Idaho Soon to Require Malpractice Insurance

A wingtip shoe about to slip on a banana peel.
The Idaho Supreme Court now requires malpractice insurance for lawyers in that state.

For Washington lawyers who are also licensed in Idaho, the Idaho Supreme Court recently amended its licensing rule to soon require malpractice insurance for lawyers in private practice.

The amended rule — Idaho Bar Commission Rule 302(a)(5) — becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018, and lawyers who are completing their licensing renewals this fall should expect to see questions concerning coverage on the renewal forms. Under the amended version of the rule, lawyers in private practice will need to maintain professional liability insurance with minimum limits of $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 as an annual aggregate.

In doing so, Idaho joins Oregon regionally in requiring malpractice insurance for lawyers in private practice. Oregon requires lawyers in private practice to carry coverage with at least a $300,000 annual aggregate. Alaska currently does not require coverage but does require written disclosure by lawyers in private practice to clients under Alaska RPC 1.4(c) if the lawyer does not maintain insurance with limits of at least $100,000 per claim and a $300,000 annual aggregate.

As discussed in the September issue of NWLawyer, Washington is in the preliminary stages of examining whether lawyers in private practice should be required to maintain some level of malpractice coverage.

3 thoughts on “Idaho Soon to Require Malpractice Insurance

  1. Kary L. Krismer

    Hopefully they will deal with issues like an attorney in-between jobs or the many like myself who don’t actively practice law but are real estate agents or some other profession where insurance isn’t actually available. Some sort of a licensed but not actively practicing status.

  2. Inez Petersen

    85% of WSBA attorneys have insurance by WSBA admission in a prior post. The WSBA will no doubt jump at the chance of forcing insurance on 100% of WSBA attorneys simply because it meets all the criteria for mission creep. This effort is fixing a problem that doesn’t really exist; and studying and implementing mandatory insurance is not the highest and best use of our dues. Just because other states are doing it should not be the catalyst for the WSBA to make insurance mandatory.

    Insurance wasn’t so important to WSBA leaders heretofore because its preferred insurance provider won’t cover solo attorneys. I’d appreciate the WSBA selecting a carrier that offers a good deal to solos, but I sure don’t appreciate this current effort.

    In a related matter, I saw some brown shirts at Costco today.

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