Claims Made vs. Occurrence Policies: Which Professional Liabilities Insurance Is Right for You?

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Choosing the correct professional liability insurance policy can be a difficult task. “Claims Made” and “Occurrence” insurance are two basic forms of coverage that professionals often evaluate. Both provide valuable defense against legal claims and litigation arising from professional carelessness or errors, but they operate differently and have distinct characteristics. In this blog post, we’ll look at the distinctions between Claims Made and Occurrence coverage, so you can make an informed decision about whether professional liability insurance is best for you. In addition, we will propose the services of an expert insurance advising agency to help you navigate this critical decision without naming the organization.

Understanding Policy on Claims Made

A Claims Made insurance covers claims made within the policy period, no matter when the alleged incident or error happened. This means that the policy must be in effect at the time a claim is filed against you, regardless of when the incident happened. Claims Made insurance frequently include a retroactive date, which is the date from which the policy begins to cover claims originating from past incidents, providing those claims are made while the policy is in effect.

Claims Made policies have the following key features:

1. As Previously Stated: Claims Made policies may include a retroactive date. Claims stemming from incidents occurring prior to this date are usually not covered.

2. Continuous Coverage: To keep coverage for prior incidents, professionals must renew their Claims Made policies on a regular basis or obtain extended reporting period (ERP) coverage, sometimes known as “tail coverage,” if they switch insurers or retire.

3. Lower Initial Rates: Claims Made policies frequently offer lower initial rates than Occurrence policies, making them appealing to professionals just starting out.

4. Limited Past Coverage: If you change insurers, Claims Made plans may give limited coverage for past incidences based on the new policy’s retroactive date.

Understanding Policy Occurrences

Policies for occurrences cover incidences that occur during the insurance period, regardless of when the claim is made. This implies that if an incident occurs while the policy is in effect, you will be covered for any future claims stemming from that occurrence even if the policy lapses or is not renewed.

The following are key characteristics of Occurrence policies:

1. Continuity and Simplicity: Occurrence policies provide both simplicity and continuity. Even if you transfer insurers or retire, an occurrence that occurs within the policy period is still covered. Extended reporting period (ERP) coverage is not required.

2. Occurrence Plans: Frequently have higher beginning premiums than Claims Made policies. This expense, however, may be compensated by the long-term coverage given.

3. No Retroactive Date: There is no retroactive date for occurrence policies. They cover situations that occurred after the policy’s effective date, with no restrictions based on when the incident occurred.

4. Predictable Expenses: Because there is no need to obtain tail coverage or worry about retroactive dates with Occurrence policies, professionals may better estimate their insurance expenses.

Selecting the Best Policy for You

After we’ve discussed the distinctions between Claims Made and Occurrence policies, examine the following factors to help you decide which type of professional liability insurance is best for you:

1. Profession Stage: If you are just starting out in your profession and want to stay with the same insurer for the duration, a Claims Made policy with lower initial rates may be an appealing option.

2. Long-Term Planning: Occurrence policies may be more appealing to professionals who desire long-term consistency and simplicity. They do away with the need to obtain tail coverage or be concerned about retroactive dates.

3. Switching Insurers: If you expect to change insurers at any point during your career, an Occurrence policy assures continuing coverage for incidents that occurred during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is filed.

4. Retroactive Date: If you have a Claims Made policy, keep the retroactive date in mind. Make certain that it covers the timeframe applicable to your career and practice.

5. Budget Considerations: When comparing Claims Made and Occurrence plans, consider both the initial premium and any future costs, such as tail coverage.


It is critical to speak with an experienced insurance advising firm specializing in professional liability coverage, to make an informed decision about your professional liability insurance. Their trained consultants can evaluate your specific circumstances, career level, and long-term goals to assist you in selecting the appropriate policy type. With their assistance, you may manage the complexity of professional liabilities insurance and obtain the coverage that best fits your specific needs.


Choosing the right professional liability insurance policy—whether for Claims Made or Occurrence—is critical for any practitioner. Each policy type has advantages and disadvantages, and the best option is dependent on your professional level, long-term goals, and budget. You may guarantee that you have the protection you need to practice your profession with confidence and peace of mind by understanding the important distinctions and speaking with professional insurance advisors, learn more here.

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