Professional Indemnity Insurance is required by all law firms in Australia. Making a Professional Indemnity Insurance claim can happen to you and it’s a worrying possibility. Breach of duty, defamation, damage to documents and intellectual property infringement claims are more common than you would think. At East West Insurance we can help you, and give tips on how to reduce the risk of making a claim within your company.
Lawyers Weekly, recommends to first identify common risk factors. Firstly, it is important to:
Be clear on who your client is
This will ensure there is no conflict in your businesses transactions and is particularly critical where family is involved. Lawyers are advised to explain that they aren’t acting for other family members and record it in a file note.
Know Your Client
With an increase of identity fraud over the past few years, it’s imperative to record a file note with your client’s full name, date of birth, address, and identification.
Maintain proper file notes
Keeping a file of all communication protects you, provides a piece of mind and acts as an audit trail. Detailed file notes and client advise should be given in writing and signed off by clients. Finally, be careful of hidden risks in file transfers from other solicitors – ensure the file has been fully read before you commit.
After identifying these risk factors, you must then follow a few steps to simplify processes with technology;
It is very important to capture details file notes always, particularly if your staff are out of the office.
- Centralised data
Storing client information in a well-structured directory ensure you can streamline office efficiencies, particularly if a lawyer leaves the office.
- Use less paper
Paper documents are inherently less secure than digital files, consider importing all client documents to digital files.
- Data ownership
If your practice management system is in the cloud, you should ensure you have a direct ownership of your data and can extract client documents in bulk.
- Workflow Practices
Good practice management systems will present staff with automated task lists, ensuring they undertake common processes consistently.
By following these few steps, it will help reduce the risk of claims and premium costs, resulting in running a more efficient and profitable firm.
While you may think it’ll never happen to you, the threat of litigation and claims is very real in today’s business environment and can cause huge financial problems for your business. For a piece of mind, give East West Insurance Brokers a call on 1800 809 132 today to see how we can help you and your business.