Professional Liability Insurance Coverage Triggers (Claims Made)


A liability insurance policy’s coverage trigger is the provision defining the nature and sequence of events that must take place for the policy to cover a claim against an insured. The coverage trigger determines which policy—often in a series of policies spanning a number of years—will respond to a particular liability claim.

This course is designed to provide a detailed look at how both claims-made and occurrence coverage triggers function and how they are used in professional and executive liability insurance policies. The course discusses the rationale for using claims-made coverage triggers as well as the advantages and disadvantages they present for both insureds and insurers. Since a handful of professional liability coverage lines are sometimes written on an occurrence basis, these coverage triggers—and how they differ from claims-made policies—are also explained.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: 

  • define the term “coverage trigger” and give an example of how one applies to a situation involving multiple policy periods.
  • identify the two types of coverage triggers and distinguish between the two
  • enumerate and describe the three conditions required to trigger coverage under a claims-made and reported policy that contains a retroactive date.Show how claims-made coverage triggers apply in actual claim situations
  • state and explain the two major rationales for insurers’ use of claims-made coverage triggers
  • analyze the major advantages and disadvantages of claims-made coverage triggers from the perspective of both the insurer and the insured
  • explain how occurrence coverage triggers function, illustrate their application in a claim situation, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages they offer for both insureds and insurers

Designed For

P&C producers
International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI) is the premier provider of risk and insurance continuing education and reference publications, and is considered the ultimate authority by leading insurance practitioners. Written by industry experts, IRMI courses provide the most up-to-date, practical and reliable information possible.
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