The company is a surplus (unauthorized) liner carrier, that is, a company that generally assumes risks or some of the risks for which insurance is not available through an authorized company. This business is therefore transferred to an unlicensed insurer (a company that is not licensed in the state) in accordance with the state`s excess insurance laws. Although Minnesota does not require malpractice insurance, we do require practicing lawyers to indicate in their annual registration statement whether they have professional liability insurance and the name of the provider.2 In 2004, the American Bar Association adopted a model insurance disclosure policy. Subsequently, Minnesota and 23 other states adopted some form of disclosure requirement, and this information can be found by legal consumers in Minnesota, if they know it, on the Minnesota Attorney Registration website.3 However, I am particularly intrigued by the seven states that have chosen to implement a direct disclosure requirement to clients. Since 1999, for example, the South Dakota Code of Professional Conduct has required lawyers who do not pay at least $100,000 per liability insurance claim to disclose this fact to their clients in any written communication.4 I have spoken to other judges who are equally surprised as the appellant above that lawyers are not ethically required to purchase insurance in private practice. However, the more I deal with the subject, the more I am not surprised that lawyers have so far successfully campaigned against such a requirement. Minnesota also does not require doctors to have liability insurance. While many do this because of hospital or health insurance requirements, it is not a requirement to obtain a permit.9 But ultimately, I agree with the conclusion (rejected) of the Washington State Task Force, after its extremely thorough and thoughtful review of the issue, that «a license to practice the law is a privilege and any attorney who provides legal services is financially responsible for the effects of its own errors. should be. 10 Since the Task Force ultimately concluded that statutory liability insurance is generally affordable, available and correct, it should be made mandatory in a regulated profession in the public interest.
Because Minnesota requires disclosure, we generally know how many lawyers represent retail clients but don`t have insurance. Based on data collected in Minnesota in August 2019, of the 12,995 attorneys who indicated during their annual registration that they represented retail clients, 10,715 (82.45%) reported having liability insurance, with 17.55% remaining uncovered. Due to data restrictions, we do not know what types of practices these uninsured lawyers maintain. Are they sole proprietorships or small businesses? Do they primarily deal with personal complaints for individual legal consumers? Illinois estimates that up to 40 percent of independent attorneys are uninsured. In a 2017 survey in Washington, D.C., 28% of individual practitioners said they were uninsured.5 Costs are always an issue in a lawyer partnership, but professional liability insurance for lawyers in Minnesota is one of the cheapest coverages available. Major jury awards are rare, and the total number of medical malpractice prosecutions is small. Minnesota`s enviable malpractice climate can be due to many factors. While the state has not issued damage control for medical malpractice lawsuits, it has implemented several tort law reforms that have helped foster a positive climate for physicians and the health care sector.
The state has also put in place procedures to encourage more malpractice insurers to enter its market in order to increase competition and reduce premium costs. Minnesota has long been dominated by the Midwest Medical Insurance Company (MMIC), with MMIC controlling more than 60 percent of the state`s market, but in recent years, several doctor-led insurers have begun offering medical malpractice policies in the North Star State. In Minnesota, allegations of error and injunction, as well as allegations of legal error, are on the rise. If a lawsuit has been filed against you as an individual lawyer or law firm for legal errors, the cost of handling the case and the time lost can damage your company`s finances and reputation. In addition, savvy law firm clients now check if their prospective law firm has professional liability insurance before deciding on a contract with them.