Friday, 11 June 2021
The LMICK Minute - Issue #15
To Our Policyholders:
What a difference a year makes! Last summer at this time, we were in the throes of a pandemic facing record unemployment, a serious economic downturn, a shuttering of courts and other legal enterprises, an unplanned transition to remote work, virtual learning for our children and overall uncertainty and fear. We were desperate for a fast and effective vaccine and wondering how much longer we could endure. The 2020 Kentucky Bar Association convention had been cancelled and we were planning Lawyers Mutual’s first ever virtual Annual Meeting.
Fast forward a year and we are planning and preparing for another Annual Meeting of members that will also be conducted virtually – hopefully for the last time. This will be your final reminder to please complete your proxy voting electronically via the e-mails you’ve received from Intelliscan, Inc. and plan to join us on June 19, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. eastern time for the Annual Meeting.
- ZOOM Link
- Audio Only: 1-312-626-6799
- Meeting ID: 868 9793 1905
- Passcode: 598051
Fortunately, there is so much more room for optimism now than a short, yet almost unbearably long, year ago. Many lawyers are vaccinated, some seminars and programs are back to in person attendance, courts are reopening, trials are resuming, and we can take in an outdoor sporting event sans masks this summer. Many of us have transitioned back to work at our offices and there is hope for a much more traditional school year come the beginning of school in a few months. Here at LMICK, we are excited for the potential of a more normal year ahead. Yet, we are pretty darned proud of what we accomplished in the past year since the 2020 Annual Meeting. Please read on to see how your insurance company fared in 2020 during the most unusual and challenging year in the Company’s history.
Thankfully, 2020 marked the Company’s 14th consecutive profitable year. Click here for LMICK’s 2020 audited financial statements. Considering the financial difficulties so many other companies have faced, we are profoundly grateful that we were able to find success in a difficult year so that we could continue to serve the needs of LMICK insureds and support the lawyers of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This achievement was made possible, in large part, by your continued support. You understood the importance of continuing to protect your practice even in what might have been financially difficult times. LMICK typically exceeds industry averages in its renewal rates, but to do so in 2020 was particularly meaningful. We renewed 96% of our insured attorneys and welcomed 143 new attorneys as LMICK insureds. We appreciate each and every one of you!
The financial strength and stability of LMICK allowed us to hold premium rates flat with no increases during the pandemic. We understand that these are still challenging times and will continue to hold rates flat until at least January 1, 2022.
While the LMICK Board and Staff value the positive financial position of the Company, we are equally proud of the ways in which LMICK supported its insureds and the Kentucky legal community during turbulent times. We became more focused on you and your needs and will carry that forward into post-pandemic times. Some of the highlights of LMICK’s activities during the pandemic include ...
- Worked remotely for 8 weeks without any interruption in our service to you
- Added 6 virtual CLEs, including 2 webinars that are available on demand
- Increased social media posts with valuable information
- Pivoted in our communications to spotlight court messages and orders, pandemic related risks and more
- Created a dedicated space on the LMICK website for court related pandemic information
- Offered payment plans and other financial options when payment of premiums were difficult for our insureds
- Partnered with many other Bar related groups to create the Mental Health Collaboration Group to focus on the mental health and well-being of lawyers across Kentucky
- Contributed to the Kentucky Legal Education Opportunity (KLEO) program, the Lexington and Louisville chapters of the National Bar Association, and others to support their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts meant to diversify the profession
- Continued our commitment to claims repair and protecting you against financial loss when repair was not feasible
We are committed to continuing the best parts of what we accomplished during the pandemic. The practice of law won’t ever be the same and neither will the ways in which we serve you. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Kentucky legal community.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t take advantage of this opportunity to provide some risk management information and counsel. As anticipated, and like most every other legal professional liability insurer, LMICK enjoyed fewer claims in 2020. This, of course, is the result of the interruption of litigation and the closure of courts during the pandemic. We all pushed pause and claims slowed commensurately.
While the number of claims fell in 2020, we anticipate an uptick in claims in 2021 and beyond. Many of these claims will be directly related to the pandemic – confusion about court deadlines and procedures, missed deadlines, poor communications with clients during shutdown, etc. You can prevent many of these errors by doubling down on 1) proper calendaring and docketing of deadlines, 2) communications with clients, 3) management of client expectations and progress of cases and outcomes, 4) training and supervision of those that work with you, 5) security measures around the technology that you use in your practice, and 6) attention to your physical and mental well being. These seem obvious and simple, but some additional attention in these areas will drastically reduce your risk of making a mistake and exposure for claims.
Finally, thanks for choosing Lawyers Mutual for your professional malpractice needs. We appreciate having you as an insured. Please refer us to a friend. Importantly, continue to take care of yourselves, your families, and your colleagues.