reduce their capacity for smaller firms,” says Kodikian. “If your firm has 10 lawyers or less, then it’s possible you may see some changes that impact your coverage.”

Several recent spikes in liability claims are directly related to cybersecurity and data breaches. The pandemic forced many law firms to operate much differently from the norm. One such operational adaptation included a larger number of lawyers working from home. Other big changes took place in the fields of digitized data, different dockets, and shifts in how clients were handled.

All of the changes, says Kodikian, resulted in an increase in malpractice claims.

In some cases, there have been carriers who have vacated one market or state because of loss experiences, only to re-enter the market later. Those carriers returned to those markets after facing low-performance issues, which can often be a risk to unsuspecting lawyers. 

Raffi Kodikian recommends each firm and legal professional ask how long the carrier has been in business beforehand. They should also know if that carrier has ever vacated and later re-entered the market.

“Not only are potential changes going to impact your coverage, but they should also impact how you shop for your coverage,” explained Kodikian. “It may take more time to renew your professional liability insurance. You don’t want to rush through the process and end up with something you aren’t happy with. You should ask about a carrier’s financial strength, experience, coverage, extended reporting periods, and renewal process, as well as premiums. Don’t begin to practice in a new area casually, and consider if the new area might be rated as high-risk.”

Kodikian also suggests changing insurance carriers if you are concerned about the risk, longevity, or financial rating of the one you are currently with . The goal is to take a proactive approach to avoid disruption and the potential of serious price increases down the road.