“While some policies define the term “professional services” with specificity and detail, e.g., by enumerating the categories of conduct that would be expected from the insured professional, others do not define the term at all…..it is no longer a tenable belief that the only “professionals” are doctors, lawyers and the like. That traditional, narrow concept of who can be a professional is outmoded. Courts must at least consider the possibility that “professional services” can be performed by those with “new economy” jobs, such as consultants and analysts,” write Jonathan Schwartz and Jonathan Ziss, attorneys in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services and Professional Liability Practice Groups, respectively.
In their article, the attorneys point out that it was the transition from a manufacturing economy to a services-based economy, along with the explosive expansion of digital electronics, the Internet and globalization that accelerated that transition.
They suggest that in the context of a liability insurance policy it’s now up to the courts to liberalize their approach and recognize a more modern, nuanced understanding of what it means to be a 21st century professional in this new economy.