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FEATURE: AFPD Providing Responsible Underwriting and Responsive Service In Professional Liability Market


Posted on 05 Nov 2010

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Founded in 1986 to serve as a Program Administrator for Professional Liability lines, New York-based AFPD’s first product was for dentists. In 1998 AFPD expanded its appetite outside the medical community and began administering a Professional Liability product for attorneys. Today, the full-service Program Administrator has approximately 40 employees serving the underwriting, claims, adjusting, and IT areas for each product.

We spoke with Irwin Giles, who has served as president/CEO of AFPD since 2002, about the company’s success in marketing and administrating its two programs: Dentists Professional Liability with the ACE Group, and Lawyers Professional Liability with Chartis. Irwin began his career as an attorney and practiced corporate and insurance regulatory law for both insurance companies and a private Wall Street law practice. In 1988, he was approached by one of his insurer clients to go into the underwriting side of the business.

“Maintaining underwriting integrity, and providing quality, responsive service and reasonable pricing is what makes us stand apart,” said Irwin. “As a Program Administrator we have a fiduciary responsibility to our carriers to generate an underwriting profit. At the same time, however, we’re also sensitive to the needs of the brokers we serve around the country. It’s this balance between responsible underwriting and responsiveness to our brokers that differentiates us in the markets we manage. We look to accommodate the needs of our brokers and the carriers we represent.”

The Dentists Professional Liability program, which began with ACE in 2002, is a national program (excluding certain states), provides coverage for individual dentists on a claims-made and reporting basis. Some of the features of the program include:

• Liability limits up to $2 million per claim
• Broad definition of "Professional Services", including service on professional boards or committees
• Prior acts coverage
• Free "tail" coverage in the event of death, total and permanent disability, or retirement
• Return of premium for short-term disability and maternity leave
• New dentist credit available
• Medical expense coverage
• Licensing board defense coverage
• Loss control credit

“The dental program is available to all brokers to market,” said Irwin. “It’s a competitive policy form, and we provide fast underwriting turnaround of between 24-48 hours.”

The Lawyers Professional Liability is available through Chartis with AFPD as its exclusive Program Administrator. “This program is responsive to insureds, is currently in 45 states and will be available in 48 states soon,” said Irwin. “It’s not an open brokerage program, with each broker being vetted before we partner to do business.”

The target appetite for the program is a law firm with up to 100 attorneys. There are a variety of limits and deductibles available and an 800 number hotline for insureds. What’s more, attorneys at AFPD handle the claims for this program. Some of the coverage features include:

• Broad coverage for claims alleging negligent acts, errors or omissions in legal services rendered, including claims alleging personal injury
• Pro bono coverage
• Insured versus insured coverage where an attorney-client relationship exists
• Limited coverage for disciplinary hearings
• Crisis management insurance, providing up to $50,000 toward the fees of a public relations firm to help mitigate the damage certain "crisis events" can cause attorneys and law firms
• Loss of earnings coverage
• Coverage for fiduciary liability claims arising from legal services
• Flexible Bilateral Extended Reporting period (ERP) options
• Up to $10 million in limits
• Definition of the term Damages includes punitive damages (to the extent permitted by law)
• Worldwide Coverage is provided (where permissible by law)
• Severability applies to certain exclusions

AFPD relies upon word-of-mouth marketing and a solid, good broker network to communicate its messages. “The kind of service our brokers receive provides us with a great deal of traction,” said Irwin. “They know they can rely on us.”

For more information about AFPD’s program, please visit www.afpd.net. You can also contact Irwin at 800-870-7750, or via email at ifgiles@afpd.net.


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