May 25, 2020
The Right Counsel for the Right Coverage
by Michael Shaw
We need sound counsel on insurance to help us choose just policies over unsound business practices.
As a scientist, I value clarity—in every sense of the word. From the work I do to the conclusions I draw to the products (or policies) I buy, I act based on the clarity of the terms and conditions of the documents I sign; or choose not to sign, if the language is unclear, the provisos too ambiguous, the provisions too abstract.
Were I to act otherwise, unaware of the consequences and unable to bear the costs of my own ignorance, I would betray my commitment to clarity. I would also jeopardize or squander my family’s financial safety.
When in doubt, in other words, have an expert review the words. Have a lawyer explain the words, so the insurance you have is the insurance you need. Simply stated, assurance comes from ensuring you have the right insurance.
According to Reed Aljian of Daily | Aljian, a boutique litigation firm in Orange County, CA:
“Insurance can save a business millions of dollars and can change the landscape of litigation. But if you did not get the right insurance or you did not carefully review the policy to determine whether you have all necessary coverage, your premium payments could be worthless. This is precisely why hiring competent counsel early is important: Get the right insurance, and you could save yourself millions. Get the wrong insurance, or no insurance, and watch your business die.”
I agree with Reed Aljian for reasons both moral and monetary, because I think it is irresponsible to not know—to refuse to know—what insurance you need; while I know how ruinous it can be to dismiss the advice of counsel by trying to defy the odds and anger the oddsmakers, the actuaries who calculate the risks of every policy an insurer issues. I know the outcome from having seen employees lose their jobs and employers close their businesses.
We need sound counsel to help us choose just policies over unsound business practices.
We need to be unafraid to ask for help, too, because many of us are reluctant to admit or embarrassed to say we need help in the first place. But we need only remember a truth as old as the scriptures and as clear as a prelate’s personal constitution: Be not afraid.
In asking for help, we may receive the help we deserve.
When help comes in the form of a lawyer’s advice, when a lawyer clarifies what each form says, when the forms provide the right insurance to protect a business, the rewards belong to the many.
Insurers and lawyers thrive in such a scenario, as do business owners, because clarity is triumphant. So triumphant, in fact, that all parties may pursue their respective interests and champion their individual causes.
Let us work to achieve these goals, knowing that insurers and lawyers have much to offer.
Let us, therefore, resolve to be clear in our intentions, unequivocal in our needs and unwavering in our support of lawyers who can help us.