Know Your Insurance: “Claims-Made” versus “Occurrence”

by Kevin Johnson

Properly insuring yourself is an important part of being a responsible professional. However, it's often difficult to decide on the correct policy for you and your business. There are two main types of professional liability insurance, each offering different options: claims-made and occurrence.

Timing is the primary difference between the two policies: coverage is dependent on when the events related to the claim take place. With a claims-made policy, as long as you've had previous insurance coverage (and can prove it), your current policy it will cover the claim…even if the events leading to the claim occurred before your current policy was in force. Occurrence policies require that all the activities surrounding a claim—from the event to the initial claim itself—must happen while the insurance policy was in force.

How do you decide between the two? While it's impossible to advise about insurance policies without full knowledge your business, this is a good rule of thumb: if you've had continuous professional liability coverage, a claims-made policy will provide excellent coverage. If you are just starting out in business, or haven't had professional liability insurance in the past, an occurrence policy will meet your needs; however, should you change insurers, you will probably want to switch to a claims-made policy. Generally speaking, though, a claims-made policy offers the broadest coverage at the most affordable rates.

IAC Member Benefit: As an IAC member, you can get a quote, apply and receive coverage from the program in the comfort of your home or office. Just visit the IAC Member Benefit page for a special link and contact information. In just a few short minutes you can have the valuable coverage you need to protect yourself.

Kevin Johnson


Kevin Johnson is the Assistant Vice President of Lockton Affinity. No matter how cautious your approach to coaching, your career and financial stability are always on the line. Lockton Affinity's IAC-endorsed professional liability insurance program is specifically designed to protect its members from the ever-increasing risks of malpractice lawsuits. 

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