Professional Services Coverage and Exclusions: Insurer and Policyholder Guidance

Avoiding Gaps, Stacking Coverage, and Negotiating Scope Across Multiple Commercial Insurance Lines

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, December 13, 2018

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will explore the contours of professional services coverage and exclusions under general liability, directors and officers, and professional liability policies. The panel will discuss recent trends in case law interpreting policy coverage and exclusions and guide counsel for policyholders and insurers on best practices for negotiating coverage scope and resolving disputes after claims arise.


Significant disagreements exist between insurers and policyholders as to what constitutes “professional services” for determining whether a loss is insurable. Companies addressing the issue with corporate and coverage counsel should consider their policies’ coverage grants and exclusions in this area before a claim arises.

Explaining to clients—insurers or policyholders—whether a particular claim involves professional services is challenging. Depending on the circumstances, multiple lines of commercial insurance could cover the claim, or it may fall squarely in a gap between policies. For companies contemplating the performance of services that are traditionally considered “professional” in nature, the issue is simple. The complexities arise for firms that don’t see their service offerings to be professional services. Practitioners negotiating these provisions and counseling clients on their impact must understand three key concepts addressed in current case law:

  • The meaning of professional
  • The meaning of services
  • The nexus between professional services and a policyholder’s liability

Listen as our distinguished panel of insurance practitioners provides critical insight into the expanding judicial definition of “professional services,” the impact on negotiating coverage grants and exclusions, and how counsel can identify and avoid gaps across multiple lines of coverage.



  1. Professional services coverage and exclusions
    1. Meaning of professional
    2. Meaning of services
    3. Nexus between services and policyholder liability
  2. Types of coverage
    1. CGL
    2. D&O
    3. Professional Liability
  3. Negotiating coverage
    1. Policyholder perspectives
    2. Insurer perspectives


The panel will review highly relevant issues, including:

  • How to stack multiple lines of coverage to prevent gaps
  • Factors impacting judicial findings of “professional services”
  • How counsel can use these factors to help clients avoid blindspots in their risk management regimes


Waters, Celia
Celia B. Waters

Saxe Doernberger & Vita

Exclusively representing policyholders, Ms. Waters focuses her practice on complex insurance litigation matters with a...  |  Read More

Additional faculty
to be announced.

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