The Missouri Bar has taken an active role in the placement of professional liability coverage for its members since the late 1970’s. In late 1983, CNA indicated that it was no longer interested in the Missouri program and other commercial carriers were either exiting the market or forcing significant rate increases (100+%) on its policyholders. This was not unique to Missouri.
In response to this crisis, State Bar Associations across the country began researching ways to assure that attorneys in their respective states would be able to find professional liability insurance coverage and The Missouri Bar was among them. Out of this effort, what is now known as the “NABRICO” (National Association of Bar Related Insurance Companies) companies were born. Sixteen states formed companies for the purpose of providing lawyers with a financially stable insurance carrier committed to writing lawyers’ professional liability insurance and serving the legal community for the long term. The effort was hugely successful.
The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company, like most of the NABRICO companies, is still a mutual insurance company, owned by its policyholders. The Bar Plan’s mission is to provide broad coverage at the lowest possible price which is consistent with long-term financial stability of the company.
The Bar Plan is committed to the legal community and to this line of business. Unlike most commercial carriers that have entered and exited this market as changes in corporate goals and policies dictate, The Bar Plan has remained a constant, serving Missouri lawyers continuously since 1986. There is no other carrier that has written enough of this market or stayed in this market continuously to know how to price this line of business. It is not uncommon for insurance carriers to decide to write this line of business in Missouri at a price that will “buy” market share. The Bar Plan has experienced this many times over the years. In each case, carriers will either take a rate increase once the claim experience develops or exit the market entirely.
The Bar Plan also writes lawyers’ professional liability insurance in Kansas, New Mexico, Indiana and Tennessee. In conjunction with its subsidiary, The Bar Plan Surety and Fidelity Company, The Bar Plan writes Court Bonds in all 50 states. The company is truly unique with its services to the legal community including CLE seminars, risk management hotline and practice management services, along with its active participation in, and support of, the bar.