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Insurance for Paralegals

Paralegals help the legal world run like a well-oiled machine. Without you, lawyers wouldn't have experts to:

  • Do research.
  • Draft legal documents.
  • Organize information.
  • Gather formal statements and affidavits.
  • Assist during trials.

But being a paralegal has its challenges and risks, even if you work from home. For example, what would you do if you made a mistake in your research and a client sued you? You know firsthand how costly lawsuits can be. Or what if a fire strikes your home and you lose your computer and all your files? Would you be able to quickly replace your items without losing clients in the meantime?

Paralegal insurance can help protect your business by covering common incidents home-based paralegals face. Let's look at some key policies.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance is one of the first insurance policies most small businesses buy. It can cover your legal expenses when a third party sues your business over their bodily injuries or property damage.

Though this may seem like a remote possibility because you work at home, consider the fact that every time your mail is delivered, you risk a General Liability claim. If your mailman is injured on your slick porch steps, for example, they could sue you over their injuries.

General Liability can help you out when your business is accused of:

  • Damaging or losing a third party's property.
  • Causing a third party's bodily injuries.
  • Libel, slander, or copyright infringement.

Your policy can usually help pay for an attorney to defend your business, settlements or judgments, witness expenses, and other court costs.

Business Owner's Policy

One way to save on insurance for paralegals is to purchase a Business Owner's Policy, which bundles General Liability with Commercial Property Insurance. It usually costs less than buying each of these policies separately.

Paralegals often have valuable computer and media equipment, law books, and other supplies they rely on to run their business from home. Unfortunately, most homeowner's policies don't cover damage to business property.

To protect your business assets, you'll need Commercial Property Insurance, which can cover loss or damage caused by:

  • Fire.
  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.
  • Hail.
  • Windstorms.

So if a fire damages your home office or a thief steals your laptop, the Commercial Property portion of your BOP policy should help pay to replace the damaged or stolen items.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance, also known as Errors & Omissions Insurance or Malpractice Insurance, can help pay for legal costs when a client sues your business over professional mistakes, errors, or shoddy service.

For example, this policy can usually step in when a client claims you…

  • Were professionally negligent.
  • Didn't meet expectations.
  • Failed to complete the agreed-upon services.
  • Made mistakes or errors in your work.

Say you provided a lawyer with erroneous information, which caused them to lose a client or a case. Your Professional Liability Insurance can cover your attorney fees, settlements, and court costs if they sue. Because these claims can be pretty subjective, most professionals who offer guidance or services tend to carry this policy.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber Liability Insurance can help your paralegal business pay for the costs associated with hacking and data breaches. There are two types of policies:

  • First-party Cyber Liability can help cover your expenses if your own computer network is hacked or your business's data is stolen.
  • Third-party Cyber Liability can pay for legal expenses if a client claims your actions caused their data breach.

You may opt for one or both types of coverages, depending on the needs of your business.

For many small businesses, Cyber Liability Insurance is available both as a standalone policy and as an add-on to a Business Owner's Policy. If you're interested in cyber protection, choose that option when you apply for a BOP through Insureon's online insurance application.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Workers' Compensation Insurance helps employers handle the high cost of on-the-job accidents and injuries. If your paralegal business has employees, you may be required to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance, depending on the laws in your state.

Workers' Comp can cover…

  • Employee medical bills.
  • Partial lost wages while the employee is unable to work.
  • Legal costs if your business is sued for not providing a safe work environment.

Let's say an employee develops carpal tunnel after years of helping you research. Your policy can cover the cost of their physical therapy and other treatments. It can also help cover their missed wages while they recover.

Check out our lawyer's insurance page for more information about coverage for small legal businesses.

Further Reading for Home-Based Paralegals