What is a Retroactive Exclusion Date?

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What is a Retroactive Exclusion Date?

When it comes to professional liability insurance policies, being adequately covered should be every professional’s main priority. With so many policies available today—and with all of them differing from one another—it is sometimes easier said than done.

We all know that insurance policies can be confusing. For some people, they are simply overwhelming. After all, policies are never truly black or white. Coverage levels vary from policy to policy and there are some details that should never be missed by a prospective customer. One such detail that professionals should always pay close attention to before purchasing a policy is whether or not the latter includes a retroactive exclusion date. Quite simply, professionals should do their best to avoid policies with a retroactive exclusion date if they want to protect themselves properly.

Because that’s right: A policy with a retroactive exclusion date completely excludes work that was done prior to it. Whereas a policy without such a date does not discriminate on when exactly a mistake or omission occurred, a policy with an exclusion date does. This can prove to a burden down the road as it is not uncommon for people to file a lawsuit against a professional for an injury or professional negligence that may have occurred a year, two years or even several years ago. With enough evidence, those lawsuits can be fatal to a professional’s career.

As such, a few unlucky professionals find themselves covered under a professional liability insurance policy but unable to benefit from it on a regular basis simply because there were unaware of this rule.

While most policies will cover professional work that was done years ago, some simply don’t. Of course, this is not something that you need to worry about if you are still new at your profession. It is a completely different story, however, if you have been operating for a number of years. In that case, it is imperative that you spend some time discussing this with your insurance broker. Remember that going to work each day without adequate coverage can prove to be extremely damaging to your career. As such, read every detail carefully and ask plenty of questions before settling down for a professional liability insurance policy.

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