Business Insurance Requirements for Lawyers in New York

How strong is New York’s economy? The state’s GDP totaled $1.5 trillion in 2016. If New York were its own country, it would rank just below the top 10 economies in the world, according to data from the International Monetary Fund. With so much money pouring in and out of the state, lawyers in New York benefit from a wealth of opportunity.

For a lawyer practicing independently or as an owner of a small firm, deciding which business insurance you need to secure a legal practice can seem daunting. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. A litigator in Albany will have different needs than a tax firm on Long Island. Your individual risk and the key business factors that define your practice will help determine your business insurance needs. New York state law requires employers with even one worker to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Sole proprietors or partners without employees in New York can elect for coverage but are not mandated to do so. If you plan to lease commercial property, you will likely be asked for proof of property insurance or general liability insurance as part of your leasing agreement. Lawyers in New York are not required by state law to carry professional liability insurance. Also called errors and omissions or lawyer malpractice insurance, this policy can help cover expenses relating to lawsuits alleging professional error. Cyber liability insurance is an increasingly important policy for lawyers to consider, as firms are often tasked with storing sensitive client information. In the event of a data breach or other cyberattack, cyber liability insurance can help with recovery costs.

Insureon makes shopping for insurance easy with industry-leading technology that gathers quotes from top U.S. carriers that fit your needs. Read more to find out which policies are most common for lawyers in New York, and start an application to get your free quotes today.

Find the right insurance policy for your law firm

The most common policies for lawyers in New York vary depending on a number of factors, including revenue, client contracts, and partnerships. The table below illustrates which policies might work best for your business type.

 

Business type General liability / BOP Professional liability Workers' comp Cyber liability
1099 or independent contractor X X   X
Business owner with employees X X X X
Solo business owner X X   X

 

General liability insurance: General liability insurance is the foundation of a lawyer’s business protection with coverage that extends to bodily injury, client property damage, advertising injury, and the cost of legal defense. Most commercial leases require you to have this coverage.

Professional liability insurance: Many clients require proof of professional liability insurance before entering contracts for professional services. This policy, also called errors and omissions insurance or lawyer malpractice insurance, can help cover legal expenses if you’re sued for unsatisfactory work or a business discrepancy.

Cyber liability insurance: Cyber liability insurance can helps lawyers survive data breaches and cyberattacks by helping pay for recovery expenses. You may need this policy if you handle sensitive data such as credit card numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers.

Business owner's policy (BOP): Lawyers sometimes qualify for a business owner’s policy. This package helps your business save money by bundling commercial property insurance with general liability at an affordable rate.

New York state workers' compensation: New York state law requires workers’ comp coverage for small businesses that employ one or more workers. If an employee is injured on the job, workers’ comp can help pay for medical fees and lost wages. Independent contractors or sole proprietors can cover themselves under a workers’ comp policy if they would like, but it is not legally required. Lawyers are significantly less likely than those in other professions to sustain injuries in the workplace. However, your specialization can affect your exposure risk. Lawyers practicing in areas that deal with emotionally fraught clients, such as family or criminal law, are at a higher risk of retaliatory violence than a contracts lawyer. Injuries resulting from transportation incidents or contact with equipment can impact lawyers in any practice.

Business insurance costs for lawyers in New York

Coupled with a higher than average cost of living in New York, monthly insurance expenses for lawyers trend a bit higher than the national average, according to an analysis of Insureon applications. In particular, errors and omissions coverage is nearly $200 more in New York, at nearly $400 per month. As state law does not require you to carry an errors and omissions policy, it may be tempting to go without coverage. But the short-term savings could expose your firm to significant financial losses, including up to six figures to fight a malpractice suit. Overall, New York lawyers can expect to spend less than $525 per month to secure their practice.

Median Insurance Costs for New York Lawyers

Save time and money with Insureon

Insureon’s industry-leading technology helps lawyers in New York save time and money shopping for insurance by comparing policies from dozens of top U.S. carriers. Simply apply online and review quotes for the policies that best fit your business needs. Our insurance specialists are licensed in New York and can answer your questions as you consider coverage.

To make the application go even quicker, have this information ready:

  • Workforce details, such as the number and types of employees.
  • Current and projected revenue.
  • Business partnerships.
  • Insurance history and prior claims.
  • Commercial lease insurance requirements.

Apply for free lawyer insurance quotes today.