Wednesday, 08 June 2022
The LMICK Minute - Issue #22
To Our Policyholders:
What an honor to serve Lawyers Mutual of Kentucky’s (“LMICK”) insureds and the lawyers of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for another year. This sentiment is echoed, I know, by the entire LMICK Staff and Board. As a mutual insurance company, LMICK is your company and we are proud to work with you and for you. In anticipation of the upcoming Annual Meeting (more details below), we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the state of the company and to reflect a bit on 2021.
We Are a Community of Kentucky Lawyers.
Importantly, 2021 marked LMICK’s 15th consecutive profitable year. This accomplishment was made possible, in large measure, by your continued loyalty and support. Thank you. As I say in a note that I write to all those new or returning to LMICK: we appreciate having you as an insured. The financial stability that the Company enjoys allows us to serve the needs of our insureds, specifically, and Kentucky lawyers more broadly. We ended 2021 with a renewal rate of 96% for firms and 97% for attorneys. One hundred and twenty-six (126) new attorneys became LMICK insured in 2021. We would be proud of these numbers in normal times, but to hit these benchmarks in a year in which we continued to fight through a pandemic was remarkable. Together, as a community of Kentucky lawyers, we’ve persevered, and I dare say thrived.
We understand, we are Kentucky lawyers too.
Your claims team consists of three Kentucky lawyers with well over 100 years of collective experience practicing law and guiding clients and insureds through malpractice allegations. We are steadfastly committed to helping you avoid claims, assisting with claims repair and protecting you against financial loss when claims arise that cannot be repaired. Similarly, the LMICK Board of Directors is comprised of practicing lawyers from every corner of the Commonwealth. They bring hundreds more years of collective experience to bear in assisting the internal claims team in evaluating and resolving your claims. Finally, the newest addition to the LMICK team, Courtney Risk, is also a lawyer who is dedicated to serving your needs. Courtney is focused on formulating strong relationships with prospective and current policyholders and enhancing LMICK’s risk management resources and offerings to Kentucky lawyers. Practicing law can be challenging. Let LMICK help you. We are Kentucky lawyers too.
We are More than Liability Coverage.
Our motto of “serving your practice as our own” has never been more important than since March of 2020. We’ve endeavored to meet the challenges our insureds have been facing of late and most of our engagement with you has taken that into consideration. We’ve dealt not just with the pandemic which had a tremendous impact on lawyers and the practice of law, but the aftermath of the devastating tornados that hit Kentucky in December of 2021. That system of tornados was on the ground for 200 miles and towns were destroyed, lives lost and law offices and courthouses were damaged or leveled.
LMICK joined in with the greater legal community to provide disaster response recovery guidance. The LMICK Staff spent most of December 2021 checking in on insureds in the affected areas, answering questions and providing resources and guidance. We developed and reimagined CLE presentations and materials emphasizing what to do when the inevitable trouble comes knocking at your law office door.
Please make sure you are receiving and reviewing our LMICK Minute and following us on social media. We regularly disseminate helpful risk management guidance, alert you to developments that may impact your practice and remind you of ways to take better care of yourself so that you can better serve your clients. We will be all across the state this summer and fall exhibiting and giving CLE presentations. Please find us when we are in your community and say hello.
We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2022 and beyond. Please let us know how else we might assist you in the practice of law. We are always exploring ways to be a better partner.
President & CEO.
LMICK not only experienced its 15th consecutive year of profitability in 2021, but it enjoyed increased surplus—the real measure of the strength of an insurance company. Additionally, the value of being a LMICK insured is resonating, as demonstrated by the 97% renewal rate and the addition of 126 new attorneys in 2021. LMICK continues to focus on improving its competitiveness in the Kentucky legal professional liability market, while also working to maintain consistent growth through operating profitability.
The Company’s successes noted above, coupled with its financial strength and stability, allow us to hold premium rates flat until at least January 1, 2023.
For LMICK’s 2021 audited financial statements, click here.
W2021 Claims Data
As discussed in our last annual update, Lawyers Mutual of Kentucky experienced a lull in claims in 2020 due to pandemic-related court closures and reduced litigation, generally. We anticipated an increase in claims as courts and law offices began reopening and issues related to the confusion caused by court closures became apparent. In 2021, 50 incidents were reported, and 84 claims were filed, for a total of 134 claim matters which is a slight increase over 2020. It is worth noting, however, that even with the uptick, the average number of claims per insured is still around two claims. This incremental increase has not caused any deviation from the expected average number of claims a lawyer will face over a career.
In 2021, Lawyers Mutual of Kentucky saw an increase in claims in the real estate practice area as compared to 2020. We are also seeing a modest increase in personal injury claims, which tracks with a nationwide bounce in claims in that practice area. If you practice in these areas, take extra care so as to avoid a claim.
Risk Management Resources
The annual claims data, as well as the bar complaint data compiled by the Kentucky Bar Association Office of Bar Counsel, informs lawyers of the highest risks they face in their practices. The data also provides guidance, allowing LMICK to craft relevant risk management resources for Kentucky attorneys.
For example, LMICK’s CLE at the KBA Convention next week focuses on when casual conversations can lead to the creation of an attorney-client relationship (and how to terminate those relationships). Later this month, LMICK insureds can hear Pete Gullett’s “Top Ten” strategies for avoiding malpractice. This fall, our CLE for the Kentucky Law Update will discuss the small steps you can take in your practice with the biggest risk mitigation impact.
In the meantime, check out the risk management resources on our website, including:
- Failure to Know or Properly Apply the Law Still Top Error
- What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate
- Risk Management Analysis Checklist
- Risk Managing Withdrawal for a Client’s Failure to Pay Fees
We will stay on top of the most relevant risk management issues for Kentucky lawyers and create great risk management resources for you, our LMICK insureds!